Vanilla Spiced Nut Milk

Merry Christmas, Christmas, nut milk, hazelnuts, Ferrero Rocher, hazelnut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, organic, Christmas baking, Christmas tree, refined sugar free, raw chocolate, chocolate, homemade, recipes, dairy free, gluten free, yoga girl, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, healthy, nutrition, raw, vegan, health bloggers, food blogI’m one-upping the simple things this holiday season.

Making nut milk is a simple process; it’s just tedious and not so great for the time-constrained demands of life for pretty much everyone.

I sometimes feel like Christmas actually brings out even more stress for many people. Rushing around to get the latest trending gift, having the house decorated, attending one party to the next, etc., etc.! I think it’s even more important that we try and take a step back and just enjoy the moment. Because before you know it, it’s passing you by and if there’s one time of the year where everyone should take part in that, shouldn’t it be the holiday season?

In saying this, I’m just coming down from one of the busiest years I’ve had. Completing a program that is essentially four years of university/college crammed into one year will do that to you. In the last couple of months, I haven’t made time to do much of anything to nourish my body including everything that I talk to people about finding and making the time to do! It happens to the best of us. We all have moments when there’s too much going on. So long as we become aware of this and then begin to take inventory on areas where we could improve on carving out specific time to take care of ourselves- that is the key.

And so onto homemade nut milk! I have previously shared my almond milk recipe, but as it’s Christmas, I wanted to make something that to be honest, required minimal effort but was still a little extra. Nut milk is great way of doing this as there are endless options of nuts and seeds to choose from, plus whatever you’d like to add to flavour the milk. It’s also something that you can choose to make solely for yourself as a special treat that can be added to your morning coffee or blended into a smoothie.

I always remember as a kid having hazelnuts around Christmas time. I also always adored Ferrero Rocher and was given a box to myself each year. It made sense then, to make a hazelnut milk and add to it seasonal spices. The result of which is this delicious, creamy nut milk.

Hazelnuts make a wholesome choice with minerals such as magnesium, manganese, copper, folate, and iron, and vitamins E and B6. They provide plenty of antioxidants including polyphenols (also found in red wine and dark chocolate) to help with signs of aging and reducing the onset of disease.

For richer milk, you may choose to add less cups of water than you usually would (2-3 cups vs. 3-4 cups). I find you don’t really need to strain the pulp as you don’t really get that much, which means you’re getting even more benefit from the entirety of the nuts.

Since making this, I’ve enjoyed it in my hot cocoa and blended into a smoothie with frozen banana and maca for that Ferrero Rocher taste done in a healthy way. Enjoy this yourself by adding your own spices that you love. It makes a delicious treat with some Christmas cookies!

Ingredients

1-cup of hazelnuts soaked for 4 hours or overnight

2-3 cups of filtered water

1 vanilla bean or 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of spices: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, etc.

Pinch of pink salt

Optional: ½ tbsp. maple syrup or 1 Medjool date to sweeten

Directions

Soak the hazelnuts before rinsing well and draining. Add to a high-speed blender with 2 cups of water and blend. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the blender with your choice of spices and sweetener. Blend until completely smooth then add to a sealed jar and refrigerate. This keeps well for 3-4 days. Add to smoothies, hot cocoa, porridge, overnight oats, enjoy on its own!

Happy Holidays! xx

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Pumpkin Coconut Curry

Holistic Vitae, Steph Matthews, pumpkin, coconut, curry, Indian curry, Thanksgiving, American, Happy Thanksgiving, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, healthy, vegan, raw, raw vegan, dessert, sugar free, refined sugar free, healthy food, healthy weight loss, holistic nutrition, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, get the glow, yoga girl, nutrition, health, holistic, healthy living, fresh, plant based, plant power, whole foods, Huffington PostThe one good thing about the colder weather is of course pumpkin season. You know it’s here with the release of that infamous coffee drink.

