Category: Drinks

A year ago my go-to drink of a morning was a soya flat white from Eat that I would grab on the way into work. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to me, consuming soya milk on a near daily basis was giving me the skin of my sixteen year old self again (we’re talking serious pizza face.) So I ended up jacking it all in.

I wanted to make a little post about what I love to drink now – there’s no caffeine involved unless you want there to be. The base is simple and can be adapted to your own preferences.

If you’ve read any of my posts rambling on about mushrooms before you’ll know that I am a huge fan of them in a culinary sense. It’s only recently that I have become interested in mushrooms for their medicinal purposes. If you’ve read anything on the internet lately about stress or health you’ve probably heard of “adaptogens” – in herbal medicine this applies to a natural substance that helps the body adapt to stress and normalise body functions (hence the “adaptogen” term.) There are many different adaptogens but the most well known is probably ginseng.



Medicinal mushrooms are considered to be adaptogens and each mushroom has a different function within the body. Brian and I both take a powdered fruiting body (made from the mushroom itself) mixture called Sacred 7 Organic Mushroom Extract Powder.
UPDATE: We now take a different powdered mushroom extract from Four Sigmatic:

This powder contains 10 medicinal mushrooms. This powder is dual extracted and more potent.

  • REISHI – Boosts the immune system
  • TURKEY TAIL – Boosts the immune system – thought to help combat cancers.
  • CORDYCEPS – Boosts the immune system. Increases energy.
  • CHAGA – known as the “king” of medicinal mushrooms. Helps to stimulate and regulate the immune system. Reduces inflammation.
  • LION’S MANE – Boosts memory and brain function. Supports the nervous system.
  • MAITAKE – Boosts immune system. Helps to manage chlosterol and blood sugar.
  • SHIITAKE – B-complex vitamins, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.

We also add Raw Organic Cacao Powder which has a very high level of antioxidants as well as being a good source of magnesium and iron. Cacao also contains a compound called phenylethylamine which is thought to boost mood and support energy – which is why eating chocolate can make you feel happy!

If you want to learn more about mushrooms in general I recommend checking out Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom Academy which is a free video based course on all things mushroom!

(For the base liquid of this drink I use hot filtered water but have also used black tea and cold brew coffee. If you want a creamier version, replace the hot water with your favourite hot non-dairy beverage.)

INGREDIENTS

  1. Either add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth OR add to a mug and then froth together using a mini whisk like the aerolatte.



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My honey boo camera is back from repairs! I’m so glad to have it back! Now we can resume a hopefully more normal posting schedule. If you need your Canon fixed and you live in the UK – check out Fixation – they are great!

A couple of weeks ago I was sent some Ichai Tea to try and review. Before I got into coffee chai was my number one thing – but I only ever really drank the Twinings teabags and overly sweet soya ones from Starbucks. So when Gaia (who also sent me the Ugly drinks to try, thanks Gaia!) asked me if I wanted to try the Ichai I said FOR SURE!



The Ichai came in a big box with a handwritten note, a normal sized metal tea caddy of Spicy Chai and some smaller sample bags of blend 8, 3 and 7. Number 8 being the Classic Chai, number 7 the Vanilla Chai and number 3 the Ginger Chai. There are 8 blends of Ichai in total and you can check them out here. There was also a loose leaf tea infuser that goes into your cup – this was such a godsend because I had nothing to brew with. I’m happy to say this thing works like a charm.

The first thing I noticed when I opened up the tea was the smell! So fragrant and rich. Ichai is a loose leaf tea blend with real spices – so there are whole cardamom pods and pieces of cinnamon. It’s magic really.

I absolutely loved the Spicy Chai and my second favourite was the vanilla #7. I’ve found before that vanilla flavoured teas can be a bit fake tasting but this was amazing! A total comfort tea.



I have no qualms in saying I would happily buy more Ichai – I’m definitely getting a bigger size of the vanilla! Goodbye old dusty Twinings bags, hello legitimate luxury Ichai!

I wanted to use the Ichai in a recipe so I’ve come up with a chai almond milk recipe below. If you can’t find Ichai where you live make sure you get your hands on a high quality, highly spiced loose leaf chai – it honestly makes all the different.

