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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Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Bites

Easter, Easter baking, carrot cake, cinnamon, vanilla, cashew, cashew cheese, essential fatty acids, healthy fats, omega 3, omega 6, dairy free frosting, raw, vegan, raw vegan, plant based, whole foods, holistic nutrition, coconut sugar, refined sugar free, homemade, recipes, dairy free, gluten free, healthy, health bloggers, food blogSpring hasn’t exactly quite sprung but that hasn’t stopped me from embracing the lighter side of things and these raw vegan carrot cake bites are a total treat! Incredibly easy to put together, they take no time at all and are as delicious as a freshly baked carrot cake.

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

Easter, Easter baking, carrot cake, cinnamon, vanilla, cashew, cashew cheese, essential fatty acids, healthy fats, omega 3, omega 6, dairy free frosting, raw, vegan, raw vegan, plant based, whole foods, holistic nutrition, coconut sugar, refined sugar free, homemade, recipes, dairy free, gluten free, healthy, health bloggers, food blogFor the cashew “cream-cheese” drizzle:

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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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!

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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These cookies though. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to a classic chocolate chip cookie, this should do the trick! Not only are these free from any flour or refined sugar, they can also be made vegan (substituting butter for coconut oil) and still taste amazing! Super simple to put together, they bake up in a matter of minutes for a satisfying chocolate treat.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups oats (gluten-free if necessary)

1 cup organic shredded coconut

1 cup coconut sugar

1/3 cup organic grass-fed butter or coconut oil

3 tbsp almond milk (or coconut, oat, etc.)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of sea salt

100g organic dark chocolate, chopped (80% or higher; I used 90%)

Directions:

1. Preheat over to 350°F. Add the oats to a food processor and blend until they make a flour. Add the shredded coconut and allow it to blend with the oats for a few pulses.

2. Tip the oats and coconut into a large bowl and add the coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla, stirring to combine.

3. In a small saucepan on the stove, melt the butter or coconut oil on a low heat. Allow this to cool slightly.

4. Add the melted butter/coconut oil to the dry ingredients and mix together. Fold in the chocolate.

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and take tablespoon amounts of the mixture to make the cookies. Leave about 2 inches between each cookie to allow space for them to spread.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes then allow to cool before indulging!

This recipe makes approximately 28 cookies. They’ll keep for a week in a sealed container (if they last that long!)

Cinnamon Vanilla Bulletproof Coffee

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If you’re going to have coffee, bulletproof is a great way to enjoy it. Especially if you’re partial to those big frothy mochas with whipped cream…!

I’ve never been a big coffee drinker. It’s only been recently I’ve started to enjoy one now and then but I do believe that coffee in moderation, and good quality coffee can actually benefit us as it contains antioxidants.

I like to have mine after warm lemon water in the morning, when the body has had a chance to wake up. The timing of coffee also seems to be a factor and is best taken in the morning so the caffeine isn’t still in your system come the evening.

So what makes this coffee different? Bulletproof coffee is the idea of emulsifying healthy fats with your coffee in order to sustain a slower release of caffeine into the system. Hence you avoid the “jittery” feeling and the crash from being stimulated by the coffee and feel more energized.

You might think it’s weird to add butter here but it just makes for an incredibly smooth and creamy cup without adding any cream. The key bit to bear in mind is to make sure the butter you’re using is of the organic and grass fed variety. And if you’re vegan or just want to avoid the butter, adding only coconut oil is also great. I’ve been adding coconut oil to just about all my hot drinks since I started consuming it a few years ago.

Ingredients:

1 cup of coffee- use a shot of espresso or a black coffee

1-2 tbsp almond milk or coconut milk

1 tbsp organic, grass fed butter

1 tbsp coconut oil

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp vanilla

Optional: a little maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, to sweeten

Directions:

  1. Gently melt the butter and coconut oil together in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. When almost melted, add in your milk, cinnamon, vanilla, sweetener of choice if using, and coffee.
  3. Blend everything together either by adding to a blender or using a hand blender until emulsified and frothy.

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!

Coconut Sugar Cookies

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It makes me so happy to have perfected this recipe! And it comes complete with an amazing “white chocolate” icing to decorate with!

Easter is my favorite holiday. There are plenty of treats that are a tradition to make in my family. While having a think about what I wanted to make this year these cookies came into my mind. Well, the original recipe did. My grandmother’s sugar cookies. These are an old family favourite, made countless of times since I was a kid. The original recipe calls for two cups of sugar and I’ve been wanting to make a healthy version for some time. I believe this new and revised recipe has nailed it. These are still sugar cookies but this recipe uses the likes of coconut sugar and maple syrup to give it the sweetness. They are also gluten free, dairy free, and now refined sugar free!

The best part is the icing. In the past, coloured sugar and chocolate wafers were bought in blue, pink, purple, yellow, all the colours of the rainbow for use to decorate. Here, macadamia nuts and cacao butter make the white chocolate and they are decorated with cacao nibs, chia seeds, and goji berries.

Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. This recipe proves you can make healthy treats that taste amazing and are actually good for you! They are the perfect Easter treat.

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 sea salt

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. Pop into the oven for 5-7 minutes (they bake quickly!) until slightly golden on the edges.
  6. Allow the cookies to cool on a cooling rack and make the white chocolate icing.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 and when the mix is smooth add 1 tsp of arrowroot powder and blend just until combined.
  10. Decorate your cookies: smooth a small amount of icing onto each cookie and get creative with decorating! I used cacao nibs for eyes, goji berries for ears, and a little raspberry for a bunny nose. Sprinkle chia seeds, hemp hearts, chopped pistachios, etc. to decorate Easter eggs.

These cookies taste like my grandmother’s original recipe. They are still perfectly sweet but have the added benefits of unrefined sugar and superfoods to decorate them! Make them for Easter or enjoy the recipe any time of the year.

 

Happy Easter! x