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 Gnocchi With Rosemary & Chili

meatfree, meatfree monday, meatless monday, easy pasta recipe, recipes, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, gluten free pasta recipes, rosemary, thyme, fresh herbs, pasta recipes, dinner recipes, organic, pumpkin, gnocchi, gluten free gnocchi, chili, chilli, spicy pastaThis is the perfect recipe for cold, cozy, winter evenings!

I’ve been making this at least once a week since I started having it. These pumpkin gnocchi are so moreish and simple to make. They start off a little tedious but once you get the hang of them, they really are quick to have ready.

I know pumpkin is often paired with sage and if you like that, feel free to substitute that for the herb side of things. I’m not a huge fan and really love rosemary so I add that instead. Thyme is another great choice, or mix them together! Also, you can easily use coconut oil and/or butter to pan-fry these in after they’ve been cooked.

If you’re feeling like something sumptuous and carb-y, these should do the trick!

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Ingredients:

1 egg

1 cup pumpkin (either canned, preferably organic, or fresh)

½ cup buckwheat flour

¾ cup brown rice flour

¼ tsp. turmeric

¼ tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1-2 tbsp. coconut oil and/or butter

1 clove of garlic

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch of chili flakes

Fresh herbs- rosemary, thyme, sage, etc.

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the egg, pumpkin, flours, turmeric, nutmeg, and salt and pepper.
  1. Sprinkle flour across a clean surface and taking small amounts of the dough, roll out in a long strip about 1-1 ½ cm. thick (You may need to add more flour here, just be careful not to add too much, you still want the dough light and fluffy) Cutting across the length of the strip, cut pieces about an inch big.
  1. Using the back of a fork, with the prongs facing down, roll the cut sides of each piece of gnocchi together. Roll back again if necessary to form the pasta shape. Repeat until all the gnocchi is made.
  1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. When it’s ready, add the gnocchi to the water and give it a stir. When the gnocchi comes to the surface of the pot, it’s ready. Drain and rinse and set aside.
  1. In a frying pan, add the coconut oil/butter. As it melts, smash the garlic clove and add to the pan. Take your herbs and toss them in either whole or chopped finely, as much or as little as you like.
  1. Toss the gnocchi in the frying pan in the herbs and oil. Season to taste. Plate up a serving and top with the chili flakes and extra pepper.

 

Healthy Halloween: Raw Chocolate Pumpkins

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Raw chocolate.

If you’ve never made your own chocolate, from scratch, you are in for a treat. And seeing as Halloween is right around the corner, I thought it fitting to make it into pumpkin molds.

I shared making raw chocolate a while ago on Instagram by making little cups full of the stuff, topped with chopped nuts, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. They are such a delicious treat and once you have a taste of making your own, you’ll find it hard to go back to anything else.

I used a lollipop pumpkin mold and this recipe made four of them. You can just as easily make this recipe and pop the chocolate into cupcake cases or even spread it out across some parchment paper.

Cacao butter is the main component in making chocolate. I’ve seen a lot of recipes that substitute coconut oil, but I find this is an essential ingredient in creating the right texture and taste. The smell alone reminds me of what chocolate is all about.

I found it easiest to grate the cacao butter, but I have also just eyeballed the amount and let it melt that way. I would recommend measuring everything out the first time round just to be sure. I grated out 2/3 cup of cacao butter, which equals just about 1/3 cup when melted.

You can also add vanilla bean (although it might create more of a grainy texture) but I quite like it.

Feel free to also mix in things such as bee pollen; nature’s sprinkles as I like to call them, are the perfect colours for Halloween with their purple and yellowy-orange granules.

Have fun with it!

Ingredients:

2/3 cup grated cacao butter (approx. 1/3 cup melted)

4 tbsp. raw cacao powder

3 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup

Pinch of sea salt

Optional: ½ vanilla bean or ¼ tsp. vanilla extract, bee pollen, chia seeds, hemp seeds, nuts or seeds to top

Directions:

  1. In a double boiler over just simmering water, melt the cacao butter. Whisk until it is completely melted.
  1. Add the maple syrup and cacao powder (and vanilla if using) and whisk until everything is smooth.
  1. Remove from the heat allowing to slightly cool for a minute or two. Pour into desired mold and mix any additions through.
  1. Place into a fridge to set for a few hours before gently removing from the molds.

These are best kept outside of the fridge once they’ve set as the cacao butter begins to rise to the surface of the chocolate resulting in a white appearance. If you plan on storing them for longer I’d place them in a sealed container, although they never last that long!

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta

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I sometimes make this just for myself, roasting one or two peppers, then sautéing some kale with lots of garlic and lemon and eating it altogether.

This pesto is made with cashews and walnuts but you can change it up with nuts or seeds that you like or have on hand. It also contains nutritional yeast, which gives it a cheesy taste without using any dairy, and supplies you with protein, amino acids, and B-vitamins.

For a pasta dish that is entirely gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, it’s not only delicious and satisfying, but completely  nourishing as well. Top it onto pasta and you’re good to go!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 red peppers, preferably organic

1 cup of nuts/seeds total: I used ½ cup cashews and ½ cup walnuts

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon juice and zest

2 cloves of garlic

Salt and pepper

500g pasta (gluten-free, brown rice, quinoa, whole grain, etc.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the red peppers onto a baking tray – no oil, no seasoning, that’s it! Roast for 20 minutes turning once until they begin to blacken.
  1. When the peppers are done in the oven, remove them quickly and add them to a covered bowl to “sweat”.
  1. In a food processor, add the nuts/seeds and pulse until a crumbs form. Add the nutritional yeast, juice and zest of the lemon, garlic, and seasoning and pulse. Cook your pasta according to the package instructions.
  1. After about 10-15 minutes, take the red peppers, remove the skin and seeds and add them into the food processor blending well. Then with the food processor still going, slowly add in the olive oil until you reach the consistency you like.
  1. Drain and rinse your cooked pasta and add the pesto on top of it while still warm. Stir everything together until the pasta is well coated and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Carrot Falafel with Sesame Seeds

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Falafel fan I have not always been but I’ve been playing with lots of different variations lately. These have been one of the best. They’re great for a meat free Monday recipe and in trying to include more plant based recipes in your life.

