Vegan MoFo Week 3 – Ingredient Challenges “Turmeric”

Vegan month of food continues into week 3 of October with innovative themes- “Ingredient challenges”. One of my favourite ingredients to use in everyday cooking is Turmeric. The challenge inspired me to make – my – own deconstructucted Turmeric Latte mix which is all the rage in cafes here at the moment. Growing up in an Indian household, milk + Turmeric with a dash of jaggery syrup called “Haldi Doodh” was a warm comforting drink that was always there to clutch in my little hands for a variety of problems from insomnia to the beginning of a cold, or bruises and body aches that came with being a little too clumsy on the day. Talking to my mother while sipping a warm glass of “Haldi Doodh was the panacea to most of my childhood problems 🙂

Carrying the tradition forward, I now make fresh Turmeric root paste with a dash of black pepper, green cardamom, cinnamon, plus coconut sugar to mix into almond milk for a comforting drink for my little ones. The husband & I prefer to leave out the sweetener and whizz warm Almond Milk with my Turmeric Latte blend for a pre-bedtime drink. Grinding fresh Turmeric means covering most work surfaces, as light coloured work surfaces tend to stain a golden-yellow hue!

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Turmeric Latte - Ingredient Challenge
Vegan; Gluten-free; Sugar-free.
Priya: Priya
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup Fresh Turmeric Root, peeled & chopped
  • 4 Black Peppercorn seeds
  • 2 Green Cardamom Pods
  • 1 inch Cinnamon Quill
  • 1 cup Almond Milk, warm
  • 1 teaspoon Sweetener, optional
Instructions
  1. Lightly roast the black peppercorn, cardamom and cinnamon in a dry pan. Cool.
  2. Grind the spices to a fine powder.
  3. Add fresh turmeric root into the grinder jar and grind to a fine paste.
  4. Store in an air tight glass jar up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
  5. To use, blend 1 heaped teaspoon into 1 cup of warm Almond milk until frothy and golden. Add 1 teaspoon of Xylitol or powdered Coconut sugar, to sweeten if desired.
  6. Best enjoyed warm wrapped up in a rug while curled up on a comfortable couch.

This paste works well blend into some coconut oil to use in savoury recipes or sweet dishes like my

Golden Milk Pudding.

 

 

 

2 Ingredients! Activated Almond Milk

I love making almond milk at home for several reasons. The main ones being freshness, taste, far more economical and no additives. I remember my mother soaking Almonds and peeling them for me to eat first thing in the morning during winter time. Now there are studies that prove that, soaking almonds the previous day decreases the levels of enzyme inhibitors and phytates for easier digestion. This simple recipe is just soaking the almonds, peeling and rinsing, before grinding with fresh water. The almond meal leftover after filtering the blended almond milk mixture is excellent in desserts like “Kheer” and savoury dishes such as Vegan Quinoa Meatballs. This versatile almond milk can be poured over cereal, blend into smoothies or, drunk plain.

Almonds, not only have heaps of health benefits but taste great too. I completely adore the sweetish and nutty taste of almond milk in my morning breakfast smoothies and, the children love pouring almond milk all over their cereals and as a drink.

We need,
  • Raw Organic Almonds – 3/4 cup, soaked 12 to 14 hours
  • Water – 4 cups
Directions,
  1. Rinse the peeled almonds in fresh water before adding to the blender jar.
  2. Add 2 cups of water to the blender jar and run on the highest setting until the almonds  are finely ground. I have a powerful blender that takes 2 minutes to grind the almonds.
  3. Mix in 2 more cups of water for a milky consistency.
  4. Line a large saucepan with a nut milk bag and strain the almond milk through.
  5. Store in a glass jar for 4 – 5 days.

Tastes great with cookies or biscuits or, in hot and cold drinks.

4 Ingredient Vegan Iced Frappé (Sugar Free)

Frappé coffee refers to a foamy iced coffee drink originating from Greece. Apparently it was developed accidentally by a Nescafé employee to showcase the popular instant coffee brand. This is now a popular summer drink  across the globe and something that, I  grew up with. My 4 ingredient vegan Iced Frappé is a quick blender recipe that comes together with some coconut milk, ice cubes and fair trade organic coffee granules with a dash of Stevia. Perfect on a hot summer afternoon!

 

INGREDIENTS –

Coconut Milk – 2 cups (cold from the fridge works the best)
Ice Cubes – 1 cup
Organic Fairtrade Coffee Granules – 4 teaspoons
Stevia Drops – 8 to 10 drops

DIRECTIONS – 

Blitz the ice cubes and coffee granules together.
Toss in the cold coconut milk and stevia drops.
Blend until smooth and foamy.

NOTES – 

Tastes best cold and fresh from the blender.
The coconut milk tends to lose its frothiness if left out for too long.

Spicy Vegan Golden Rooibos Chai

Turmeric, is an ancient Indian spice used in different ways for its healing, digestive and anti-inflammatory properties. Used extensively in Indian food preparation for its lovely flavour and gorgeous yellow colour, it is a staple in most Indian households. I tend to use both, the fresh turmeric root and, the dried powder version on a daily basis in my cooking. Turmeric with all its wonderful properties is a great aid against those nasty, lingering, horrid winter coughs and colds that just won’t go away, even though it’s spring! This tea is made with Rooibos tea bags, which are caffeine free and great as a hot drink before bed.

