Beverage

Beverage, Breakfast, Gluten Free, Pantry Staples

NUT + SEED MILK

nut_seed_milks_01.jpg

Popping in to add something to the pantry staple arsenal. Malk? Mylk? I can't. It's just milk made from nuts and seeds and has made no sense to my parents how one "milks" a nut so I hope I can clear some things up for them, if perhaps visually, here. See the nipples on that cashew, Dad? ;)

It's been chilly lately, so my coffee and tea consumption has been a pretty steady stream through the day until happy hour. I typically use an unsweetened coconut milk creamer from the market but have more recently fallen in love with homemade cashew milk in there instead (after the coffee has cooled down quite a bit, the milk just separates and falls to the bottom of a super hot cup). We also have a family wide adoration of peanut butter Puffins cereal that floats beautifully in the almond milk.  I am including a few recipes for nut and seed milk (for those with nut allergies) below. You do need a nut milk bag or small sieve (cheesecloth optional) to strain the almond milk. I tend towards the cashew milk because the fibers all blend into the milk enough that you can just include them in the finished product, leaving you with something that resembles whole milk versus skim. If you prefer it the viscosity of store-bought, strain it. I make muffins with the leftover pulp (reference this pumpkin muffin recipe, swap in overripe bananas for the pumpkin and use a dry sweetener instead of the maple to compensate for the wet pulp). The suggested soaking step helps break down the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, making the nuts easier to digest. Overnight is easiest for me, it's all hands off time, then I can blend them in the morning, but at least 4 hours would likely do the trick. More notes on why to soak them on My New Roots

Are you thinking "Sara, I can buy this?" I know, I think that too, and usually do, so I won't sell this too hard. I will say this turns out much creamier and has a fresher, stronger nut flavor and you can personalize the sweetness or lack thereof and it is more cost effective and less wasteful. It's like anything homemade, I buy store-bought marinara sauce and cookies and such all the time, but making something from scratch has the extra magic you can't buy. Perhaps that is just from being close to the process. 

NUT + SEED MILKS
I use about 3 1/2-4 cups water and find that to be my optimum nut and seed milk viscosity - a little thicker than store bought stuff. You can play with that 1/2 cup either direction for something on the thicker or thinner side. Two dates in 4+ cups of nut milk is just barely sweet. Using maple to taste instead will be a bit more of an obvious sweet flavor. 

// almond milk //

1 cup almonds, soaked overnight
2 dates, pitted
pinch of sea salt
4 cups filtered water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from half a vanilla bean

Soak the almonds and dates overnight. Drain off extra water from the top. Put all the nuts and dates in a high speed blender with 4 cups fresh water, a pinch of salt and vanilla. Blend on high for 2 whole minutes. Strain through a nut milk bag for a smoother milk, this is optional. 
Store in the fridge, covered, for a week. 

// cashew milk //

1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
2 dates, pitted
4 cups filtered water
pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract or seeds from half a vanilla bean

Soak the cashews and date overnight. Drain off extra water from the top. Put all the nuts and dates in a high speed blender with 4 cups fresh water, a pinch of salt and vanilla. Blend on high for 2 whole minutes. Strain through a nut milk bag for a smoother milk, this is optional. I leave the fibers in.
Store in the fridge, covered, for a week. 

// pumpkin + hemp seed milk //

1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1-2 dates, pitted
3 cups water
pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Soak the nuts/seeds and date overnight. Drain off extra water from the top. Put all the seeds and dates in a high speed blender with 4 cups fresh water, a pinch of salt and vanilla. Blend on high for 2 whole minutes. Strain through a nut milk bag for a smoother milk, this is optional. 
Store in the fridge, covered, for a week. 

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Beverage, Breakfast, Gluten Free, Summer

COLD BREW WITH COCONUT CREAMER

I actually don't buy fancy drinks often but I love them. We spend a large part of our income on food and it seems like one place I can tighten things up. However, in a "treat yo'self" moment, I recently picked up the new one from Trader Joes and after spending nearly $5 on this tiny beverage, I had high expectations that were not met. Hugh makes us cold brew in the warm months so I'm putting him on explaining some of that to you. Tools, beans and such. He made the coffee, I made the coconut creamer from The First Mess and now I can make a special iced coffee on my own terms. The creamer is easy, it just requires a blender and a few staple ingredients. It does get a little firm in the fridge so I leave out before I need to use it or let it sit in a warm water bath to become a little more liquid. In the dairy free creamers you get at the store, there are a handful of funky ingredients that keep them a liquid and emulsify into your coffee, hot or cold. This creamer has more of a homemade texture to it and I like it that way. Makes me want to keep this as a fridge staple. We have two other coffee posts, Chemex and a video with the French press (in our old apartment! nostalgia!) if you fancy. 

In other summery news, I wrote a salmon taco recipe for Food52 and that avocado sauce has been a fridge staple. On eggs, veggie bowls, tacos, thinned to salad dressing, everything. Take a peek if you need a dinner idea!

COLD BREW COFFEE
Makes about 6 cups

There are all sorts of variations for this process, but we use a Toddy T2N Cold Brew System. It's simple, relatively inexpensive, and easy to use. The following brew method is adapted from their instructions, and makes about 6 cups of cold brew coffee concentrate.