Usually falafel comes fried but I’ve made these by baking them in the oven and they are so delicious.

They’re free of any flour, frying, or grease but they still have a great crunch on the outside, and are fluffy and full of flavor on the inside.

The yogurt dip tops everything off but you can easily have them without.

They’re also great to make ahead to freeze for a quick dinner in the evening, or perfect for a portable lunch.

Makes 16-20 falafel

For the falafel:

1 tin 400g chickpeas

3 carrots

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup cashews

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp paprika

¼ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp black pepper

pinch of salt

handful of fresh parsley

4 tbsp sesame seeds

For the yogurt dip:

4 tbsp organic, full fat Greek yogurt (or plain coconut yogurt)

1 lime, juice and zest of

handful each fresh mint and parsley

drop of maple syrup (about ¼ tsp max)

pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. If you wish, lightly toast your nuts and seeds in a frying pan until fragrant and toasted. Add these to the food processor pulsing until you reach desired texture. Set aside.
  1. Add the carrots to the food processor and pulse. Rinse and drain the chickpeas, add alongside the carrots blending until combined.
  1. Add the nuts/seeds back in, garlic, egg, herbs, and spices making sure everything is blended until incorporated.
  1. Pour your sesame seeds into a shallow dish and taking tablespoons at a time of the mixture, form balls, then roll into the sesame seeds until covered. Pop these on a lined baking sheet continuing until all the mixture is gone.
  1. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Flip them over after the first 10 so they get evenly crispy on the outside.
  1. While the falafel is baking make your yogurt dip by adding the yogurt, lime juice and zest, fresh herbs, and seasoning to a small bowl and whisk together until combined. Serve with the falafel, warm from the oven.

 

 

Sweet Potato Hummus

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There are so many varieties of hummus out there. I’ve made it before using beetroot, tahini, different spices and herbs, and all have turned out well. It seemed only natural to combine some sweet potato by this point.

Traditionally, hummus is made from a blend of chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic. I’m not a big fan of tahini. I really want to like it but trying it in salad dressings, hummus, and other recipes, I still have yet to acquire a taste for it. It’s very good for you however so if you like it, feel free to add a teaspoon or two here.

Hummus makes a great snack and also works well alongside a lunchtime bowl of goodness (think: cut up veggies, quinoa, roast veggies, etc.)

Choose an organic variety of canned chickpeas that are soaked in water. Alternatively, purchase the dried variety, then soak and cook them yourself to add to the recipe. Purchasing dried chickpeas is more economical and I personally think they actually taste better too.

I’ve also used turmeric in this hummus which has great anti-inflammatory properties and is fantastic for your immune system. It also brightens up the orange hue even more alongside the sweet potato.

Makes 1 large bowl

Ingredients: 

1 small sweet potato

2 cups of chickpeas (soaked & cooked first OR 1 x 400g tin)

2 tbsp lemon juice (1 whole lemon juiced)

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp paprika

Optional: 1 clove of garlic, minced

Directions: 

  1. Peel and chop the sweet potato into 1-inch pieces and add to a saucepan on the stove. Add water, bring to a boil, and then simmer until the sweet potato becomes soft (approx. 10-12 minutes)
  1. Drain the sweet potato and let cool slightly before adding to the food processor along with the chickpeas and the rest of your ingredients.
  1. Blend until completely smooth then season to taste with more salt and pepper.

Night to Day Oats

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My recipe for overnight oats which I’m loving for breakfast at the moment. I’ve been eating them a few times a week for months now but they are currently being consumed pretty much on a daily basis!

Sometimes after I wake up I don’t feel like eating straight away. Or if I practice yoga first thing, I’m really hungry by the time I finish and want to eat something RIGHT after. Overnight oats work in both cases. They are one of the easiest things to prepare and they’re ready whenever you want them for breakfast.

This version is chocolate with berries but it’s easily adaptable to your liking. Enjoy this without the raw cacao and make it vanilla. Add nuts or granola with different fruit. Try adding some shredded coconut or superfoods such as maca. Making it with chocolate actually seems like you’re having dessert for breakfast and who wouldn’t like that?

The first three ingredients are your base. From there, it truly is endless so experiment with different flavour combinations as you see fit.

Ingredients:

1 cup of oats

1 cup almond milk (coconut milk, rice milk, etc.)

¼ cup filtered water

Toppings & Add-ins:

1 tsp vanilla or ½ vanilla pod

1 tbsp raw cacao

1 tbsp maca

½ -1 tbsp maple syrup (date syrup, honey, coconut sugar)

Nut butter

Shredded coconut

Granola

Nuts & seeds (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower, pumpkin, etc.)

Fresh fruit (berries, banana, orange slices)

Directions:

Simply add the oats and your choice of milk to a bowl, mix together, and leave overnight in the fridge. When ready to eat, remove the bowl from the fridge, mix again, and add your toppings. I love mine with the raw cacao, a little maple syrup, sprinkling of chia seeds, cacao nibs, and frozen raspberries.

P.S. You can make this in a mason jar and take it with you on the go in the morning for your commute or to eat at your desk!