Yeah okay I did it again. Sorry!
I was surprised by how many of you managed to find the protein carrot bar recipes - wow! If you did come across that post, how did you find me? This ole blog has been neglected by me for a while so it was very surprising to see so many of you commenting on that post. Nice, but surprising!
So what have I been up to for the last few months?
I initially started on the LiveFit trainer program but that was too hard to follow while living at home. My Mum would complain to no end about the excessive amount of eggs and number of vegetables around. The other thing that happened is that when I started on LiveFit trainer, I had to have a couple of my Wisdom Teeth taken out, and the healing process was about 3 weeks.
I also started off LiveFit on the assumption that I wasn't teaching my group fitness classes. I did have a brief period of time without the classes, but now I'm teaching again, making following the program harder. So for now, I've parked LiveFit until I'm in a better place to be able to commit to it.
I've been trying some other healthy recipes in the meantime though, and one thing I've discovered is that making your own nut milk at home is really easy!
But first... Nut milk... why even bother?
There's a cafe not too far from my work called Little Bird that make 100% raw, vegan, gluten free, sugar free dishes. I'm not intending to be 100% raw, or vegan, but I'd like to try to incorporate more of that into my diet.
Firstly, I fell in love with raw desserts.
I mean just look at them. Don't they look amazing?
That there is a raw cacao and hazelnut tart. No refined sugar, no dairy, no gluten. It tasted amazing, and you felt amazing after eating it. Also, raw, which means it hasn't been heated to any higher than 75 degrees celsius.
Check out this gorgeous fresh fig and ginger tart.
Note, it's a little worse for wear after travelling around in my handbag between the cafe and my office, but that doesn't mean it tasted any less delicious.
After trying the raw desserts, it opened my perspective to what other raw dishes are around. I've eaten two meals there, a Raw Pad Thai which was delightful, but, I've had the Raw Mexican Plate twice as it has been absolutely to DIE for.
I believe the tacos would've been dehydrated - they were beautiful and crisp and the rest of the dish was fresh and vibrant.
Whenever I was at this place, I noticed a lot of people sitting around with iced coffee - a double walled glass with a massive mound of ice cubes, and a small beaker of milk, and a small beaker of coffee.
Curiousity got the better of me, and I tried it.
I initially added half of the milk that I was given, and then added all of it in. The milk wasn't normal cows milk, it was hazelnut milk, and WOW. It was at that moment that I understood what the fuss about nut milk was. My previous tastes of nut milk were commercially produced, full of sugar and laden with vegetable oils and additives, so I was less than impressed. THIS however, was absolutely delicious.
The cold dripped coffee is not heated above 75 degrees celsius, meaning it is also raw, but I'm not so bothered about that. I just wanted a way to be able to replicate this at home.
Then somehow, in an incredibly timely fashion, one of the news providers here published an article on how to make almond milk at home. The article said to push the nuts through a fine mesh sieve, but more research around the wares lead me to The Rawtarian's very similar recipe, which mentioned using a nut milk bag instead of a sieve. I'd seen them at Little Bird and made a note to get one.
I waited for a special on almonds, and stocked up, and got to work.
I doubled the recipe and ended up with well over a litre of fresh, beautiful almond milk:
Initially, I wasn't used to the flavour of it and had to add honey for some sweetness, but now I love that gorgeous nutty flavour. I still season with a bit of cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg.
What was left though, was a massive amount of leftover ground almonds. Given how much almonds cost, I wanted to try to find a use for them. A few searches on the internet suggested making a grain-free muesli with the leftover almonds.
I figured, why not. My Mum makes traditional toasted muesli which is so much better than store bought, and if she can do that, then I knew I could do this.
I used the almond pulp, some dessicated coconut, sunflower seeds, frozen raspberries and grated apple, then left it in the oven for a few hours at a low temperature.
I absolutely loved the net result.
I also stirred through a good hit of ground ginger, cinnamon nutmeg and clove.
I can't even begin to tell you how delicious this was. And how filling it was! I have both the milk and the muesli at work and I don't need to eat much of it to be satisfied.
I get the feeling that I'm going to love making and making more almond milk and almond muesli. I can't wait to experiment with other nuts too - I've so far tried cashew milk as well (DELISH!) and I of course want once again to experience that amazing hazelnut milk flavour.
I've since made another batch of muesli, and this time it's with apple, citrus fruits (orange and grapefruit) and grapes. I reckon there's loads of fun that you can have with this.
If you're afraid of making your own nut milk, don't be! It's super easy, and well worth it.