DIY Nut Mylk

Almond milk, macadamia milk, oat milk, rice milk…. There are quite a few alternatives for the lactose-averse these days! While there are plenty of healthy store-bought varieties available, being able to make your own means you can customise them to your own tastes. Get creative!

The basic recipe for most nut mylk varieties is 1 cup of nuts to 2-4 cups of water depending on how thick you like it (2 cups for thick, 4 cups for quite thin, 3 cups for in between). Soak the nuts overnight, then blend and strain. You can change the almonds for macadamias, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, Brazil nuts etc, and if you prefer your mylk silky smooth, you can dry roast the nuts before hand and rub the outside waxy skin off with a tea towel.

  

Don’t waste the nut grits that you strain out though! Spread them on a baking tray and bake at 100*C until dry for nut meal for use in baking, or at 180*C until golden brown for a great crunchy topping for yogurt or salads (or a substitute coating for bread crumbs).

Finally, make sure you chill the mylk in the fridge before serving, store in an airtight jar, shake before using and use within about 3 days or so.


Vanilla Almond Mylk

Ingredients (makes 0.5 to 1 litre depending on the consistency

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2-4 cups water (see note re: consistency above)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (+ 1 tbsp maple syrup if you’d prefer yours sweetened)

Method

  1. Soak the almonds overnight in 1 cup of water. Drain the almonds out and discard the water.
  2. Place the almonds, another 2-4 cups water and vanilla in the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Strain through a fine sieve / cheesecloth until the remaining almond grits are removed.
  4. Refrigerate and serve.

Chai Almond Mylk

Ingredients (makes 0.5 to 1 litre depending on the consistency

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2-4 cups water (see note re: consistency above)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice

Method

  1. Soak the almonds overnight in 1 cup of water. Drain the almonds out and discard the water.
  2. Place the almonds, another 2-4 cups water and vanilla in the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Strain through a fine sieve / cheesecloth until the remaining almond grits are removed.
  4. Return the mylk to the blender with the spices and maple syrup, and blend until smooth.

Salted Caramel Almond Mylk

Ingredients (makes 0.5 to 1 litre depending on the consistency

  • 1 cup almonds (or macadamias)
  • 2-4 cups water (see note re: consistency above)
  • 4 large pitted dates
  • 1 tsbp tahini
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt (depending on your taste)

Method

  1. Soak the almonds overnight in 1 cup of water. Drain the almonds out and discard the water.
  2. Place the almonds and another 2-4 cups water in the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Strain through a fine sieve / cheesecloth until the remaining almond grits are removed.
  4. Return the mylk to the blender with the salt, dates and tahini and blend until smooth.

Turmeric Almond Mylk

Ingredients (makes 0.5 to 1 litre depending on the consistency

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2-4 cups water (see note re: consistency above)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp turmeric

Method

  1. Soak the almonds overnight in 1 cup of water. Drain the almonds out and discard the water.
  2. Place the almonds, another 2-4 cups water and vanilla in the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Strain through a fine sieve / cheesecloth until the remaining almond grits are removed.
  4. Return the mylk to the blender with the turmeric and maple syrup, and blend until smooth.

Matcha Mint Almond Mylk

Ingredients (makes 0.5 to 1 litre depending on the consistency

  • 1 cup almonds (or pistachio)
  • 2-4 cups water (see note re: consistency above)
  • 1 tsp peppermint essence
  • 2 tsp Matcha (green tea powder, I like to use the powder by Matcha Maiden)

Method

  1. Soak the almonds overnight in 1 cup of water. Drain the almonds out and discard the water.
  2. Place the almonds and another 2-4 cups water in the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Strain through a fine sieve / cheesecloth until the remaining almond grits are removed.
  4. Return the mylk to the blender with the matcha and peppermint, and blend until smooth.

