I just got back from a surf trip in Morocco and I got reminded once again, how simple life can be. Starting with food, movement, relaxation and human connections. It’s not really that complicated yet we looooove to overthink and “perfect” our diet, training schedule, meditation practise, relationships...
Therefore my New Year’s resolution is clearer than ever: LESS OF EVERYTHING!
As most of you know, I love to start my morning with a hot creamy frothy and nourishing matcha latte. As there was hardly any plant milk available in Morocco I was “forced” to start making it myself again (with a shitty old blender but it worked - so no excuses :-)
You can find the recipe below👇
Just the realisation that I don't need to drive 15 km just to get an overpriced and overprocessed container of almond milk that will create waste and not really provide any nutrients (especially before a 3 hours surf) made me rethink my daily habits and precious ritual. Yes, it's more work and time consuming but not more than my car drive .... and the satisfaction you get from making your own “milk” is priceless.
But even now - back at home - the mission and goal is to reduce / swap store bought almond / oat milk (most of them have added oil, sugar / sweetener, salt and emulsifiers) for a homemade nut milk option - naturally sweetened with dates! Full of iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium and omega 3/6.
Nuts (and its cold-pressed / stone ground oils), seeds, dates and spices are a staple in Morocco and it inspired me to create more dishes with just a few ingredients:
Nut milk: use almonds or cashew as a base, add some hemp seeds for extra protein / omega 3 and a sprinkle of salt for minerals
The leftover nut milk pulp can be added to your porridge, banana bread, savoury crackers or delicious Amlou Brownies (see recipe below)
A healthy snack / dessert: stuff a big juicy date with a walnuts, dip into melted dark chocolate, sprinkle some flakey sea salt on top and freeze!
Homemade nutbutter to top your bread, porridge, yoghurt or dip your chopped fruits in: grind (roasted) nuts of you choice in a small food processor until it forms a smooth paste (5-10 minutes), add some coconut or flax oil and blend until super smooth, add a couple of dates (or maple syrup), cinnamon and salt. And if you have never had Amlou…you must try the original stone ground version on your next Morocco trip (with Argan oil and raw honey)
Savory “Romesco” sauce / dip: In a food processor blend a handful of (roasted) almonds, store bought fire roasted red peppers, raw garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, salt, a date, olive oil and chilli if you like.This tastes amazing as a pasta sauce, veggie dip or with fish / chicken / potatoes...
My basic nut milk recipe is rich in nutrients (fats, protein and carbs), tastes absolutely amazing, is thick, creamy and frothy and has just the perfect amount of natural sweetness.
Makes 1 Liter of nut milk:
200 g raw almonds
200 g raw cashews
50 - 100 g shelled hemp seeds
4 dates, pitted
pinch of salt
Soak the almonds and cashews overnight in the double amount of water.
Separately, soak the dates in a bit of water so they are just barely covered.
The next day, rinse the nuts properly with fresh water.
No need to rinse the dates - safe the water!!!
In a blender, add the nuts, hemp seeds, dates + soaking liquid, salt and 1 liter of
water. Blend at least a minute or until frothy. Pour the nut milk through a super fine strainer or nutmilk bag and squeeze. Make sure our reserve the nut pulp for other recipes
(or use it for the Brownie recipe below!)
200 g chocolate (75%)
150 g butter
150 g date sugar
70 g almond meal (= ground blanched almonds)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp of a blend of cinnamon, cardamom and clove
1/4 cup almond, cashew or hazelnut butter (homemade or store-bought)
optional: 1/4 cup nut pulp (leftover from making nut milk)
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and line a square baking dish or round cake tin with parchment paper.
Melt the chocolate with the butter, salt and vanilla extract in a bowl over a pot of boiling water. Separately whisk the eggs (with a hand mixer) and the date sugar for a few minutes until creamy. Slowly add the melted (NOT HOT!) chocolate into the egg mixture and mix until well combined. Add the almond meal (and leftover nut milk pulp) and fold in with a spatular. Pour into the prepared baking dish and spread out evenly. Mix the (Amlou)
nut butter with the spices and a pinch of salt and swirl into the brownie.
Bake for 15-20 min. The brownie should still be a bit wobbly in the middle. Let cool completely and then put it in the fridge overnight to set and achieve the perfect consistency.
It will taste like chocolate truffles in brownie form but healthy-ish :-)