This pumpkin coconut curry contains all the warming elements you need to begin your seasonal hibernation. Each bite combines the infusion of turmeric, chilli, and pumpkin in the coconut sauce and then you add in the texture of fresh pomegranate seeds and toasted pumpkin seeds for extra colour and crunch. This makes for one delicious combination.

It may seem like a lot of ingredients here but everything is quick to throw together in a large pot that makes plenty of servings to share or freeze and have extra for lunches and weeknight dinners. You can even make this extra festive by using pie pumpkins or squash as your bowls! If you’re using fresh pumpkin, don’t forget about those seeds either. Give them a rinse, lay them on a baking tray, and toast them in the oven with salt, pepper, and some paprika for a tasty nutritious snack.

Ingredients

1 sweet potato

1 carrot

1 onion, finely diced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

½ red chilli, grated

2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated

1 knob coconut oil

1 tin full fat coconut milk

1-2 tins of water (use from the coconut milk)

1 tin pureed pumpkin or 1 ½ cups fresh pumpkin

1 tin white beans (kidney, lima)

2 tsp. turmeric

2 tsp. garam masala

¼ tsp. cumin

¼ tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Optional: Fresh coriander, toasted pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, sliced fresh chilli

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  1. Melt the knob of coconut oil in a large casserole pot. Add the garlic, onion, chilli, and ginger and allow cook for a minute then add the spices in.
  1. Chop the carrot and sweet potato into bite sized pieces and toss in. Allow to soften for a few minutes.
  1. Add the pumpkin, the beans, and the coconut milk. Using the tin from the coconut milk, add in 1-2 tins of water (depending on how thick the curry is)
  1. Bring everything to a boil, then allow to simmer for 40-45 minutes or until the veg has softened.
  1. Serve straight away and top with toasted pumpkin seeds, fresh pomegranate seeds, and chopped fresh coriander.

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Immunity Shots

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Anyone who’s ever wandered into a juice shop before or maybe even perhaps if your local grocery store has caught on, you may have come across juice shots. Usually they are sold as a potent dose of nutrients in a quick, easy to toss back shot. I remember when wheatgrass shots used to be the only variety kicking about. Nowadays, there are all sorts of different kinds being touted for a variety of ailments.

I’ve been experimenting with lemon ginger variations myself and I absolutely love them for this time of the year. They’re really great to have on hand to keep you feeling well when everyone else around you begins to feel under the weather from the changing temperatures.

I’ve included a couple of extras I also like to add to mine depending on if there’s something specific to target.

Ginger is wonderfully warming and aromatic and helps with cold and flus by promoting detoxification and healthy sweating. It’s also great for the gastrointestinal tract, helping to reduce nausea and upset stomach. Ginger is also a powerful anti-inflammatory making it beneficial for aches and pains of the muscles and joints.

Lemons are very alkalizing for the body. They contain a variety of antioxidants, particularly Vitamin C, which is one of the most important we can find to maintain a healthy immune system. You can try adding half a lemon to warm water in the morning upon rising to wake up your digestion and cleanse the system of toxins.

Together, these two make a potent spicy dose that feels like you’re literally kicking any bugs lurking around right out of your body! Experiment a bit to find the right combination of the ingredients for your ideal shot.

Makes approx. ¼ cup

Ingredients

1 lemon
1 thumb-size piece of fresh ginger

Optional:
2-3 drops of oregano oil (colds/flu)
4-5 drops of grapefruit seed extract (candida/parasites)
1-2 cm piece of fresh turmeric (anti-inflammatory boost)

Directions 

If using organic ingredients, you may choose to leave the skin on. Otherwise, peel away from both the lemon and ginger then juice through a juicer. Enjoy straight away for the best benefits or keep stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Adaptogenic Chaga Smoothie

holistic vitae, Steph Matthews, chaga, chaga smoothie, adaptogen, hormones, stress relief, smoothie, smoothies, cinnamon, coconut, breakfast, organic, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegetables, five a day, healthy, vegan, raw, raw vegan, healthy food, holistic nutrition, Organic September, yoga girl, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, nutrition, health, holistic, healthy living, fresh, plant based, plant powerThis is a delicious smoothie using the balancing action of the adaptogenic chaga mushroom.