You can find Ichai online on here

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water for approximately 8 hours or overnight
  • 4 tsp of Ichai spicy chai loose leaf tea
  • 4 cups bottled or filtered water, divided
  • 2-3 soft pitted dates
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  1. First brew the tea, add the tea to a teapot and pour over about 1 cup of boiling bottled water or add the tea to a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the tea has begun to brew, set aside to cool. After 10 minutes, discard the tea.
  3. Drain and rinse the almonds then add them to the blender.
  4. Add 3 cups of bottled water and blend on high until the almond milk is smooth. Strain the mixture through a nut milk bag unless you like your milk very thick.
  5. Pour the strained milk back into the blender and add the pitted dates. Blend on high until smooth. (If your dates are very hard, soak them in boiling water for 5 minutes to soften.)
  6. Pour the cooled tea into the almond milk, add the vanilla powder. Blend on low until well incorporated. Taste for sweetness – if not sweet enough you can add another date.
  7. Pour the milk over ice in your favourite glass and enjoy! This also makes a rich and beautifully spiced porridge.



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So first things first – it’s been FOREVER.

That’s completely my fault. I’ve been completely unmotivated in the recipe department, think more eating to survive rather than thinking of elaborate things to make and photograph. On top of that my husband came to visit for 3 weeks and it was the first time we had seen each other in a WHOLE YEAR. Visas are no joke, people. (Maybe once it’s done I’ll write something about my experience.)

Then whilst I was out on a mushroom hunting foray my camera broke. Like won’t turn on, dead, broke. I think the fuse is busted inside so will be a fun trip down to the camera shop in the near future.

So that leaves me with my Iphone 6s+ to take photos with. So I’m kinda breaking two of my own personal rules with this post. 1) Use the fancy camera all the damn time 2) Make some kind of recipe incorporating whatever thing you’re reviewing.

I’m gonna start going easy on myself with rule number 2, in the past I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to come up with some amazing recipe that someone has sent me to try, but why not just try it? So from now you’ll see me do little product reviews – sometimes with recipes and sometimes not. Of course they’ll always be vegan products!

Recently the team over at Ugly Drinks asked if they could send me some of their drinks to try. Upon reading that Ugly is naturally fruit flavoured sparkling water but with no added sugar I was really intrigued and gratefully accepted.

Ugly is a bit like an adult soft drink but without that nasty sugar crash and feeling of “oh god what have I done”. I love to drink plain old water – you’ll see me carrying a goblet of it around the house and I’m never far away from my Klean Kanteen when I’m out and about but I really enjoyed the flavouring with Ugly. I think if you were a drinker they would work really well as mixers for alcohol and cocktails.

It was a surprise to me but I really loved the grapefruit & pineapple flavour. I really don’t like pineapple at all but this is amazing! Since it’s been so warm lately I’ve been happily drinking my Uglies. I’d really love to try using them to make an iced tea type drink!

If you’re looking for an alternative to soft drinks and can’t quite leave the flavours behind then Ugly drinks are definitely a good alternative.

You can find Ugly on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Ugly sent me a box of drinks to try – all opinions are my own and I think their products are great! 

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January is one of those tough months. But its also one of the best times of the year! Blood Orange season! I’m using them here with fresh turmeric root to give a anti-inflammatory, Vitamin C and Vitamin A rich juice. It also happens to be a beautiful colour!

If you don’t own a juicer you can add all the fruits and vegetables to a blender and then strain the resulting pulp through a nut milk bag.

This recipe makes enough for 3 medium sized glasses of juice – depending on how juicy your fruit is!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 medium blood oranges
  • 20g fresh turmeric root
  • 3 large navel oranges
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 lemon

 

  1. Peel the citrus fruit.
  2. Add all the ingredients to your juicer and juice on high.
  3. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

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I’ve had an entire jar of sesame seeds since well, forever. The other day one of my good friends asked me if I had ever tried sesame milk…when someone asks me something like that I definitely have to try it (providing it’s vegan of course!).

So this one is for you my nut-free friends! I’m a bit of a freak for vanilla so I’ve used quite a bit of vanilla powder here – feel free to reduce it if you’re not so much of a fan!

The beautiful cups in the photos are made by Jono Smart.

