Coffee Talk

Hi there! Long time no see and hellooooo November! Wow, where has this year gone?

coconut coffee

When I was in college my friend and room mate, Rachel, was also a morning person like me. Most mornings we would sit in the living room or at the dining room table and have coffee chats. This entailed conversations that ranged from life’s uncertainties, hopes, and dreams, to gossip and laughing about our previous night’s antics. Oh, college. Anyway, it was a time for reflection, sharing, bonding, and generally just forced us to be present.

Years later, I still try to keep that mindset when I’m sipping on my morning cup of Joe, and it’s the reason I won’t give it up. If you have something in your routine that makes your happy and centered, keep it. A little coffee can be good for you, especially if it’s also feeding your soul.

In the interest of keeping this routine clean and healthy, but also sweet and creamy (because that’s how I take my coffee), I made a delicious all-natural vegan vanilla coffee creamer. Cheers!

Vanilla Coffee Creamer

1 cup of coconut milk

1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond, cashew, soy, etc)

4 TBS liquid sweetener of choice (I used honey, but maple syrup would also be delicious)

1 TBS vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Put all ingredients into a saucepan and whisk together while slowly heating. Bring the mixture to simmer for a minute. Whisk a little more until everything is combined. Allow to cool. Enjoy!

xo,

Natalia

Juicy Wednesdays: Cappuccino Blast

We all have our vices. One of mine happens to be my morning cuppa joe, that I love love love, even more than pumpkin spice muffins… and that’s saying A LOT. Anyway, I am aware of the controversy surrounding coffee, but my 1 cup a day (2 on rebellious days… hashtag living large) makes me happy and I’m convinced it feeds my soul. So bear with me, because today we’re talking about a smoothie not juice.

When I was in high school my friend Amelia would always pick me up on our way to school and most mornings went like this:

Me: Hi, are you going to school today?

Amelia: Really? I’ll be there in 5 minutes…

Then she would pick me up and our mornings would more often than not include 50 Cent’s The Massacre album, and a trip to the local Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins joint for some “coffee”…. This “coffee” was in fact the “Cappuccino Blast”, which is really a coffee flavored milkshake. That’s just how we rolled. Fortunately, we are both a little healthier than that these days, and more importantly, we both still love 50. This smoothie is an ode to those mornings and our beloved Cappuccino Blast.

coffeesmoothie

(This smoothie had to be enjoyed out of my favorite coffee mug. Obviously.)

 

Natalia and Amelia’s Cappuccino Blast

serves 1

1 banana (preferably frozen)

1 cup of almond milk

3-4 ice cubes

1-2 shots of espresso (or 1-2 teaspoons of instant coffee dissolved in a 1/3 cup of water)

1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

1 packet of stevia or 2 tsp of honey/maple syrup to taste

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1/4 tsp of nutmeg

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

 

1) Make your espresso or instant coffee and set aside to cool.

2) Blend banana, almond milk and ice cubes until smooth.

3) Add coffee, vanilla, sweetener, cinnamon, nutmeg and chia seeds. Blend.

4) If you can wait a few minutes, stick it in the fridge to allow the chia seeds to plump up, but this isn’t entirely necessary if you want to dive in and enjoy!

 

This makes a nice breakfast smoothie or mid morning snack, especially with the warmer weather approaching us 🙂

See you Friday for a little guest post!

 

xo,

Natalia

Juicy Wednesday: Almond Milk

Good morning!

Sorry for the hiatus, Friday (August 9th) was Women’s Day, a public holiday (yes… another one…wee!) here in South Africa. We went away for the long weekend so I was unable to blog on Friday, but I’m back!

Today I am sharing a recipe for Almond Milk. Not quite “juice” in its assumed form, but still juice in the sense that the pulp of the almonds is removed, leaving behind a lovely creamy “milk” and suitable dairy alternative. This recipe is simple and the only tools you’ll need are a blender, container to store the milk, and a nut milk bag/cheese cloth/or coffee filter.

In the States, almond milk is readily available at most grocery stores and ranges in price. In South Africa, you’ll be hard-pressed to find almond milk in most health food shops, and when you do it is generally around R80 for a liter ($8…. no thanks). Given how easy and significantly cheaper it is to make almond milk (not to mention, ZERO preservatives), I think I’ll keep making it at home.

almondmilk

Almond Milk

makes 4 cups

1 cup of raw plain almonds soaked overnight

4 cups of filtered water

4-6 dates soaked overnight (optional)

1/2 tsp of vanilla (optional)

pinch of salt (optional)

pinch of cinnamon (optional)

1. Soak the almonds and optional dates in water overnight.

2. Rinse almonds and add to blender with water, dates, vanilla, salt and cinnamon.

3. Blend on medium for at least 1 minute or until the mixture is nice and creamy, then increase speed to high for an additional 30-60 seconds.

4. Carefully strain liquid through a nut milk bag, cheese cloth or coffee filter into a jug or container. You may have to do this step in stages and be sure to try and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. Reserve pulp.

5. Enjoy!

This is not like your typical store-bought almond milk. The milk will eventually separate when left alone, so just give it a good shake before every use, store it in the fridge and consume within 5 days.

The pulp can be used for SO many things, so don’t toss it! If you made plain almond milk (no extras like dates or vanilla, etc) then you can spread the pulp out over a baking sheet and dehydrate it in your oven (on its lowest setting) for several hours until the pulp becomes dry almond flour. Alternatively add a tablespoon or two to smoothies, oats, etc. The pulp is loaded with fiber and still maintains many of the nutritional benefits associated with almonds (vitamin E, manganese, copper, riboflavin, calcium, iron, and more).

Drink up.

 

xo,

Natalia