Homemade Nut Milk

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of store bought nut milks as they tend to have a lot of preservatives and other nasties added into them to keep them shelf stable. That being said, I am guilty of buying the odd carton once every few weeks because they’re just so convenient and tasty.

This week, I tried making my own nut milks for the first time. And guess what? It actually is REALLY EASY! The things that were preventing me from doing it before were: a) having to soak nuts overnight before and b) needing a nut milk bag/piece of muslin cloth for straining the pieces of nuts out of the milk.

Once I bought myself some muslin cloth in a local fabric shop and got organized about buying and soaking whatever nuts I needed the night before, the rest was a doddle.

…so, here we go: cashew milk and hazelnut milk.

*These recipes are vegan-friendly, grain-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free*

Cashew Milk

YIELDS: 3-4 cups milk | PREP TIME: soak nuts overnight | MAKE: 10 minutes

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INGREDIENTS

1 cup cashews (raw & unsalted)

3 cups filtered water

….that’s it!

optional flavours: 

2 medjool dates

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

…you’ll also need some muslin cloth, cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. I used muslin cloth here.

METHOD

  1. Measure out 1 cup of raw unsalted cashews. Leave to soak in water in the fridge overnight.
  2. The next day, your nuts should be plump and soft to the touch. Drain and rinse the nuts thoroughly, then place them in your blender with 3 cups of fresh filtered water. Blitz for about 20-30 seconds until you get a milk-coloured liquid.
  3. Place a sieve on top of a bowl or measuring jug that holds about 1 Litre/4 cups liquid. Drape the muslin cloth over the sieve, and gradually pour the nut milk through the cloth and sieve, letting it drip into the container below. You’ll need to do this in stages as the bits of nut will gather in the cloth, slowing the process down. Towards the end, you can grab the four corners of the cloth, twist them together to form a sort of ‘bag’, and gently squeeze the milk down through the cloth until all the milk has passed through the cloth (make sure your hands are clean for this part!). Discard the pulp, or save to use for something else.
  4. If adding some optional flavours, rinse out your blender, pour the strained milk back in, and add the cinnamon/vanilla/dates until smooth. I used cinnamon and vanilla extract here, and it was yummy.
  5. You’re done! Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Hazelnut Milk

YIELDS: 3-4 cups milk | PREP TIME: soak nuts overnight | MAKE: 10 minutes

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INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup hazelnuts (raw & unsalted)

1/4 cup almonds (raw & unsalted)

3 cups filtered water

….that’s it!

optional flavours: 

 

as above

…you’ll also need some muslin cloth, cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. I used muslin cloth here.

METHOD

  1. Measure out 3/4 cup of raw unsalted hazelnuts and 1/4 cup raw unsalted almonds. Leave to soak in water in the fridge overnight.
  2. The rest is the same as the cashew nut milk recipe above.

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Healthy Pancakes: Two Ways

fullsizerender-11Happy Pancake Tuesday everybody! I’m excited to share with you my very first blog post! Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bit of a health and wellness nut, so I’m sure this blog won’t come as a surprise to you. It was inspired by the year I spent living in New York City, where I really began to understand the importance of where your food comes from, how it has been processed, and why it matters. On this page you will find plenty of gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and (mostly) plant-based recipes, as well as some thoughts on wellness and environmentalism. Anyway, instead of getting into the finer details of this blog’s purpose (which I’m still figuring out anyway…more on that to come in the about section), I’m going to cut to the tasty part: I present to you Healthy Pancakes: Two Ways. One plant-based, one paleo.

3-Ingredient Vegan Pancakes & Choco-Almond Sauce

*This recipe is vegan, refined sugar-free & gluten-free if you use certified gluten-free oats*

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I love oats in all forms, and often have porridge for breakfast during the winter. This recipe is pretty much porridge in the form of pancakes, so makes a delicious Pancake Tuesday breakfast for all you oat monsters out there!