Chocolate Orange Almond Mylk

Ingredients (makes 0.5 to 1 litre depending on the consistency

  • 1 cup almonds (or macadamias)
  • 2-4 cups water (see note re: consistency above)
  • 1 tsp orange essence
  • 2 tsp cacao or cocoa or carob powder

Method

  1. Soak the almonds overnight in 1 cup of water. Drain the almonds out and discard the water.
  2. Place the almonds and another 2-4 cups water in the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Strain through a fine sieve / cheesecloth until the remaining almond grits are removed.
  4. Return the mylk to the blender with the orange essence and cacao, and blend until smooth.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Almond Mylk

Ingredients (makes 0.5 to 1 litre depending on the consistency

  • 1 cup almonds (or Brazil nuts)
  • 2-4 cups water (see note re: consistency above)
  • 1 tsbp smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tsp cacao or cocoa or carob powder
  • 2 large pitted dates (or you can use 1 tsbp maple syrup)

Method

  1. Soak the almonds overnight in 1 cup of water. Drain the almonds out and discard the water.
  2. Place the almonds and another 2-4 cups water in the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Strain through a fine sieve / cheesecloth until the remaining almond grits are removed.
  4. Return the mylk to the blender with the dates, PB and cacao, and blend until smooth.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte Almond Mylk

Ingredients (makes 0.5 to 1 litre depending on the consistency

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2-4 cups water (see note re: consistency above)
  • 1 cup cooked butternut pumpkin (e.g. roasted without oil at 200*C without skin until soft)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp allspice

Method

  1. Soak the almonds overnight in 1 cup of water. Drain the almonds out and discard the water.
  2. Place the almonds, another 2-4 cups water and vanilla in the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Strain through a fine sieve / cheesecloth until the remaining almond grits are removed.
  4. Return the mylk to the blender with the pumpkin, spices and syrup, and blend until smooth.

Strawberry Pistachio Mylk 

Ingredients (makes 0.5 to 1 litre depending on the consistency

  • 1 cup pistachios
  • 2-4 cups water (see note re: consistency above)
  • 4 large strawberries
  • 2 pieces white chocolate

Method

  1. Soak the nuts overnight in 1 cup of water. Drain the nuts out and discard the water.
  2. Place the nuts, another 2-4 cups water and vanilla in the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Strain through a fine sieve / cheesecloth until the remaining nut grits are removed.
  4. Return the mylk to the blender with the strawberries and chocolate, and blend until smooth.
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A Day in Stockholm 

As I discovered on my recent Scandinavian escapades, Stockholm definitely cannot be conquered in a day. With so many vibrant museums, beautiful outdoor scenery and superb history, to do Stockholm in a day would be merely scratching the surface of a wonderful city. However, if your stay is brief and you wish to see a selection of Stockholm, may I suggest the following: 


Breakfast on the run….

Unlike Australian culture, there isn’t as much of a massive market for early morning breakfast in Stockholm. I did find CykelCafe which does a breakfast buffet as well as acai bowls and some terrific salad bowls. But if you’re up for a day of wandering, just grab something to go from one of the local bakeries (healthy options are usually a sandwich on deliciously fresh bread or yogurt with granola). I really loved the rye bread at Brod & Salt and their avocado and feta sandwich on rye washed down with berry yogurt smoothie as perfect fuel for an active morning. 

  


Walk down to the Fotografiska 

This was my favourite museum in Stockholm as I love photography (even if I’m not a professional at it!). There are two levels densely laden with photographic modern art on a particular theme / artist, as well as a cafe to rest your feet if needs be. I thoroughly enjoyed the Penn exhibition while I was there, with many recognisable works from his collaborations with famous celebrities and Vogue magazine. 

  


Walk along the river to Galma Stan

This is the old part of town which was unfortunately ravaged by multiple fires over the ages. The old buildings and cobblestone streets haven’t lost their charm though, and it makes for a picturesque and charming wander. The shops are very tourist orientated and overpriced but still worth a window shop. 

 

 


Visit the Palace

Time your visit so that you’re in Galma Stan at midday and make your way up to the palace for the Royal fanfare and magic that is the changing of the guard. Colour, music and men in uniform, exactly as expected but certainly no less enjoyable! 

 

 

 


Hot Chocolate at Chokkoladekaffe

While you’re still in Galma Stan and near the palace, take the opportunity to grab a cup of hot chocolate at Chokkoladekaffe. When I say cup I really mean bowl. They also serve some delicious radiation all Swedish baked goods if you need a snack but save some room for later! 

 


Visit the Palace and the Royal Armoury

Now that you’ve refuelled, you can take a tour inside the palace, or you can take the free option and visit the Royal armoury downstairs, filled with all the costumes and weaponry owned by the royal family over time. Make sure you visit the bottom level for the carriage collection which is rather extraordinary. 

 

 


Walk back towards the city via parliament and the medieval museum 

The parliament building doesn’t necessarily require an inside look, but it certainly is a beautiful sight from the outside. The medieval museum is a little hard to find as its underneath the bridge that the parliament sits on, but it’s a cool museum if medieval history is your thing. 