Chaga is a medicinal mushroom along the same lines as Reishi, Shiitake, and Cordyceps, amongst many others. It acts as an antioxidant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, has anti-cancer properties, and helps to support the immune system. It’s wonderful for supporting the body at this time of year when we begin to transition from summer into fall and the colder months.

When you brew this hearty tough mushroom, you wind up with a wonderful tea that nourishes your organs and your glands. Being an adaptogen, this does exactly what it says: it helps our bodies “adapt” to our inward and outward biological, chemical, and physical environments. Adaptogens also keep our stress hormones in check, preventing us from releasing more than we need in times of crisis and our fight or flight mode. Overall, adaptogens provide a balancing and calming effect on the whole body, especially the nervous and endocrine systems, allowing us to cope with the things life throws our way.

Special care should always be taken when harvesting this mushroom. It’s always best to ensure that wherever you are purchasing your Chaga from, the company maintains practices that keep parts of the mushroom behind so the spores can repopulate and it may grow again.

While you can just easily sip this as a warm or cold tea or make a delicious hot cocoa with it, adding it as the liquid base to your smoothie gives you a great dose of the little fungi too! Paired with raw cacao and plant-based protein it becomes a wholesome smoothie to optimally support your body.

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 cup cold brewed chaga tea
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 Medjool date
3 tbsp. hemp hearts
1 heaping tbsp. raw cacao powder
Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Optional: 1 tsp. maca, pinch of cinnamon

Directions

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Banana Bread Overnight Oats

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Happy Long Weekend!

Labour Day is always the day of that final farewell to summer if only because it means returning back to routines with school and work.

Making that even easier is prepping ahead with easy to make recipes such as this overnight oats breakfast I shared on The Huffington Post today. These really are one of the quickest things to make, ready the night before you wake, and leaving you with more time in the morning.

Ingredients

1 cup of oats (gluten free if necessary)

1 cup of coconut milk (or milk of choice)

¼ cup of water

1 banana

½ tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

Handful of walnuts

Optional: 1 tsp. maca powder

Directions

  1. Add the oats, coconut milk, water, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pinch of sea salt to a bowl and mix together.
  1. Take half the banana, mash with a fork, and add to your mixed oats.
  1. Chop the walnuts and add these to the mix. You can also set some aside to add on top in the morning.
  1. Place the bowl in the fridge ready to have in the morning. Alternatively, you can add your oat mixture to a jar with a sealed lid overnight in the fridge.

5. In the morning, add the other half of banana to your oats as well as any additional toppings of your choosing.

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Spring Rice Wraps

 spring, recipes, rice wraps, Asian food, Asian fusion, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegetables, five a day, healthy, vegan, raw, raw vegan, healthy food, holistic nutrition, yoga girl, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, nutrition, health, healthy living, fresh, herbs, plant basedThe changing of the seasons always pinpoints a change in our eating habits. There’s an increase in fresh and light foods from the heavy and hearty ones that kept us warm through the cold months.

I was very ambitious back in March making these for lunch on an almost daily basis thinking spring was well and truly here. Of course I was misled by the sunnier mornings and the rising temperatures were only fleeting.

Now I think I am safe in saying that spring seems to be making itself known and these rice wraps are a great transition into the lighter side of things.

There’s no exact measurement for the amount of ingredients here; mix and match whatever veggies you like, add some sprouts, rice noodles, shrimp, different herbs, etc. The beauty of these is using what you have on hand or changing it up with what’s in season for different colours, flavours, and textures.

I made these with fresh basil, cucumber, carrot, zucchini, chopped lettuce, and rice noodles, sprinkling in some sesame seeds and hemp hearts. Get creative by changing up the veggies, spiralizing some and chopping others.