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Oats were one of the first grains cultivated by humans, and have been a staple of the Irish diet since prehistoric times. Although they are technically gluten-free, they can contain trace amounts of gluten because many farmers grow them on the same land and in rotation with gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Also, during the packaging process, oats can be handled in facilities that also handle gluten-containing grains.

Regular oats are usually fine for people with non-coeliac gluten-sensitivity, but people with coeliac disease need to buy certified gluten-free oats to make sure that they don’t react to them. If you can tolerate oats, they make a nutritious breakfast, providing us with cholesterol-lowering beta-glucans as well as decent amounts of manganese, phosphorous, selenium, magnesium, B vitamins, and zinc!

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blend the oats until they turn into a course flour like this

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SERVES: 2 |   PREP TIME:  5 min  |   COOKING TIME: 10 mins

INGREDIENTS

for the pancakes:

1 cup oats (use certified gluten-free if coeliac)

3/4-1 cup almond milk (adjust to get desired consistency)

1 banana

1 teaspoon coconut oil (for frying)

optional extras:

pinch of sea salt

pinch of cinnamon

vanilla extract

for the choco-almond sauce:

1 heaped tablespoon almondbutter

3 teaspoons raw cacao powder

2 teaspoons maple syrup

3 tablespoons almond milk

METHOD

  1. Put the oats in a high-speed blender and blend until you get a fine oat flour. If you’re blender is on its last legs, I recommend using porridge oats instead of jumbo as they’ll break down quicker!
  2. Add in the banana, 3/4 cup of almond milk, optional extras (if using) and blend until a thick batter forms. If it looks too gloopy, gradually add the remainder of the almondmilk until you get a finer consistency.
  3. Heat the coconut oil on a non-stick frying pan at high heat, and spread evenly.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the pan, using back of spoon to flatten each pancake out. I used about a heaped tablespoon per pancake, and fitted three at a time onto my pan.
  5. Reduce heat to low-medium so that you don’t end up with a crispy outside and a gooey inside! Cook on lower heat until you see bubbles on the top of the pancakes and the edges begin to crisp.
  6. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes or so, until the pancake is a golden brown.
  7. While the pancakes are cooking, whip up your choco-almond sauce! Just put all ingredients in a small bowl and stir together until smooth.
  8. Serve as a stack of 3-4 pancakes per plate, layering with chocolate sauce. Drizzle leftover chocolate over the stack, and add a few berries or banana slices to jazz it up.

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2-Ingredient Protein Pancakes with Tahini Nutella

*This recipe is paleo-friendly, dairy-free, refined sugar-free & gluten-free*

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This one is paleo-friendly, replacing the oats and almondmilk with 2 eggs.

SERVES: 1  |   PREP TIME:  5 min  |   COOKING TIME: 10 mins

INGREDIENTS

for the pancakes:

2 medium eggs (preferably local and organic if possible)

1 banana

1 teaspoon coconut oil (for frying)

optional extras:

pinch of sea salt

pinch of cinnamon

for the tahini nutella (makes about 3/4 cup):

1/3 cup tahini

1/4 cup maple syrup

2-3 tablespoons raw cacao powder

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

METHOD

  1. Put the eggs, banana and optional extras (if using) in a blender and blend until you get a smooth, thin batter. If you don’t have a blender, you can mash the banana with a fork, then add the eggs and mix until smooth!
  2. Heat the coconut oil on a non-stick frying pan at medium heat, and spread evenly.
  3. If using the tahini nutella, prepare that by melting the 2 tablespoons coconut oil and then adding all the ingredients to a small bowl or container, mixing until smooth.
  4. Pour about 1/4 of the mixture into the pan, and tilt pan to spread evenly.
  5. Reduce heat to low-medium, and cook until you see bubbles on the top of the pancakes and the edges begin to crisp.
  6. Flip and cook for another minute or so, until the pancake is a golden brown.
  7. Serve as a stack of 4-5 pancakes, layering and topping with tahini nutella.