Cafe no lait
It's time for our very first guest post which has been written by lovely Rachel, our well-being and yoga teacher. It talks about vegan, dairy free milk alternatives which can provide an ethical yet tasty beverage. Whether you are veggie/vegan/meat eating or a bit of everything, it's simply a little insight on how a little change can go a long way. It can benefit the planet, the cows and most importantly- YOU! We want to explore and show to you some of the principles that we feel passionately about too. As you know we are a proud Fair Trade company, so our heart lies deeply in a fair, ethical way of life which does not exploit other people or living things. Enjoy this post and we look forward to many more.
There are lots of great reasons to give up milk. Whether yours are ethical or health related or both, food lovers can find the idea of ‘limiting’ their diet very emotional! Food, after all, is life! There are terrific, no compromise, alternatives to many of the things you currently consider indispensable. For those of us who passionately love to eat, changing the parameters of your diet forces new creativity in the kitchen. You can maintain motivation by observing changes in your energy production, digestion, and general levels of smugness.*
Whilst we’re on the topic of smugness, let’s start with making our own nut milks. Soak one cup of nuts over night then in the morning rinse and blend for about five minutes with three cups of water. You can buy lovely nut milk bags (no-one will judge if you call it ‘the nut sack’ and snigger) but I have found nothing more effective than the lopped-off foot of a pair of (clean) tights. The mixture is then poured into your chosen strainer, twiddle the top closed, and strain your freshly made milk into a receptacle. For mess reasons I choose a large soup pan. You can vary which nuts you use and whether you pop in a date, a little cardamom, some maple syrup. For coffee, I have found a 50/50 mix of almonds and hazelnuts to be absolutely delicious.
Staggeringly easy and endlessly variable; making your own has three major benefits (and one considerable draw back):
1) soaking your almonds reduces or removes the enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid found in all nuts and seeds. These inhibit our absorption of minerals and production of enzymes
2) all commercially available nut milks have been pasteurised killing any pro-biotic, damaging vitamin and mineral structures and denaturing proteins
3) it make you feel like a domestic god/dess for about 9 minutes work
So why would we use anything else?
My main reason is stability at heat. Home made milks can be gently heated for coffee, frozen as ice-cream, smoothied and cerealled like a champ. But sauces and custards are another matter. For this, I have found nothing more versatile than coconut milk. I find the brand ‘KoKo’ to be the least sweet and have the fewest added fillers. Coconut milk’s health benefits are the same as coconut oil and are not lost through pasteurisation. Further it’s relatively inexpensive and copes well with being heated. You can make terrific ganache using canned coconut milk in the same proportion as you would cream. And whilst we’re on the subject of cream, leave two cans in the fridge for a day, then carefully open and scoop off the layer of separated fat into a bowl being extra cautious as you approach the liquid layer. This can then be beaten with an electric whisk and used in place of cream.
Food is supposed to be enjoyed! A highlight in the day which fills us with the energy to keep on being our spectacular selves. If you feel ready to make a change to your diet, make it fun! Play with it! Don’t be hard on yourself or your sure to lose motivation. I’d love to see what you come up with, tag your creations with #cafenolait and #TYA
*if you’ve been making changes to your diet and you feel logy, bloated, sad or deprived, I beg you to stop. Food is wonderful and powerful medicine. Your body will tell you if you’re administering it correctly. Make big changes to your diet slowly, I recommend doing them over 4-8 weeks so as to allow your body to adjust.
Thanks for reading!
Love Rachel and the Tribalik Team!