Ask Angela: My morning coffee recipes, Instant Pot reader poll, and more!

I have to say, this blog series is so much fun to put together each week. Even though I reply to your comments and questions a couple of times each day on the blog, making this round-up inspires me to dig a bit deeper and try new things to help troubleshoot. I also learn so many interesting things from you all, and absolutely love sharing your tips for others to read! Let’s dive in, shall we?!

Q1. Hey Angela! With how popular superfood powders are, I’m curious if you consume any on a regular basis? 

Hi Monika, I can’t say that I use many superfood powders! They tend to be expensive and I’d personally rather spend that money on quality produce. I also want my recipes to be accessible. That said, there are a couple I like to use: DoMatcha Organic Green Tea Powder (I make green tea lattes with it and add it to smoothies) and Sprout Living Broccoli & Kale Sprout Mix. The latter is a powder made from broccoli and kale sprouts that have been gently dried and milled—I also add this to smoothies for a plant-powered boost!

Q2. Your coffee always looks so delicious on Insta Stories! Do you mind sharing exactly how you make it (including the proportions used)? My track record isn’t that good when I “wing” a recipe! 

That’s too funny, Susan—I’ve definitely had my own fair share of “winging it” disasters! I love to start my day with French press coffee, and have a couple different ways of making it. I’m not a coffee expert by any means, but I’m happy to share both ways that I prepare it!

Basic French press coffee:

I start by grinding coffee beans—I like the “Mug Shot” organic coffee from Toronto-based brand 23 Degrees Roastery, and find grinding the beans morning-of makes them extra fresh and flavourful. I scoop two heaping tablespoons of ground coffee into my small (2-cup/500 mL) French press (from Ikea). Next, I bring a small pot of water to a boil before turning off the heat to let the water sit for 15 seconds or so. Then I pour just enough water into the French press to saturate my coffee grounds before giving the mixture a stir. After this pre-soak, I add the rest of the hot water to the French press, filling to about a 1/2-inch below the top of the vessel. I secure the lid of the French press and set my timer for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, I press the coffee with the plunger and pour it into my mug before stirring in a mix of Nutpods French Vanilla Creamer and Califia Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk.

Blender coffee:

I follow all of the basic French press coffee-making steps above except for adding the creamer, and instead I pour the steeped coffee into my blender. Then I add 1/2 tablespoon of Nutiva’s MCT (Medium-chain triglyceride) oil along with a tablespoon of Nutpods French vanilla creamer. Finally, I secure the lid and blend the coffee for about 20 to 30 seconds (tip: make sure your blender lid is vented as it can explode if it’s not!). After blending, I pour into a mug and enjoy! 

Full disclosure: When I need coffee yesterday (which is pretty much 98% of the time), I skip both the 15-second water resting and pre-soak periods, simply filling the French press with boiled water (this is technically a “no-no” as you can burn the coffee, but trust me when I say I’ve compared both methods and my sleepy taste buds tell me they’re virtually the same, lol). Then I follow the rest of the procedure as listed. On the average day, I like to have one of these in the morning, one in the afternoon (my caffeine cut-off is 3pm!), and a mild Matcha green tea thrown in between. #dontjudge 😉

Q3. Hi Angela, I want to make your new Easy Vegan Sugar Cookies as a surprise for my vegan husband. 🙂 Instead of electric beaters, do you think I can blend the pink frosting in a food processor? Thanks!

Hi Nathalie, what a cute surprise for your husband! I wouldn’t have thought to make frosting in the food processor…such a fun idea! Your question made me super curious, so I just had to test it out in my food processor to see. I’m happy to report that the frosting came together quite well with this method. I tried adding the vegan butter first to “whip” it, but I found the butter just stuck to the sides of the processor bowl, so I’d recommend adding all of the ingredients into the processor at the same time. I also found that I needed to add a bit more almond milk than usual and had to stop to scrape the bowl down a few times throughout. I hope this helps you have pink frosting success!

Q4. Hi, is tomato paste the same as tomato purée?

Hey cb, Great question! Tomato purée and tomato paste are made using different methods, which accounts for their distinct flavours and textures. Tomato paste is made by cooking tomatoes slowly until they become thick and pasty, resulting in tomato paste’s sweet, rich, and intense flavour (similar to sundried tomatoes). Tomato paste tends to be sold in small cans or jars, whereas I find tomato purée is mostly sold in larger quantities. Tomato purée is made more quickly, cooking tomatoes briefly to soften before processing into purée, resulting in a thinner consistency and flavour more like that of fresh tomatoes. In the photo above, tomato paste is on the left and tomato purée is on the right. (A special thanks to Livestrong for the distinction.) With all this talk of tomato sauce, I’m now craving spaghetti squash with marinara! lol.

Q5. Hi! Your Roasted Carrot and Dill Hummus recipe sounds amazing!! Just wondering if it’s best made the day you want to eat it or just as good made the night before?  

Hey Larissa, My recipe tester and I found the flavours were a bit better the day of, but it’ll still keep well in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Homemade hummus thickens when chilling, so it’s probably best to let it come to room temperature before serving so your dip can soften (if you can wait that long!). 🙂

Q6. Hi Angela! I love the rebranding of the Friday FAQs series to “Ask Angela”—I think that’s a great idea! I’ve wanted to ask you for ages whether you have an Instant Pot and whether any of your recipes would be suited for it? What with this Instant Pot craze going on now, I’d love to be able to make your delicious recipes quickly in this new gadget! 

Hey Sandra, ohh you know what? I’ve been asked this question a lot lately and it’s making me super curious about Instant Pots! I don’t have one as I’ve been trying to avoid purchasing another small appliance, but I have considered it. I’d love to hear about your own experience, though! 

I’m also curious how many OSG readers use an Instant Pot these days, and would love to hear from you all in the comments!

Do you have one and would you recommend it (if so, which version/model do you have)? Have you tried any of my recipes in the Instant Pot successfully, and if so, which ones worked best? Would you like to see new Oh She Glows recipes developed specifically for use in an Instant Pot? Thank you so much for chiming in! I’ve been wanting to ask about this for a while. I may also do a poll on Insta Stories soon too. 🙂

“I love your 10-Spice Vegetable Soup! I found this recipe a year ago and make it about twice a month. It is so versatile. I can make it very spicy for our family or less spicy for those who do not love spicy food. I shared it with some co-workers and they love it too! Thanks so much for the amazing work you put into your site and recipes. We are paying attention and the world is getting healthier one recipe at a time thanks to you Angela! Keep up the great work!”

Hey Lyne, It really means the world to me to read this! I agree about how easy it is to customize the spice level in the 10-Spice Soup. I always add a lot more to my own portion (I’ve been known to dump it on!) because I can’t get enough of that intense flavour. Getting healthier one recipe at a time…I LOVE that!! Thank you.

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