 

 


Visit Horvenhalle

Go to Hovenhalle food hall for the fish soup at Kajas Fisk BUT you must get in before about 4pm! This is the single best fish soup I have EVER had, and with the tempting offer of free re-fills, you’ll find it hard to leave room for dinner….

 


Shopping at Mood 

Mood is not your average Westfield. Decorated with ample amount of foliage akin to Cloudland, it’s a fashion lovers dream and a surprisingly serene little spot to wander around. The clothes were all far out of my price range, but that didn’t stop me from having a look. 


 Dinner at Pelikan

Time for a traditional Swedish beer hall! The high ceilings and wooden interior make pelican incredibly noisy, but the atmosphere is nothing but authentic. For starters, you must try the traditional pickled herring with dill potatoes. For mains the carnivores will love the massive pork knuckle or soft-ball sized meatballs, but I adored the mushrooms, spinach and brown butter vegetarian dumplings instead! 

  


If you have extra time…..


Skansen (picture featured at top of page)

Part Scandinavian zoo and part Swedish living history museum, this was one of my favourite activities while visiting Stockholm! Make sure you pack comfortable walking shoes as you’ll want to see everything while you’re there, and it makes for a beautiful day out if the weather permits.

If you time your visit correctly you may be lucky enough to witness feeding time at the animal enclosures, and if certainly makes seeing the wolverines, wolves, bears, lynx, moose, reindeers and aquatic animals when there’s food around! As an Aussie, these animals are not seen back home even in many of the zoos, so seeing a family of reindeer and a bunch of bear cubs having a swim was very cool indeed! The living history exhibits like the olden day bakery, pottery workshop etc were also a lot of fun, and you must stop by the petite cafe for some beautiful Swedish cakes and tea!


Vasa Museum 

You wouldn’t believe that a 300 year old ship could be preserved so well, but it certainly makes for an interesting and beautiful museum. The detail on the boat is extraordinary and the exhibits about the excavation efforts and life on board the ill-fated boat are quite interesting. Very busy and packed with tourists though, but this is to be expected as it’s not something I’ve seen anywhere else I’ve travelled!


Smorgasbord at Verandansee the full post here! 


Spirit Museum 

Despite the many negative reviews on Trip Advisor, I actually really enjoyed this museum! I found the Absolut art exhibition quite interesting albeit small, particularly how they have changed the label at times for various causes. As a food blogger, I thought the main exhibition was quite fun, particularly the tidbits about Swedish drinking culture and getting to smell the different ingredients used to flavour alcohol. I didn’t eat or drink at the bar here, but the street outside makes for a very pleasant walk on a summer day as well.


 

A Day in Oslo

I started my most recent adventure by flying into Oslo. I had never been to Scandinavia before although it had long been on my bucket list. Oslo seemed like a fantastic starting point to travel between Norway, Sweden and Denmark due to ease of transport and it has certainly lived up to this. 

Oslo is an expensive city for fresh food, but as this is due to their weather climate and lack of many fresh produce items, this is somewhat understandable. It’s location on the port however does lend itself to terrific seafood, and there’s no denying the brilliance of freshly baked Norwegian bread. 

It is one of those beautiful cities that doesn’t quite compare to anywhere else I’ve ever been. A rich Scandinavian history nestled between the stark contrast of lush fjordic greenery and an industrial revolution in progress makes Oslo a city that should be on every keen travellers to-see list. 

If you’re unfortunately time-poor in Oslo, my plan would be as follows: 


Breakfast at Little Prince

Do not judge a book by its cover with this delightful cafe only a short walk central station. While it may look like your regular bakery, their freshly baked rolls come literally overflowing with filling. If you’re game to try things the super sized Scandic way, try the rye roll with the prawns, egg, salmon two ways, hollandaise and lettuce.  Huge in size and flavour, it’s guaranteed to keep you full until well after lunchtime. 

Swing by Hansens Bakery to pick up a baked snack for later – You won’t be hungry at this stage but the store is conveniently located on the same street as Little Prince, hence the suggestion. Anywhere that serves brownie in entire cake form gets a culinary nod in my books! May I suggest the princess cake though, as a Scandinavian traditional sponge cake with authentic marzipan and lingonberry jam is something we seldom find back home. 


Visit the Military Museum

A short walk away from breakfast, this is a fantastic free museum that covers Norway’s involvement in various world conflicts, from, medieval to modern day. Think plenty of costumes and weapons, plus a tank, an ambulance and even a UN helicopter from the 1960s.

