If the past few modules of my FFI course have taught me anything, it’s that we have been fed a constant message of, “store-bought = convenience” – and this FFI Module 4: Pantry, Freezer, and Blends put the final kibosh on that mindset. While the notion may seem true on its surface, I learned that food staples like plant-based milk, cereals, and ice creams are just as easy to make from home. And, simplicity and time aside, homemade pantry staples are far more pure and healthful because they just don’t have the additives or preservatives that are inevitable in the packaged and processed foods we find at the grocery store.
There’s also an incredible sense of satisfaction that comes with knowing the oat milk you put in your coffee was made right in your own kitchen, or that your afternoon granola snack was made with the purest ingredients possible and with your own two hands.
Here are some of the recipes I learned (and will continue to make) in FFI Module 4: Pantry, Freezer, and Blends.
LESSON 1: NUT + SEED MILKS, SMOOTHIES, AND TRUFFLES
FFI gives you the option of starting with either a pistachio, oat, or toasted sunflower seed and flax milk as the base for this lesson’s recipes, and I opted for the former because I’ve always loved the flavor of pistachios. Making the pistachio milk was remarkably easy and comprised a soaking, blending, and straining process that yields incredibly delicious and creamy milk that I also added to my coffee that week. The blue magic smoothie I later used the milk for was such a refreshing and nourishing blend of beets, berries, kale, orange juice, pistachio milk, spirulina, and agave.
My favorite recipe of the section was the apricot pistachio energy bites made with leftover pulp from the pistachio milk, along with dried apricots, rolled oats, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chopped pistachios, and agave.
LESSON 2: ICE CREAM
I’m a big ice cream gal (we even have a list of the best vegan ice creams in LA), so I was thrilled to be presented with the opportunity to make my own vegan ice cream. I opted for the coconut ice cream, which was so creamy, delicious, and reminiscent of the ice cream they serve with the coconut banana cream tart at Plant Food + Wine (notably tied for first on my best vegan restaurants in LA post and owned by Matthew Kenney, the creator of this FFI course).
LESSON 3: CEREALS
In this lesson, we made a totally delectable granola (pictured above) which was probably the best granola I’ve ever tasted, as well as a superfood cereal made from almond meal, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and cacao nibs – it was so clean-tasting while being simultaneously so delicious.
LESSON 4: SHERBETS + SORBETS
What’s the difference between a sherbet and sorbet, you ask? Well – a sherbet is typically creamier as it’s milk-based (in this case, plant-based milk), while a sorbet is entirely fruit-based. I learned to make a tamarind coconut sherbet and a red fruit sorbet, with the latter being my favorite of the two; the jamminess and freshness of the blackberries, raspberries, cherries, and currants was just so delightful.
I continue to use these posts as a reflection on all the amazing things I’m learning through FFI – not just about food, but about how I want to live my life. Living more slowly and consciously is something I’m ever striving for, and this course is an incredible lesson in re-framing our perspective on what it means to live well. Thanks for following along and stay tuned for the next module on fromagerie!