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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Homemade Almond Milk

almond milk

 

If you haven’t tried making your own almond milk (or any nut milk for that matter) you should definitely try it out! I had never given much thought to the difference between shop bought almond milk and homemade almond milk. Having made it myself I can definitely say that it is amazing and far outweighs anything that you’ll find on a shelf (which often contain fillers) It’s creamy and delicious and so very versatile in replacement of dairy milk. Making your own nut milk is a great way of knowing the exact ingredients you are consuming . It’s also incredibly good for you! This is how I make mine:

Ingredients:

2 cups of organic almonds (I usually buy the blanched almonds but you can easily use the ones with the skins on)

5-6 cups of filtered water (depending on how creamy you would like the milk)

pinch of sea salt

Optional add-ins: ½ tsp vanilla extract, ½ tsp cinnamon

You will need: Nut-milk bag, cheesecloth, or muslin cloth

Directions: 

  1. Place almonds in a bowl of water to soak overnight. This not only softens the almonds to allow them to blend better but also breaks down the enzymes on the outer skin of nuts for easier digestion.
  1. When you’re ready to use, drain and rinse your almonds, then add to a blender with the 6 cups of filtered water and blend until smooth (Note: Depending on the size of your blender, you may want to do this in batches)
  1. Place your milk bag (or if using muslin cloth, line a fine mesh strainer with it) over a large bowl and slowly pour the milk through it.
  1. Use a spatula to lightly press down the liquid through the cloth and strainer in batches until you’re left with just the pulp in the cloth. Squeeze through the rest of the liquid and set aside the almond pulp.
  1. Return the milk to the blender adding in sea salt, vanilla extract, and/or cinnamon and blend again. When finished, add to a sealed jug and keep stored in the fridge to enjoy all week long.

Makes approx. 1 1/2 litres of almond milk

Use this in place of dairy milk in smoothies, porridge, breakfast, and baking recipes, or just on its own.