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almond milk

Matcha + Matcha Latte Recipe

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Matcha + Matcha Latte Recipe

First things first. What is matcha?

Matcha is powdered Japanese green tea. Essentially, it's the whole tea leaf that is hand picked in Japan and ground into a powder through a very delicate and precise process (which explains the higher price compared to other green teas). The difference is that when you drink matcha you receive all the benefits of the whole leaf, not just what seeps into the water.

Traditionally in tea ceremonies, matcha is mixed with water through a very special and ritualistic technique. It is typically prepared very precisely with an exact water temperature to maintain the integrity of the flavor and its health benefits. To make it easy for myself and avoid using the thermometer, I like to simply heat up the water and let it cool until the point where I can put a finger in and not burn. 

Since matcha is heat sensitive, I like to also eat it raw by adding it to smoothies, raw treats and chia puddings. Matcha can also be used in ice creams, pancakes, cookies, cakes and other desserts.

What makes it so great?

  • Matcha is extremely antioxidant, more so than any of the other know antioxidant food and superfood. More than any other green tea variety, cacao, goji berries and blueberries combined together!
  • 1 serving of matcha contains the same amount of caffeine as 1 coffee. However, matcha is metabolized with larger molecules which slow down the absorption of caffeine into the bloodstream, making it gentler on the body without the negative side effects of caffeine.
  • The caffeine level in 1 serving is gentle enough not to affect the body's delicate hormonal balance.
  • Matcha contains significant amounts of L-Theanine, an amino acid that promotes feelings of relaxed calm.
  • The L-Theanine combined with caffeine provide sustained energy and concentration, making it an exceptional substitute for coffee.
  • The vibrant green color is due to chlorophyll which helps detoxify the body at a cellular level.

How to buy and store it.

Matcha is incredibly sensitive to light and heat, so to preserve the flavor and health properties, it is best stored in a dark/solid container preferably in the fridge.

Freshness is important too, matcha is delicate and will loose significant amount of its benefits quite quickly. So buying a small quantity more often is better.

Like in most cases, quality matters, specially when talking about health benefits and flavor. Opt for organic varieties whenever possible, and if budget allows go for the ceremonial matcha (you wont be dissapointed!)


matcha tea latte.

serves 1


So finally, I want to show you how to make an easy matcha latte. Once you get the hang of it, its quite simple and quick to prepare. Enjoy it in the morning or in the afternoon as a pick-me-up (as long as you are not caffeine-sensitive).

This recipe is really easy to make, it only requires two ingredients plus some hot water and a sweetener. You will also need a whisk to make it frothy. If you plan on making matcha tea often, then you might want to buy a cute bamboo whisk, otherwise a regular whisk will do. I hope you like it as much as I do!

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp matcha
1/4 c hot water (not tooo hot!)
3/4 c warm almond milk                                                                        
1 tbs honey (optional)

1. Add matcha, hot water and almond milk into a large cup.

*You can also try coconut milk instead of almond milk. 

2. Using a bamboo whisk, whisk briskly from side-to-side or in an M motion until frothy.

* If you don't have the bamboo whisk, prepare the tea in a larger bowl and use a normal whisk. Then transfer it to the drinking cup. You could also use a milk frother if you have one.

3. Add sweetener to your taste. I like to add 1 tbs raw honey.

*Alternatively, you can use maple syrup or stevia.

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How to make almond milk

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How to make almond milk

Today I am sharing the basic way to make your own almond milk plus my top 3 reasons why homemade almond milk is better than store-bought:

  1. Its healthier, because you control the quality of the ingredients and it does not contain preservatives, flavourings, added sweeteners and other nasty food additives.
  2. You get three products instead of just one. When you make almond milk you are always left with (1) almond milk and almond pulp that you can use to make (2) treats and/or you can make (3) a body scrub.
  3. And finally, making you own almond milk is cheaper and will save you money overtime.

 It's also more fun and creative. You can come up with endless combinations of flavours that are simply not available anywhere else, think chocolate milk, chai, or even coconut pistachio! 


ingredients

1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight, or not… 
3 medjool dates, pitted 
4 cups water

instructions

1. Blend the almonds, dates and water until it forms a milky liquid.

2. Strain through a nut milk bag, pressing firmly with your hands until you squeeze out the last drop. * You can also use cheesecloth, a piece of muslin fabric or an old t-shirt to do this. 

