Domestic Goddess Cooking Tip: Vanilla Sugar

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When I make my Monkey Bread I like to roll the dough balls in my own homemade Vanilla Sugar which is mixed with Cinnamon.
Of course, this sugar is great in application you’d want that hint of vanilla with your sweetness: Hot Cocoa, Cinnamon-Sugar Toast, Sugar cookies, Shortbread, Pie Sweetners, etc.
I’ve been working on switching from refined white sugar to organic cane sugar, but I noticed that some brands are more coarse than the standard traditional white sugar we normally find. So that my family and guests don’t get the impression I’m adding sand to my sugar, I improvise and ‘refine’ the sugar a bit finer, myself.
First, grab your Vitamix. I assume a blender will work also, just work smaller batches so that it has a chance to turn over the sugar without turning the bottom to powdered sugar before the top has a chance to mix in.

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Scrape a couple of vanilla bean guts into your sugar, and then give a quick whiz in the mixer. I use the tamper to really force the top to the bottom and I pulse it with my other hand.

Here, you can see the difference in coarseness in a before:

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And the after:

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Your not aiming for powdered sugar, which your Vitamix CAN DO, so don’t over do it! Pour the sugar into a mason jar or airtight container, add the stripped vanilla beans and let sit for at least a month.

If you have standard C&H white sugar, you get to skip the refining process. Just add the scraped vanilla bean insides to the sugar. mix well, add the beans and let it sit.


Pumpkin Protein Shake

I’ve been looking to increase my potassium to help combat some muscle fatigue and cramping I’ve been experiencing.
Bananas tend to be the ‘go-to’ source for potassium but also are high in fructose and calories, neither of which I want.
Looking for some natural alternatives, mushrooms and pumpkin caught my eye. While I’ve been adding mushrooms to my morning eggs, I’ve developed this post workout shake to not only keep my potassium levels high enough to help power me through my workouts, but also to increase my fiber, vitamin A, antioxidants and B vitamins.
And of course, with Progressive Weight Training, protein following your workout is critical to repairing and building the muscles you have broken down and stressed.
This shake is perfect year round but I love it for the fall/winter season. Not only is it good for you, but delicious!

Notes: In this Post Workout Protein Shake you can exchange the coconut water for a high protein nut or rice milk or skim milk.
You can also substitute pumpkin pie filling for the plain pumpkin if you don’t want to mess with spices. I like to fiddle with mine, adding lots of cinnamon for blood sugar and appetite control.
Also, I am hooked on the Melaleuca protein powders. The Pro-flex has 20g of protein, the Vitality has 30g. They are rich and yummy tasting as well as formulated, but use your own favorite brand.
You can add a shot of espresso, instant espresso power or instant coffee, or skip altogether.

8-10 oz of Coconut Water
2 scoops of Protein Powder (Vitality = 30grams)
2 tbsp Pumpkin
1 tsp decaf instant Coffee
5 grinds of Nutmeg on the grater
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Dash of Ginger
Small pinch Allspice
Large handful of Ice

Blend and enjoy!