Vanilla Almond Mylk

I’ve been riding the nut mylk train for a couple years now and replacing dairy milk wherever I can. I’ve always stuck to the typical retail brands such Silk, Blue Diamond, Natur-a for convenience sake and I was always a bit intimidated in trying to make my own.

But at last, after trying some amazing varieties from local retailers and vendors at my favourite farmers markets, I thought I have to give this a whirl. Surely, it couldn’t be so hard and I found myself craving, the all natural, preservative free kinds. And let’s face it, the mass produced varieties with a shelf life, really don’t offer much flavour, nutrients and often have some nasty fillers like carrageenan. This recipe proves that this creamy delicious treat really is a cinch to make and is so satisfying!

For my first attempt, I am super impressed with how it turned out. Slightly sweet and silky smooth, I can literally drink this by the glass and do note, that this is not something I would ever or have ever done with mass produced almond mylk, cow milk and or any other variety. Never have I had that urge, but THIS…THIS is TOO good!

Simple ingredients make for a naturally sweet vanilla caramel flavour.Almond Mylk Ingredients

Ingredients (yields 4 cups)

  • 1 cup of almonds, soaked
  • 3 medjool pitted dates
  • ¼ tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla bean (for intense flavour – chop up the whole bean!) or half a tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups of filtered water

Soaked Almonds

  1. Place almonds in bowl and cover with a couple inches of water. Soak nuts overnight (8 hours or longer).
  2. Rinse and drain nuts.
  3. Add all ingredients to blender and blend on high for 1 minute.
  4. Place cheese cloth or nut bag over a large bowl and pour milk.
  5. A lot of milk will filter right through, but you will need to squeeze the cloth/bag to ensure you get all the goodness into your bowl.
  1. Almond Mylk + Cheese ClothVanilla Almond MylkGot Mylk?! xx

Blackened Tilapia

I’ll admit that I always get nervous each time I mix these spices together, in fear that it is going to be too much flavour in all the wrong ways but I always end up being blown away with how well they blend together.

To save yourself some time, mix up 4 x’s the amount of spice, that way you always have this spice on hand.

Blackening Spice:

  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp himalayan sea salt
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Blackening Spice

For the Fish:

  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • lemon wedges

Blackened Fish

  1. Mix spices.
  2. Pat Tilapia dry, coat with spice mix, allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  3. Heat oil on med-high heat, heat until hot.
  4. Cook fillets for 3 minutes per side or until fish is opaque and can be flaked.
  5. Plate and squeeze with lemon juice.

Blackened Tilapia

Keep it Spicy! xx

Minestrone

There are many variations of a hearty and nutritious minestrone soup, and it’s super simple to tweak based on what vegetables you may have on hand.  The classic minestrone is a thick soup of Italian origin made with vegetables and pasta and/or rice. However, there is no set recipe for minestrone; it can be vegetarian or not and you can totally leave out the grain as well! The one thing that should stay constant is the borlotti beans (aka Roman beans) to make for a genuine minestrone.

Gordon Ramsay is one of my favourite chef’s. I often flip through his cookbooks to find inspiration when cooking and must say he has an amazing authentic Minestrone recipe. I usually follow his lead on this one and adapt as I go along, usually minus the back bacon and pasta (see my variation below).

Gordon Ramsay - Healthy Appetite

Minestrone (yields 4-6 servings)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra to drizzle (optional)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • himalayan sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 80g smoked back bacon/pancetta, trimmed of fat and chopped (I often leave this out)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 x 400g tins romano beans, rinsed and drained
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 600-800ml vegetable stock or water
  • large handful of basil, finely shredded
  • parmesan, for grating (optional)
  1. Heat oil in a large pot, add onions, carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Stir frequently over a medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften.
  2. Add the thyme, bay leaf and bacon. Increase the heat slightly and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for another minute.
  3. Add in the romano beans and cherry tomatoes, then pour in the stock or water to cover. Bring to a gentle simmer. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  4. Top with shredded basil and some grated parmesan.

Minestrone

Warm up! xx

Cabbage Soup

Now here’s an oldie, but a goodie. This cabbage soup recipe was probably one of the first soups that I really ever liked, next to the classic chicken noodle. There’s nothing fancy and there aren’t any frills with this recipe, yet it is so hearty and comforting that it makes it a true favourite of mine. The way the flavours blend just feel so right on a cold fall/winter day. Plus this recipe makes enough to last you a season!

Cabbage Soup

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2-1 tsp himalayan sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 28 oz. can of diced tomoatoes
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 2 beef bouillion cubes
  • 2 tbsp parsley flakes
  • 2 cup raw potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 6 cups or less of cabbage, chopped coarsely
  • ground pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot, sauté ground beef, onion, celery and pepper until redness in meat is gone.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients (except cabbage), simmer, uncovered for 1 hour
  3. Add cabbage, cover and simmer for 1 hour. If soup is too thick add in more hot water.Cabbage Soup

Find Comfort. xx

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash is one of my favourite fall/winter vegetables. Served sweet or savoury, it never disappoints, plus it’s a nutritional powerhouse!

Here’s a run down of its top nutrient facts and all the reasons we should eat more squash this season (as if you even needed a reason).🙂

  • high in potassium. preventing high blood pressure and heart disease
  • high in fiber, supporting a healthy digestive tract
  • high in vitamin A (457% of your daily allowance), supporting eye health
  • high in maganese, helping maintain healthy bones
  • high in vitamin C, boosting immune function
  • high in antioxidants, reducing inflammation

Here’s a sweet and savoury soup that will delight your tastebuds.

Butternut Squash Soup (yields 6-8 servings)

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp curry powder (to taste)
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 500-900 ml of vegetable or chicken broth
  • ½ cup pure apple juice
  • 4 cups, butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup pear, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ tsp himalayan sea salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  1. Peel and chop butternut squash, drizzle with coconut oil and roast for 45 minutes.
  2. Melt coconut oil in saucepan. Add onions, carrots and celery. Cook until tender, about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle curry powder over vegetables and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add ginger, broth, apple juice, pears and roasted squash.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to med-low, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  6. Let it cool slightly and purée.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.Butternut Squash Soup

Savour each bite! xx