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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Holiday Coconut Sugar Cookies

Merry Christmas, Christmas, Christmas baking, sugar cookies, Christmas cookies, cookie exchange, Christmas tree, coconut sugar, refined sugar free, raw chocolate, chocolate, homemade, recipes, dairy free, gluten free, yoga girl, healthy, nutrition, raw, vegan, vegan chocolate, health bloggers, food blogThese cookies are a healthier version of a traditional cookie favourite. Previously made before, they’re so simple and delicious to make I knew I wanted to make some this year for Christmas.

A simple addition of spirulina added to the macadamia white chocolate icing with a sprinkle of bee pollen and you have all you need to make these festive Christmas treats!

Ingredients:

For the cookie dough:

½ cup coconut oil

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 ½ tbsp. vanilla

1 cup coconut sugar

¼ cup maple syrup

1 cup ground almonds

1 ¾ – 2 cups gluten free flour

1 tbsp baking powder

¼ tsp sea salt

For the white chocolate icing:

¼ cup cacao butter

2 tbsp honey or maple syrup

½ cup soaked macadamia nuts

1 vanilla pod

3 ½ tbsp. almond milk (add as you need to slightly thin the icing)

1-2 tsp arrowroot powder

pinch of spirulina (I used Organic Burst)

pinch of sea salt

Optional Add-in: Bee pollen to decorate

Directions:

  1. First, soak the macadamia nuts for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.
  2. Make the cookie dough: Add the coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla to a large bowl and mix together with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the coconut sugar and maple syrup and mix again. Finally, add the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined.
  3. Divide the dough in two, wrap in plastic wrap, and allow to set in the fridge for 1 hour. (Or pop in the freezer for 20 minutes)
  4. When you’re ready to use the dough, remove it from the fridge. Preheat your oven to 350°, sprinkle your work surface with flour then roll the dough out until it is approximately ½ cm thick. (Add flour as you need to keep the dough from sticking)
  5. Cut into desired shapes then place them onto a parchment lined baking tray or non-stick pan. Pop into the oven for 5-7 minutes (they bake quickly!) until slightly golden on the edges. Allow the cookies to cool.
  6. Make the icing: In a double boiler, melt the cacao butter. When it’s completely melted, remove from the heat and add the honey. Allow this to melt into the cacao butter until they are combined.
  7. Rinse and drain the macadamia nuts then add them to a high-speed blender. Split the vanilla pod in half with a knife and scrape the seeds out to add in along with the cacao butter, honey, salt, and 1 tbsp of almond milk.
  8. Keep blending until the mix is very smooth. This may take several minutes; it helps to continually scrape down the sides of the blender. Add more milk if needed (add a little at a time to prevent the icing from becoming too liquid)
  9. When the icing is smooth, add 1 tsp of arrowroot powder until just combined. Add the spirulina until you reach your desired hue then decorate each cookie by smoothing icing onto each one, sprinkling with bee pollen, or anything else you might like.

These keep best in the fridge until ready to eat.

Happy Christmas baking! x