Tag: 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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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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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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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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The other day I was thinking about nut milk and about how I always use raw nuts. That got me thinking, what would it taste like if I roasted and then soaked them?

I’m pretty happy with the results! Roasting the almonds gives the milk a deeper flavour which enhances the taste. The milk without the other ingredients added in is brown in colour but don’t let that put you off!

Because it’s the holidays I had to make this a chocolate milk recipe! There’s something undeniably comforting about chocolate milk so this is a little pre-holiday treat to keep you sweet!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups raw almonds (roasted and soaked 8hrs-overnight)
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tbsp pure maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • Pinch of salt

Optional variations:
Sub the 1 tsp of vanilla with peppermint extract for chocolate peppermint milk. Sub 1 tsp of vanilla for 1 tsp of espresso powder or coffee extract for mocha milk. Add in 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp sweet paprika for a Mexican style chocolate milk.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f/180c. Pour the almonds onto a baking tray.
  2. Roast the almonds for 10-15 minutes, turning them occasionally until they are nicely browned and fragrant. Be sure to watch them carefully as they can colour quickly.
  3. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the almonds to cool for about 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
  4. Pour into a container, cover with water and add a pinch of salt.
  5. Set aside. Soak the almonds for at least 8 hours or preferably over night.
  6. After soaking, rinse the almonds throughly and add to the blender with the water.
  7. Blend on high until smooth.
  8. Drain the almond water mixture through a nut milk bag into a large bowl, making sure to give it a good squeeze.
  9. Rinse out your blender jug and then return the almond milk to the jug, add in the vanilla, cocoa, maple syrup and pinch of salt.
  10. Blend on high until combined. Bottle and chill until ready to be used.

My nut milks generally last 1-2 days in the fridge if I haven’t drunk them by then!

Sarah xxx

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Hi. I’m an ex-eczema sufferer. If you’d asked me 14 months ago if I thought I would ever be free of eczema I would have scoffed at you. I’ve been plagued by eczema most of my adult life, mostly on the tops of my hands and in the crooks of my arms. Angry, bumpy skin, it’s embarrassing. If you suffer too you know what I’m talking about. Then everything changed.

About 14 months ago I was in the US with my boyfriend and I decided to try some almond milk. I thought “Hey, this isn’t half bad” and I decided once I was back home I was giving up dairy. I was REALLY into dairy, we’re talking pints and pints of milk. I loved it. But I gave it up almost overnight! My skin started to clear up almost instantly. It was magical. I gave up other forms of dairy not long after that and before the month was up I was a full blown vegan.

My adventure with plant based milks has been interesting. I’ve tried all the ones I can get my hands on.  Oat, Soy, Almond, Rice, Hazelnut, Flaxseed and Coconut. The further I got into veganism and cooking the more I discovered. I could make my own milk! Out of nuts! Magic.



Here is my go-to recipe for vanilla nut milk. I almost always use cashews (sometimes half half with cashews and almonds) but feel free to experiment.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup/170g whole unroasted cashew nuts
  • 1 tablespoon agave/2-3 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-3 cups/473-709ml water

Plump little soaked cashews!

Frothy magical cashew milk.

Straining the nut milk.

Soak your cashews in water for at least 8 hours before starting to make your nut milk. Soaking nuts helps the body to digest them more easily and your blender has to do less work. 

  1. Rinse your soaked cashews and discard the soaking water. They will have plumped up significantly and feel slightly squishy to the touch.
  2. Put the cashews in the blender with your choice of sweetener, salt and the vanilla bean paste. I have tried this recipe with vanilla extract but I’ve found the alcohol content in extract causes the milk to go rancid faster. However, if you’re in a pinch feel free to substitute extract for paste.
  3. Add your water. I like to add 3 cups of water. This results in a slightly thinner milk so if you like your milk very creamy use less
  4. Start your blender! If your blender is high powered it should be done in about a minute.
  5. Line a big bowl with your nut milk bag or cheese cloth. My nut milk bag is this one from Living Milk.
  6. Pour the milk into your nut milk bag and SQUEEEEEZE until all the liquid has passed through and you are left with weird lumpy nut stuff in your bag. You can use this lumpy nut stuff to make cookies or dehydrate it to use in cereal. 
  7. Pour into your bottle and put in the fridge to chill. 

Side notes: It is possible to make this milk in a food processor. I broke my previous blender in a freak accident. Think cashewy water pouring all over the counter top. Instead of dumping all of the water in, add it gradually but be careful of your liquid line on your food processor. The milk will not be as smooth but is totally drinkable!
Cashews and other nuts can be bought in 1kg bags on Amazon for cheaper than high street prices. Do your research!

Sarah xxx


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