INGREDIENTS

For the milk

  • 1 cup sesame seeds, soaked for 2-4 hours
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt

For the latte

  • 1 shot espresso (I used this blend by Squaremile Coffee Roasters)
  • Sweetener to taste

  1. Drain and rinse the soaked sesame seeds. Add them to the blender.
  2. Add the 3 cups of water. Blend on high until smooth.
  3. Strain the milk through a nut milk bag into a large jug. Discard the sesame pulp. Rinse the blender.
  4. Pour the sesame milk back into the blender, add the vanilla powder, salt and maple syrup.
  5. Blend on high until everything is incorporated.
  6. Pour into a sealed container and store in the fridge.
  7. To make the latte, brew your espresso in your normal fashion. I use an Aeropress.
  8. If you do not own a milk steamer, add the milk to a saucepan and heat on medium until hot. You can either whisk or add the hot milk to a blender and blend for 30 seconds until frothy.
  9. Add the frothed milk to the espresso. Sweeten to taste!

 

 

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Recently I had my first taste of cold brew coffee. It was love at first sip. I don’t know why but cold brew doesn’t effect me the same way as normal coffee does – usually I get super anxious and have general feelings of death but with cold brew I feel like a slightly more caffeinated normal person! Which makes no sense because it supposedly has more caffeine. Whatever body, you do what you want.
The other good thing about cold brew is that it isn’t one of those watery iced coffees. You know when you go to a coffee shop and ask for an iced latte…then you see the barista chuck a bunch of ice on top of your hot coffee…all that water. No thanks.

I ended up searching all over the damn place for someone who sold bottled cold brew because I really needed to try it again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. I managed to find it in a lovely little coffee place near where I work.

But a girl can’t be spending all her money on cold brew so I decided to make my own. I’m using a french press to make mine but you can just do it by straining it straight from your brewing container. Just make sure you strain it a couple of times!

Walnut eating spoon is from the talented Sophie of Grain and Knot

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup ground good quality coffee (I used this)
  • 36 oz cold water
  • French press
  • Nut milk bag or  sieve lined with coffee filters

  1. In your french press add the coffee and pour over the water. Stir with a spoon to make sure all the grounds are moistened.
  2. Put the french press lid on but don’t press down the plunger. Leave the cold brew at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
  3. When you are ready to strain, push down the plunger on your french press. Line a large jug with a nut milk bag or with a sieve lined with coffee filters. Slowly pour the cold brew into the jug.
  4. If your brew is clear and free of coffee grains, you can bottle it and store it in the fridge. If it is murky, repeat step 3 until it is clear.
  5. Serve cold with nut milk or add boiling water for a hot brew!

 

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Recently I had this absolutely amazing cold-pressed pecan milk. I was raving about it so much I passed the bottle around to pretty much everyone who was within 3 feet of me to try it. Then I sent my husband a whole bunch of photos on Whatsapp of it with the caption “PECAN MILK!!!!”.

So obviously I had to recreate it at home. I clearly don’t have a cold-press juicer just lying around so I’m using my trusty blender for this one.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of pecans, soaked overnight or soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split and the seeds scraped out
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • Pinch of salt

  1. Drain and rinse the soaked pecans. Add them to the blender with the water and blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour the liquid into a nut milk bag over a large bowl and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Discard the pulp or use it in baking.
  3. Pour the milk back into the blender and add the vanilla, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Blend until combined. Pour into a bottle and chill in the fridge.
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It’s finally getting a little bit warmer here! I actually took off my jacket today. So it’s coming up to prime elderflower cordial weather. I recently noticed that our neighbour had an elderflower bush and the majority of the blooms were hanging over into our garden….so out came the telescopic hedge trimmer.



If you’re harvesting elderflowers in urban areas, make sure they haven’t been sprayed by any nasties. If you aren’t sure – leave them!