12 ounces fresh roasted coffee - ground slightly finer than you would for drip. I grind at setting 10 (of 40) on a Baratza Virtuoso, for reference.
7 cups cold, filtered water


COCONUT CREAMER
Makes about 14 ounces

Creamer adapted from The First Mess

4 pitted dates
1 14-0z. can full fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. sunflower oil (or other neutral oil that is a liquid at room temperature)

COLD BREW

Fill - First, insert the stopper into the outside bottom of the brewing container; then, dampen the filter and insert it into the inside bottom of the brewing container. 

Next, add 1 cup of water into the bottom of the Toddy brewing container and 6 ounces of ground coffee. Slowly pour 3 more cups of water over the grounds, in a circular motion. Then, add the remaining 6 ounces of ground coffee. Finally, wait 5 minutes and slowly add the last 3 cups of water. DO NOT STIR (stirring the bed of grounds can result in a clogged filter). 

Lightly press down on the topmost grounds with the back of a spoon to ensure all grounds get wet. 

Cover - lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the grounds with as few air bubbles as reasonably possible. The idea here is to minimize the amount of oxygen interacting with the steeping slurry. 

Brew - Steep your coffee grounds at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours to create a smooth, rich flavor. 

Filter - Remove the plastic wrap and the stopper and let your coffee concentrate flow into the glass decanter - stays fresh for 1-2 weeks in your refrigerator.

Serve - Into a glass full of ice, we went with a ratio of 2 parts coffee (which is a concentrate) to 1 part water to 1 part creamer. Not super sweet or decadent, so you can adjust that based on your own mood. 


COCONUT CREAMER

If your dates are soft, move forward with the recipe. If they are a little dry or tough, soak them in boiling water to soften then drain completely. 

In a high powered blender, run the dates, coconut milk, vanilla and oil until you have a smooth, thick liquid with minimal chunks of dates. Strain the creamer with a fine mesh strainer. 

Into a glass full of ice, we went with a ratio of 2 parts coffee (which is a concentrate) to 1 part water to 1 part creamer. Not super sweet or decadent, so you can adjust that based on your own mood. 

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Beverage

GRAPEFRUIT + WATERMELON AGUA FRESCA

Grapefruit & Watermelon Agua Fresca . Sprouted Kitchen
Grapefruit & Watermelon Agua Fresca . Sprouted Kitchen

I am motivated by the "summer bucket lists" I've been hearing about or seeing on Instagram. With Curran and the work we have to do around the house, I've thought the fun parts of this season would fall to the wayside but that is silly thinking. There are local weekend trips to take, pizza down at the beach at sunset, farmers market hauls for peach crisps, and apricot jam to swirl into plain yogurt. There may be a fence to build, a storage area to fix up, and a kitchen that needs updating but those tasks can blend in with the things that make us feel alive too. I forget that sometimes. Head down, responsibility, get things done... it's never that stuff that lightens my heart and fills me up even though it's my default setting. Time for a summer list. 

It started warming up around here this week and I'm not great about drinking water. My goal is to reward every two tumblers of water with a more tasty drink - I have a cucumber, apple, kale juice in the fridge which I like over ice or this super refreshing grapefruit and watermelon juice with a splash of sparking water for fizz. Sunkist sent me some California Star Ruby grapefruits that were super juicy and the watermelon juice cuts the tartness just right. I went for a 50/50 blend this round, but you could alter that based on preference. Also, it makes a dreamy cocktail mixer. The happy hour fix is crushed ice, this juice, a tiny tip of triple sec and a glug of tequila for the best summer margarita. Maybe a little extra lime if you have one around. This recipe makes enough juice to make about six cocktails so it'd be great for a small party. All said, I hope your summers have started off in the best way. 

Grapefruit & Watermelon Agua Fresca . Sprouted Kitchen
Grapefruit & Watermelon Agua Fresca . Sprouted Kitchen
Grapefruit & Watermelon Agua Fresca . Sprouted Kitchen
Grapefruit & Watermelon Agua Fresca . Sprouted Kitchen
Grapefruit & Watermelon Agua Fresca . Sprouted Kitchen
Grapefruit & Watermelon Agua Fresca . Sprouted Kitchen

GRAPEFRUIT + WATERMELON AGUA FRESCA // Makes one generous liter

I use a juicer for efficiency sake, but I understand not everyone has one. For the grapefruit and lime, you could squeeze the juice by hand or with a citrus juicer into a bowl. The watermelon pieces can be blended in a food processor and then strained to get a smoother juice. You basically need about 2 cups of each grapefruit and watermelon and the juice of one lime. Use whatever grapefruits you like, I find the red varieties produce more juice.

  • 4 California Star Ruby Grapefruits, peeled
  • 1 small watermelon, cubed and peeled
  • 1 lime, cut in quarters
  • crushed ice
  • sparkling water, optional
  • tequila and triple sec, optional

In a juicer, juice the peeled grapefruit, watermelon and lime. Stir together to mix. Add more lime to taste. 

As an agua fresca, enjoy cold over ice. I add a splash of sparkling water. It also makes an excellent margarita with a bit of triple sec and a shot of tequila. 

Grapefruit & Watermelon Agua Fresca . Sprouted Kitchen
Grapefruit & Watermelon Agua Fresca . Sprouted Kitchen

This post is sponsored by Sunkist Growers. Fruit and compensation provided by Sunkist, all opinions are my own. 

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