Instead of using peanut butter, I’ve made an almond butter satay sauce with a spicy hit that really takes these up a notch! spring, recipes, rice wraps, Asian food, Asian fusion, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegetables, five a day, healthy, vegan, raw, raw vegan, healthy food, holistic nutrition, yoga girl, deliciously ella, madeleine shaw, nutrition, health, healthy living, fresh, herbs, plant basedIngredients:

Rice wraps

Variety of veggies, chopped into “matchsticks”- red pepper, cucumber, carrot, zucchini, greens, etc.

Vermicelli

Fresh herbs- basil, parsley, coriander

Sesame seeds

Hemp hearts

2 tbsp. almond butter

1 tbsp. maple syrup

1 lime, juice and zest

1 tsp. tamari

1 clove of garlic, minced

Splash of water- to thin as needed

Optional– chopped red chilli, chopped green onion

Directions

  1. If using vermicelli, boil some water to pour over desired amount and set aside for allotted time until softened.
  1. Chop your veggies into matchsticks, and if using, spiralize your zucchini.
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together almond butter, maple syrup, tamari, lime, and garlic. Add water if needed to slightly thin the sauce.
  1. Assemble your wraps: Pour a couple of tablespoons of water onto a large plate. Taking a rice wrap, dip it into the water until every part has been coated with the water. Do this for about 25 seconds then lay onto a chopping board.
  1. Sprinkle sesame seeds, hemp seeds across the wrap. Layer a couple of leaves of basil in the centre then add the veggies you like, noodles, anything you’re using to fill.
  1. Start from the bottom of the wrap, roll away from you and fold over the filling. Tuck each of the sides in and continue to roll until you have a wrap.
  1. Repeat with the rest of your ingredients and serve with the almond satay sauce.

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Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Bites

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The difference in these though is that they are considerably a much more healthier alternative. A little note on using organic carrots:

Choosing organic products means better health benefits for you and the environment around you. The soil our food grows in these days is seriously lacking nutrients and is depleted by the use of different pesticides and herbicides as well as conventional farming practices. I don’t know about you but I like my carrots to taste the way carrots are meant to and know that they’ve grown as nature has intended them to.

Organic carrots make up the bulk of this recipe giving you a dose of Vitamin A,  an antioxidant that maintains our vision and healthy skin. They also contain Medjool dates for added sweetness and a dose of fiber, and walnuts which have essential fatty acids. These are the kind of healthy fats we can’t make ourselves but that are necessary in supporting the body’s hormone production, reducing inflammation, and aiding in the proper development and function of our brain and nervous system (to name a slight few reasons as to why they are essential). Not to mention, a wicked raw cashew “cream-cheese” frosting to drizzle over as a final touch. I mean…

You can put them together this Easter weekend, or make them as part of your food prep for the week ahead as a tasty snack.

Makes 18-20 balls

Ingredients:

For the carrot cake bites:

4 organic carrots

1 1/2 cups of walnuts

4-6 Medjool dates- (depending on your sweet tooth)

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

½ tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. ginger or freshly grated (add a little more with fresh)

Pinch of sea salt

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1 cup of cashews, soaked for 4 hours or overnight

6-8 tbsp. of coconut milk (depending on how thick or thin you want the drizzle)

1 tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. of vanilla

Juice of ½ lemon

Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, add about ¼ cup of the walnuts, pulse until crumbly then set aside to roll the balls into later. Add the carrots and the rest of the walnuts and pulse again until fine.
  1. Set aside about ¼ cup of the shredded coconut then add the rest along with the dates, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and salt and pulse to combine everything.
  1. Take ½ tbsp. amounts of the mixture, roll into balls then alternate coating them in the ground walnuts or shredded coconut until covered. Place on a lined baking tray then pop them into the fridge.
  1. Make the cashew cream cheese. Drain and rinse the cashews then add to a high- speed blender with a few tablespoons of the coconut milk. Add the maple syrup, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt and blend until smooth. Depending on how thick the mixture is, add more coconut milk, tablespoon by tablespoon until desired consistency is reached.
  1. Drizzle the carrot cake bites with the cashew cream cheese and enjoy!

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