INGREDIENTS
Adapted from River Cottage

  • 10-15 elderflower heads
  • Peel of half of a grapefruit
  • Peel of half of a lemon
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 1.5 litres of boiling water
  • 1kg granulated sugar

  1. After you’ve havested your elderflowers, give them a very good rinse under running water to dislodge any bugs. Pick over the flowers to remove any dead or dry blooms.
  2. In a big pot add the flower heads, grapefruit peel and lemon peel. Pour over the boiling water, cover and leave to infuse for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. The next morning, drain the infused liquid through a nut milk bag or double muslin and discard the elderflowers and peel.
  4. Pour the liquid back into the pan and add the lemon juice and sugar. Heat the pan on a low heat whilst the sugar dissolves then bring the heat up to medium to simmer the liquid.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes until all the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Pour into sterilized glass bottles or jars, allow to cool then store in the fridge.



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Last week I came across How Sweet Eat’s homemade condensed coconut milk and my mind was blown. I’ve adapted the recipe a little here, swapping out the regular sugar for light brown soft sugar which adds a lovely caramel note to to the milk. I’ve also added in 2 vanilla beans because I’m a total vanilla freak.

Afterwards I fancied a treat so I’ve whipped up a Superfood version of one of my favourites – hot chocolate!



I find with the condensed milk you don’t need any other sweetener but if you have a sweet tooth feel free to add in some extra maple syrup to the hot chocolate!

INGREDIENTS

For the vanilla condensed coconut milk
(Slightly adapted from How Sweet Eats)

  • 600ml full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp light soft brown sugar
  • 2 vanilla bean pods, split

For the Superfood hot chocolate

  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup vanilla condensed coconut milk
  • 2 tsps raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp maca root powder (I use Organic Burst)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

To make the condensed milk

  1. In a medium saucepan add the coconut milk, sugar and vanilla bean pods. Whisk together. Bring to the boil, boil for 3 minutes and then reduce to a simmer. (The milk will be a brown colour from the sugar, if you want a white milk, sub the brown for white sugar – however, you will lose the caramel notes.)
  2. Simmer the mixture for up to one hour, whisking every 5-7 minutes or whenever a skin forms on top. The milk is ready when it thickens or reduces by half. Mine only took around 30 minutes but I have an oven that runs very hot.
  3. Discard the vanilla bean pods. Transfer the condensed milk to a container and store in the fridge to cool.

To make the Superfood hot chocolate (makes 1 serving)

  1. Add the almond milk, vanilla condensed coconut milk, raw cacao, maca, cinnamon and salt to a saucepan. Whisk together.
  2. Bring to the boil, whisking constantly for 3 minutes or until all the cacao is incorporated.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour into your mug! Enjoy!



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One of my absolute favourite things to drink in the US is the yerba mate drinks by Guayaki! Unfortunately I can’t get them here in the UK so I decided I would have to make my own version. Here I’m using berries to flavour my yerba but feel free to experiment – one of my favourite Guayaki flavours uses elderflower!



The tea is made from the leaves of the Yerba Mate shrub. It has a grassy taste similar to green tea. Yerba may reduce allergy symptoms and help with diabetes and high blood sugar. Because Yerba Mate contains compounds that suppress appetite many people drink it before meals to promote weight loss. However, for me, it’s bonus is in its caffeine. As someone who is coffee caffeine sensitive (as in jitters, anxiety, general feelings of death) Yerba Mate is a welcome relief. You’ll be pleased to know there’s no nasty crash either!

If you own a juicer, feel free to juice the fruit in the way you normally would. I will be using the straining method in this instance.

INGREDIENTS

To brew the tea

  • 1 pint of cold water or 1 pint of warm but not hot water (if the water is boiling, the tea will take on a bitter taste)
  • 2-3 yerba mate teabags (I use Teapigs)

To make the juice

  • 125g blueberries
  • 150g raspberries
  • 1 cup of water

For the blend

  • 3 tbsps maple syrup
  • Ice (optional)

  1. The night before you want to drink the tea, pour the water into a jug and add the tea bags. Cover and leave in the fridge to brew. If you’re pressed for time, you can brew the tea with warm water the following day and add ice to cool.
  2. In the morning, add the blueberries and raspberries to a blender with 1 cup of water. Blend until a thin juice forms.
  3. Using a nut milk bag or double muslin, strain the juice into a bowl. Discard the pulp.
  4. Return the juice to the blender. Discard the yerba mate teabags and add the brewed tea to the blender. Add the maple syrup. Blend together, adding more sweetener to taste.
  5. Serve chilled with ice.



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