  


Visit the Ashersus Fortress

Conveniently located next to the military museum, the fortress is also a free exhibition and provides some stunning views of the fjords from the battlements. Guided tours are available and the guards will even let you have a photo with them. 


Visit the Nobel Peace Museum

Again located close by, the Nobel Peace Museum is a tribute to all the previous recipients of the prize, as well as to Nobel himself (a fascinating thought that the inventor of the Peace Prize was also the inventor of dynamite). One room serves as a photo exhibition for the current winner’s cause, while the remaining rooms offer interactive displays about previous recipients as well as the general history of the prize and various aspects of international conflict (from Israeli Palestine to the rift between Norway and Sweden). 


Walk along the Akker Brygge

An old shipping company turned fashionable lunch area, the pier is the perfect place to shop and people watch over the afternoon. Some of the restaurants are exorbitantly priced here but there are also some hidden gems like salad bar. I also highly recommend the tasting plate at Louise Restaurant where you can try a selection of old-school Norwegian delicacies including salmon, reindeer and whale. If you’re going to join the locals and grab an ice cream, walk down to Paradiso and see what all the fuss is about (it’s delicious!). 


Do a boat tour of the fjords 

If you’re short on time but want to visit the fjords, what better way than by sailboat! A company by the pier offers 2 hour sailing cruises that take you around the fjords in a majestic 30ft sailboat, with sightseeing information in English along the way. You can purchase drinks on board if you think the stunning views deserve a toast, or you can choose the dinner time cruise and enjoy a Norwegian style prawn feast on the way. 

 

 


Visit the palace

A pleasant walk from the Akker Brygge, the palace gardens are open to the public, and are the only ones in Europe to do so. Even without going into the palace for a tour, the gardens are beautiful and well worth a wander. 

 

 

 

 


Dinner at Elias Sat and Mat

You may not be feeling quite so hungry at this stage, but I thoroughly recommend Elias Sat and Mat (which is only 600m from the palace). A modern take on traditional Norwegian food, you can try the likes of mussels in saffron sauce and reindeer stew, and they have a reputation for their delicious side of spinach bread. They also do traditional Norwegian dessert and I suggest trying the lingonberry mouse for something a little different.

 


 

Gluten Free Cacao Banana Bread

All the taste of chocolate and banana bread without the nasty hidden sugar! Adapted from Sarah Wilson’s iQuitSugar gluten free banana bread recipe with the added deliciousness of cacao.

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 very overripe bananas
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of yogurt (I used plain Chobani but coyo or flavoured greek yogurt also works)
  • 1/8 cup cacao nibs

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and line a loaf pan with baking paper.
  2. Mash the banana together with the yogurt and the oil.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the banana mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Eat while still warm with your favourite peanut butter on top!

Sassy Shakshouka

I bake these ahead of time and freeze them for the perfect quick, protein-loaded, ‘throw in the microwave and then eat in the car’ style breakfast while I’m rushing to work of a morning!

Baked eggs with mushroom, cherry tomato, spinach and seeds 

Makes 2 servings (of 2 eggs each). Preheat the oven to 200*C. Grease the ramekins with olive oil, then line with a small handful of spinach. Place 2 button mushrooms and 2 cherry tomatoes on top of each ramekin, followed by the eggs (1 each in a small ramekin or  2 in a large). Sprinkle with 1 tsp of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, then bake for 10 minutes until the egg white is cooked through.

Baked eggs with broccoli, peas, beetroot and macadamia dukkha 

Makes 2 servings (of 2 eggs each). Preheat the oven to 200*C. Grease the ramekins with olive oil, the roughly chop the broccoli florets and place at the bottom. Add 1/8 cup frozen peas in each ramekin, then 1 baby beetroot finely sliced. Top with the eggs and a sprinkle of dukkha, then bake for 10 minutes until the egg whites are cooked through.

Eggplant Tacos

Warning – these are totally delicious and unashamedly messy!

Using eggplant instead of taco shells is a novel way to increase your vegetable intake, as well as cater for those who may not be able to eat usual soft taco wraps. My suggestion of a healthy vegetarian version is below!

