Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How to Make a Hot Chocolate with Nut Milk

Some days you just need a hot chocolate more than others. There’s something quite comforting about a creamy drink that nurtures the soul.

You don’t have to turn to processed drinking chocolate mixes to satisfy this beautiful craving. Here is an easy and lovely recipe for hot chocolate with nut milk. If you want dairy milk, go right ahead.

Nut Milk 
¼ cup nuts per person
1 – 1 ¼ c water per person (see notes below)
2 t cacao powder, rounded if you like dark chocolate
pinch salt
1 t sweetener
dash vanilla essence

Soak nuts in (extra) water at least two hours (nb - this is not the water in the recipe). Rinse well and put into blender with water. Whizz till milky and nuts have broken down as much as possible.

Strain through sieve that has been lined with a clean tea towel or use a nut bag if you have one. Put ‘milk’ back into blender and add cacao powder and coconut sugar, honey, agave or maple syrup. If you use dates for sweetener, check for pits and blend at the same time as the nuts. The sieving will catch any dates pieces the blender didn’t get.

Also add to blender salt and vanilla essence if you like it. Blend to combine and pour into a saucepan on low heat.

Whilst waiting for your drink to heat up to the temperature you want, pour boiling water into your mug to keep your chocolate milk from cooling down too quickly. This is especially important if you’ve chosen your drink to be at raw temp of 45 – 47C.

That’s it! Pour and enjoy, satisfied with the flavour and smug that you’ve made a healthy hot chocolate.

1. For coconut milk, use ½ c desiccated coconut to 1 c water
2. If using cashews you can skip the sieving process as they usually grind down to almost nothing.
3. If using almonds, you can keep the meal and use in smoothies or other raw recipes. Dry in dehydrator or freeze until you need it. You’ll also need 1 ¼ cups of water for almonds.
4. If you want a shop drinking chocolate mix, I recommend Loving Earth.
5. For a creamier hot chocolate, use 1/3 cup nuts to 1 – 1 ¼ c water
6.      For a nut-free version use coconut (see #1) or use sunflower seeds to 1/4 c to 1 c water. Oat or rice milk will also do the trick.


The Anglo-Far East Company
The Original Private Gold and Silver Bullion Custodian
Your reference when you order: an-001

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Spoonful of Sugar

So sang Mary Poppins in 1964. Little would movie goers realise that 50 years later that song would’ve been the ‘kiss of movie-death’ to any film suspected of promoting public obesity. It would’ve been shunned and picketed with pitchforks and flaming torches.

Fast forward to 2014 where sugar-anything is fast becoming the replacement evil for the anti-smoking brigade.

It was predicted to be a food trend earlier this year and so it has become. Well, an anti-food trend to be precise. But how far is too far in removing sugar from eating choices?

Carrots have sugar, so do potatoes, pumpkin and…..onions. It’s not the sugar, it’s the type of sugar that needs to be dealt with.

This blog is by no means a complete nutritional assessment of sugar, so with that in mind, please read on and sees what you think of my opinion.

For the most part, I am for reducing refined sugar where ever possible from my family’s diet and I know many others are, too.

Taking sugar away from tea and coffee is simple – unless you take sugar in your tea and coffee. Suggestion #1, reduce it little by little until it is gone or a mere suggestion of sweet. Suggestion #2, replace with coconut sugar either gradually or at once, whatever makes you panic less. Coconut sugar has a pleasant light caramel flavour and is loaded with minerals. It is a better GI choice than refined sugar.

No need to say anything about fizzy drinks. The media are saying it all at the moment. So here’s a replacement: half juice and half sparkling mineral water (or soda stream or soda water). Not sugar free but that’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m aiming to lessen not eliminate.

Yes, I know it’s hard to get your child to swap over but here’s my mother-of-five-children advice: aim to reduce their intake not ban it. Choose your battles carefully. I would rather my teen chose ‘real’ coke than the diet versions because I know he ‘ain’t gonna’ ask for water at a party or youth dinner.

I rather like sparkling water by itself but it is an acquired taste.

Harder to eliminate, possibly because of disguise and subterfuge, is the sugar in processed food. Tomato sauce, soup, sauces, dressings and other savoury items that might surprise a shopper, because the same food cooked at home either has none or if so, minimal.

Biscuits, cakes, ice cream and confectionery – obvious sugar laden products. What about yoghurt? That’s good for you, right? Not so fast. Read the ingredient label. Ditto juice choices – when I checked recently, most had sugar added as well as the fruit. Never mind that some have flavouring….in fruit juice?

You can replace white sugar with coconut sugar in baking. Some recipes can swap out sugar for honey.

Agave syrup, coconut nectar and maple syrup are all liquid sweeteners. Yacon syrup is hideously expensive but if you’re a diabetic it could be a god-send and worth every penny.

Agave Syrup

Many raw recipes use dates as the sweetener. Stevia and xylitol make regular appearances. I saw stevia in a new tomato sauce last week, illustrating the power of consumer demand.



The Anglo-Far East Company
The Original Private Gold and Silver Bullion Custodian
Your reference when you order: an-001