3. The white liquid will be your almond milk, and the pulp that is left in the fabric can be discarded or used for other purposes.


step-by-step instructions

1. Add all the ingredients into a high speed blender. 

2. Blend until liquified into a milk.

3. Place your nut milk bag or fabric on a big bowl.

4. Pour the milk into the bag.

5. Close the bag and squeeze it between your hands until you get out all the liquid.

6. Whats  left in the bowl is your almond milk. 


ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE...

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A couple of helpful tips:

❤ Almond milk can be stored for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. 

❤ Tired of almonds? Try pecans! This recipe is the same for most nut/seed milks. Simply replace the almonds with pistachios, macadamias, hemp seeds or a mix of different nuts. 

❤ I like to use dates to sweeten my nut milks, feel free to add more or less to your taste. Alternatively you can use maple syrup or honey.

❤ Like it creamier? Add 1 cup of shredded coconut, blend with other ingredients then strain. Another way is to add less water. 

❤ More flavour? Add vanilla, chai tea, or spices such as cinnamon or cardamom. Try adding cacao for a chocolatey milk or even raspberries!

❤ To soak or not to soak? Nuts contain anti-nutrients in their skin which make them difficult to digest and burden the digestive system. To remove these toxins it's best to soak the nuts overnight. Soaking also unleashes the nutrients and the nut's potential of becoming a tree, which has great benefits for us. Another benefit to soaking is that the nuts get soft, which is helpful if you don't have a high speed blender. So yes, soaking is preferable. You can however, make nut milk even if you do not soak them. 

❤ In a hurry? Try this 'One-step nut milk'. Cashew nuts have a soft skin and they are the only nut that doesn't need straining, so just blend the cashews with the water and that's it - cashew milk in just one step. 

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Banana Cinnamon Granola

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Banana Cinnamon Granola

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This is the perfect fall recipe for granola. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 40 to bake. Naturally sweetened with banana and dates and a hint of warming cinnamon, it doesn't need added sweeteners (unless you want it sweeter). In this recipe I used only nuts and superfoods and left out the inflammatory grains typically found granola, so its great for those in a grain-free and sugar-free lifestyles.

I like to eat it with almond milk as a healthy and tasty breakfast; with a cup of plain greek yogurt topped with berries; as a topping to a chia pudding; or simply on its own as a very satisfying snack. The yield of this recipe is not so big, since my equipment and kitchen are small I can't make big amounts, but you can increase the amounts to make bigger batches that can last for months stored in air tight containers. Its a simple, healthy and filling recipe, and I know you will love it!

BANANA CINNAMON GRANOLA RECIPE


PREP TIME: 10 MIN

COOK TIME: 40 MIN

TOTAL TIME: 50 MIN


ingredients

1/2 c almonds, roughly chopped

1/2 c pecans, roughly chopped

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbs chia seeds

1/3 c unsweetened shredded coconut

1 banana

5 medjool dates, pitted

seeds of 1 vanilla bean

3 tbs coconut oil

1 tbs almond milk

pinch of sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Pre-heat oven at 350F/175C.

2. In big bowl mix all your dry ingredients: almonds, pecans, cinnamon, chia seeds and shredded coconut.

3. Throw all the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy.

4. Add the wet paste to the dry ingredients in the same bowl and mix thoroughly until everything is well coated. 

5. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and grease it with a touch of coconut oil. Spread the mixture evenly on the dish.

6. Bake at 350F/175C for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, give it a stir to avoid big clumps, and return to the oven. Bake for another 20 minutes, until golden brown. When its done it may still be wet and sticky but thats normal. As you let it cool it will become crunchy. 

* Store it in an airtight container for months!


❤  Eat with almond milk (or any other nut milk).

❤  Eat with plain greek yogurt, topped with berries.

❤  Add it as a topping to a chia pudding.

❤  Enjoy it simply as a healthy snack. Pack it in little single serving bags and its the perfect on the go snack.


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