We need,

  • Rooibos Tea Bags – 2
  • Almond Milk – 2 cups
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Sweetener of choice, to taste (I used Stevia)
  •  Turmeric Powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Cinnamon Powder – 1 teaspoon

Directions,

  1. In a small saucepan, boil the water with the turmeric and Rooibos tea bags.
  2. Add the almond milk when the water boils and simmer for 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Take off the heat and stir the cinnamon powder and sweetener in before pouring into mugs. Whisk well.

Sip while warm, settled down in a warm and comfortable spot!

Please share with me in the comments below about your experiences with Turmeric 😊

 

Vegan Chai Latte

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My love for tea, specially spicy Chai is well known. In my quest to come up with the perfect vegan Chai Latte mix, I’ve been experimenting with different plant based milks and, spice: tea ratios.This recipe is perfect for my family as, we are all Chai Latte fans! Using whipped coconut cream on top of the drink lends a beautiful mouthfeel, making this drink perfect for cold wintry mornings.

We need,

Chai Latte Spice Mix –

  • Cinnamon Powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Green Cardamom Seeds, powdered – 1 tablespoon
  • Dry Ginger Powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Cloves, powdered – 1 teaspoon
  • Fennel Seeds, powdered – 2 teaspoons
  • Nutmeg Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • White Peppercorns, powdered – 1 teaspoon

Store in an airtight glass jar. Makes approximately 1/2 cup.

To to brew the tea we need,

  • Warm Water – 2 cups
  • Strong Black Tea Bags – 2
  • Chai Latte Spice Mix – 2 tablespoons
  • Sweetener of choice, to taste (I used 2 teaspoons coconut sugar)
  • Non Dairy Milk – 1 cup (I used my trusty Soy Milk Powder)
  • Coconut Cream, whipped – 2 tablespoons

Directions,

  1. Mix the spice mix in water and bring to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Reduce to a simmer and add the tea bags and sweetener of choice.
  3. Whisk in the non dairy milk and bring to a boil. Take off the heat and let the spices and tea steep in the milk.
  4. Pour the Chai into cups and top with whipped coconut cream and a pinch of Chai Latte Spice mix to serve.

Enjoy!

I’m wondering if anyone else shares my fascination with tea and tea based drinks? If so, please join in the comments below 😊

5 Ingredient Vegan Hot Chocolate

I can never decide if hot chocolate in winter tastes better than in warmer weather! After my newest acquisition, a big tin of Soy Milk Powder, I’ve been looking at different ways of incorporating it into my daily routine. This addictive 5 ingredient vegan hot chocolate was developed as a quick fix using my trusty Breville Boss blender.

We need for 4 serves,

  • Hot Water – 2 cups
  • Soy Milk Powder – 4 tablespoons
  • Vegan Dark Chocolate Bar – 100 grams chopped (I used Sweet William)
  • Xylitol – 2 tablespoons
  • Flax Seed Powder – 2 teaspoons

Directions,

  1. In the blender jar add hot water (always check manufacturers instructions before this, as my blender also has a soup maker function it can take really hot liquids).
  2. Add the soy milk powder, chopped chocolate bar, xylitol and flax seed powder.
  3. Blend on the highest setting for 2 minutes. Voila!

Please tell me your favourite wintertime warmers that taste better as the temperatures drop in the comments below 😀

Masala Chai (Indian Spiced Tea)

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Spiced Tea is one of the famous drinks across the world. The main spices used are cardamom, cinnamon, anise seed, peppercorns, fennel seeds and cloves simmered in warm water. Depending on the weather fresh Basil Leaves, Ginger pieces crushed or Mint leaves and lemon slices are also added to the tea  for their healing properties. There are two ways of using the spices, either by dry roasting and finely powdering to add into the tea, or by simmering whole spices. I usually simmer whole spices along with crushed Ginger and Basil leaves.

Ingredients,

  • Green Cardamom pods, whole – 5
  • Cinnamon bark – 1″ piece
  • Peppercorns – 4 to 5
  • Star Anise – 1 piece
  • Green Fennel Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Almond Milk – 2 cups
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Raw Sugar – 2 tablespoons
  • Ginger, chopped – 1″ piece
  • Black strong Tea, 3 teabags or 6 teaspoons loose tea
  • Basil leaves or Mint leaves, fresh – 1 sprig

To prepare,

The Dry Spice Mix – Grind together the lightly roasted cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorns and fennel seeds with mortar and pestle or coffee/spice grinder.  Add 3 teaspoons at step 3 below.

If using whole spices then,

  1. Simmer tea in water in heavy pan with the spices and sugar.
  2. Add the milk.
  3. Bring to a boil before adding the Ginger and Basil leaves.
  4. Simmer on low heat for 3 – 5 minutes to infuse the tea.
  5. Strain the hot drink into cups and serve hot.