Ingredients 

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced length-ways
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 200g medium firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tbsp taco seasoning (I used 1/4 tbsp each of  Sally and Sahara blends by Mingle Seasoning)
  • 1/2 yellow capsicum, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup red cabbage (pickled or plan)
  • salad bits (I used slaw and spinach here)
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 220*C. Finely slice the eggplant length-ways, spray with olive oil, and bake for 10-15 minutes or until soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  2. To make your tofu ‘mince’, crush the tofu with a fork and mix with the seasoning and tomato paste.
  3. To construct your taco, place the salad bits on top of the eggplant, followed by the tofu mix, finely sliced cabbage and capsicum, then top with cottage cheese and avocado. Eat while attempting not to dribble any juices down your arms…..

Banana Coconut Flan with Miso Caramel

This cake is a healthier take on the divine Impossible Pie developed by Donna Hay, a truly wonderful flan with a custard slash cake style consistency that’s made by throwing the ingredients in the blender, then dumping them in a flan tin and baking. So simple!

While my version is still not ‘perfectly healthy’ by dietitian standards, it does have the added benefits of less refined sugar than the original recipe, and of being dairy free for those who are lactose intolerant. It can also be made gluten free by omitting the miso paste, or by using a miso based on rice, quinoa or amaranth. I could potentially make it vegan if someone can figure out an appropriate substitute for the egg!

Ingredients 

  • 2 large overripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 50g coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup rice malt syrup
  • 1 & 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 160*C. Grease / line a flan tin.
  2. Chop 1 of the bananas and place in the freezer to firm. Place the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into the flan tin, top with the frozen banana pieces and bake until set (about 40-45 minutes). Drizzle with maple syrup and serve with coconut yogurt.

Cauliflower Rice ‘Sushi’

This is not quite your average sushi! I love the taste of brown rice but don’t always feel like the carbohydrate load that comes with it. Instead, you can achieve the same gorgeous nutty flavour with cauliflower and tahini.


Broccoli Avocado Tofu Sushi

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1/2 medium cauliflower head
  • 1 small head broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • Handful spinach leaves
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 200g medium firm tofu (plain or flavoured!)
  • 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 2 sheets nori (seaweed)
  • 1/2 cup stock (I recommend using vegetable or chicken stock for this recipe)

Method

  1. Grate the cauliflower using a food processor or box grater until fine. Add 1/2 cup stock and cook in a rice cooker in the microwave for 7-10 minutes or until soft and the water absorbed. Drain any remaining water and add the tahini to the cauliflower mix. Stir until well combined.
  2. Break apart the broccoli florets into small pieces. They can be eaten raw or if you’d prefer them more soft, blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Place the nori on a sushi mat. Spread the “rice” on nori until 2/3rds covered. Then add the avocado,broccoli, tofu and spinach along the longitudinal side. Roll the nori and cut into four pieces. Serve with teriyaki sauce.

Mushroom and Spinach Sushi

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1/4 cauliflower head
  • 1 heaped tablespoon tahini
  • Handful spinach leaves
  • 1/4 medium avocado
  • 4 button mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 sheet nori (seaweed)

Method

  1. Slice the mushrooms and allow them to marinate in a bowl with the soy sauce for 10 minutes.
  2. Grate the cauliflower using a food processor until fine. Add 1/4 cup of water or stock and cook in a rice cooker for 5 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the cauli is soft. Drain any remaining liquid and add the tahini to the cauliflower mix. Stir until well combined.
  3. Place the nori on a sushi mat. Spread the “rice” on nori until 2/3rds covered. Then add the avocado, mushrooms and spinach along the longitudinal side. Roll the nori and cut into four pieces. Eat!

Sweet Potato Sushi

This version has a sweet potato and roasted cauliflower “rice” with leafy greens and tofu. The recipe serves 2 (or 1 if you’re hungry!), making 6 sushi rolls.

Ingredients

  • yaki nori seaweed sheets
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1/4 white cauliflower head
  • handful leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, rocket etc)
  • 200g medium firm tofu
  • soy sauce to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220*C. To make the “rice”, grate the cauliflower and bake for 10 minutes. Peel and chop the potato into chunks and steam until soft. Mash the potato and mix in the grated cauliflower until well combined (add salt and pepper to taste).
  2. Using a bamboo sushi mat, place the seaweed shiny side down. Spoon the “rice” along the seaweed leaving a 3cm margin at one end. Place the sliced tofu and leafy mix along the opposite end and use the bamboo to roll the sushi, so that the 3cm margin is at the end. Cut roll into three pieces. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  3. Serve with teriyaki or soy sauce on the side.