I returned yesterday from my holiday in America. It was a time of catching up with family and old friends and exploring a city that I called home for many years. I kept myself busy by going to art museums and the science center, bowling, the cinema, holding giggly babies, cooking for the family, playing games, going on long drives and even longer walks. It was a fun few weeks to say the least. Though I’m pretty jet-lagged from my travels, I have a recipe to share with you today.
As part of the Fabulous Fermentation Week, my two food blogging friends, Elenore from Earthsprout and Sarah from My New Roots, sent an email asking me to participate. I jumped with joy for the opportunity to work with these two lovely ladies. I want to celebrate Elenore and Sarah’s wonderful effort to spread the word about the great benefits of fermentation with some raw almond yogurt.
Probiotics are getting a big publicity boost in mainstream media these days. They have always been good for us, but now people seem to be talking about them more, which is a good thing. Acidophilus provides the health benefits of fermentation, the largest of which is the introduction of probiotics into our system. A balance of good bacteria is necessary for optimal immune system functioning and intestinal health. In addition, fermented foods aid our bodies in absorbing vitamins (particularly vitamins C and B12), minerals and omega-3 fatty acids from food.
Probiotics are good to have in the morning, when your body will absorb them more readily. That makes this yogurt a great breakfast. Try adding fruits such as kiwi, pineapple, banana, peaches or fresh berries. I tried mine with a sprinkle of cacao nibs and hemp seeds. Delicious.
Raw Almond Yogurt
Vegan, Raw & Gluten-free
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 cup raw almonds, soaked in distilled water for 24 hours
- 2 cups coconut water (or distilled water)
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 tsp. probiotic powder (or the content of 3 probiotic capsules)
- First, soak your raw almonds in water for 24 hours. Soaking the nuts will activate the dormant enzymes and release the nutrients. It also makes it easier to break them down in the blender.
- Add soaked almonds, coconut water (or distilled water), sweetener and probiotics to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Next, using a fine mesh strainer or nut milk bag, strain the liquid into a glass bowl. This will remove fibers and almond skins and will help achieve a creamy texture.
- Cover the glass bowl with a paper towel or clean dish towel and let sit at room temperature for 6-8 hours. This will allow the probiotics to proliferate and thicken the yogurt.
- Serve immediately or slightly chilled. Store covered in the fridge for up to a week.
It’s Monday morning and I’m packing my suitcase. I’m heading off to America tomorrow to spend time with my family in Iowa. You can be sure I have my warmest sweaters, scarves and mittens thrown in the mix somewhere. The entire mid-west is under a blanket of snow – a concept I’m come to forget living in Ireland. I’m eager to spend some time outdoors going sledding and chasing our dogs around in the backyard.
If you remember my post from last summer, you know I am always well prepared for long hours of traveling. I never leave home without copious amounts of food and snacks. I think these muffins will make a nice addition to the other homemade in-flight munchies I have packed.
Ever since I started making homemade almond milk, I’ve found myself with an overload of almond pulp. With a bunch of almond pulp and frozen berries in hand, it seemed like the perfect excuse to make muffins. The brilliant thing about this recipe is it works well even without the almond pulp – just replace it with one cup of any flour of your choosing.
These muffins are not monster big or heavy like the American version. They are quite small, very light and filled with a wonderful berry flavor. They totally melt in your mouth! I like that they are not overly sweet, so you could have them for breakfast as well as a snack.
Whole Wheat Berry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 1 cup almond pulp*
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp. flax seed + ¼ cup water
- ½ cup almond milk
- ¼ cup olive oil
- zest of 1/2 an orange
- 1 cup frozen berries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°c). Grease a muffin tin thoroughly or if you prefer, line with muffin cups.
- In a large bowl mix the flour, almond pulp, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Whisk together the maple syrup, flax mixture, almond milk, olive oil and zest until they are combined well. Add them to the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients until the batter is almost fully combined. Add the frozen berries, careful to not break up the berries too much.
- Fill the muffin tins 3/4 full and bake until the muffins are browned and a knife goes through cleanly, about 25 to 35 minutes.
*if not using almond pulp, replace with 1 cup of chosen flour
I will continue to post on the blog while I’m away. In the meantime, connect with me through twitter, facebook, pinterest, instagram and my newsletter! Hope you all have a lovely week!
You probably eat a lot of raw foods already: fruit, salads, smoothies – but here is a recipe for a raw food snack that will hopefully inspire you to include more raw foods in your diet – it’s simple!
One of the bases for this snack comes from dates. They are filled with nourishing carbohydrates, fiber and naturally occurring sugars, which are quickly assimilated in the body. This makes them an excellent alternative for those wanting to cut back on simple-sugar desserts and confections. They are also an excellent source of potassium. In addition, dates are an excellent source of B-complex vitamins for energy and magnesium to metabolize that energy.
Goji berries are small, red, dried berries that are super-charged with antioxidants. This amazing little superfruit also contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system.
I have already tooted this horn (here), but to sum up – raw cacao is one of the best sources of magnesium found in nature, in addition to containing high amounts calcium, zinc, iron, copper, sulfur and potassium.
This snack also contain nuts and seeds, which are excellent sources of healthy fats to satisfy hunger in a hurry, and vegetarian protein for non-meat eaters like me. You can mix and match the nuts and seeds to suit your dietary, nutritional and flavor preferences.
Orange Cacao Goji Balls
- 1 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted
- 3 Tbsp. goji berries
- 2 tsp. liquid sweetener of choice (I used maple syrup)
- 1 tsp. raw cacao powder
- pinch of sea salt
- zest from one orange
- In a food processor, add sunflower seeds and almonds. Process to a slightly fine consistency.
- Add dates and goji berries to food processor with nuts and seeds. Add your sweetener of choice, raw cacao powder, sea salt and orange zest. Process until well combined.
- Roll into balls and refrigerate until ready to serve.