Homemade almond milk

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Drinks
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It took me a little while to come around to almond milk. Being used to cow’s milk I found almond too watery and a little weird. But cow’s milk can leave me feeling a bit heavy in the belly.

Lately I’ve been playing around with almond a bit. While I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy it in a latte (I tried), I really like it in a smoothie. I’ve also just started using it in my oats instead of cow’s milk and I feel better for it.

Making almond milk from scratch takes a few steps. And a few pieces of equipment. You first need to soak the nuts overnight in water. Then you need a blender, nut bag or cheesecloth, a strainer and a bowl. I lay cheesecloth in a strainer and have it sitting over a bowl.

You can make it with water, or add coconut water as well as filtered water which is what I do. And if you like a little spice then adding a touch of cinnamon is nice also.

Just note that when you refrigerate the almond milk it can separate a little. This is normal. Just take a big spoon and stir it around before using it.
 

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Gooey egg kale salad

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Lunch
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I did a juice detox a little while ago and swore I’d never touch kale again. Luckily that passed and now I’m back to enjoying it. Maybe not in a juice but I love making salads with it or adding a handful into a stew.

Today for lunch I mixed it with a dressing using some homemade mayonnaise, grilled prosciutto, parmesan, toasted walnuts and a soft boiled egg. Really yummy. Like with ham, you want to look for a good quality natural prosciutto. One with minimal added ingredients.

The salad is simple and can easily be adapted. If vegetarian then eliminate the meat and add in an extra egg, sautéed cannellini beans or homemade croutons. Adding in some quinoa would go nicely also.
 

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Homemade mayonnaise

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Condiments
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Along with stock, dips and nut butters, I’ve started making mayonnaise myself now also. The packaged varieties often contain sugar along with other ingredients and I much prefer the fresh clean taste of homemade. We use it throughout the week in salads, wraps and sandwiches. As well as a base for tartar or chipotle sauce to accompany meats and fish.

It’s pretty easy to make, especially after you have successfully made it once. You basically add everything except the oil into a processor or blender. Mix it for 30 seconds and very slowly drizzle the oil into the spout in a smooth stream. Once it’s all added you will have a smooth, light and creamy mayonnaise.

One thing to note though – with the oil you want to use a very light tasting oil. I use an extra light tasting olive oil. Otherwise the oil can be overpowering and too rich. I haven’t tried them yet, but I’ve read that you can also use macadamia or avocado oil as alternatives.

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Grilled Halibut with sautéed peas, potatoes and herb sauce

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Dinner
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I love fish. But I’ll admit, it has taken some time to master the art of cooking it perfectly. I’ve served up broken fillets, fillets half stuck to the pan, overcooked and undercooked fish. This week when I was sold (without looking at the price) a rather exy pair of Halibut fillets I was a little afraid of destroying them. But thankfully it plated up without too many dramas. Served with sautéed peas, potatoes and a herb sauce it made a really nice dinner.

You want to look for a good quality firm white fish. Buy the freshest fish that you can afford. This recipe uses wild fresh American Halibut. It’s a meatier fish and has an amazing taste and texture.

I’ve used fresh tarragon and dill as herbs in the mashed peas and sauce. But tarragon can be an acquired taste so if it isn’t to your liking then choose another herb like Italian parsley. The sauce ingredient quantities actually makes more than you need. But to blend well it requires a bit of liquid to get it going. It makes a great salad dressing however so store any remaining sauce in the refrigerator and use it for another meal.

I’ve also used smoked flaked sea salt. This isn’t a necessity but I had it on hand and thought it would go well here. Flaked or regular sea salt is fine.
 

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Easy spiced applesauce

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Stocks & sauces
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Applesauce is a great accompaniment with roasted pork. And spiced applesauce – yum. The smell of it cooking reminds me of Christmas.

There is no added sweetener in this recipe since apples are sweet enough. All you need are fresh apples, water and a few spices. I’ve used a food processor but you can use a potato masher. You will just get a slightly lumpier sauce.

You can give it to toddlers straight off a spoon. You might just need to dial down the spices if they find it a bit too strong. Soren (our little mister) loves it with this amount of spice in it. So test it out once and then adjust the next batch you make.

Personally I love it spread over a piece of toast. Adding a slice of Gouda makes it a little more decadent.
 

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Salted nut butter cups

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Dessert
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Homemade nut butter cups are fast becoming my favourite thing to prepare for a sweet treat. They are quite simple to make as well. This recipe I’ve adapted from I Quit Sugar and My New Roots. 

I tried making them with the pistachio butter I had on hand, but the pistachio flavour gets a little lost against the cacao. Cacao is quite intense. But an awesome ingredient loaded antioxidants and a good source of fibre and iron. Almond butter works really well with cacao which is what went into these.

I’ve kept sweetening to a minimum and only added in a little honey. But if you would like it sweeter then taste as you go and add a bit more to each mixture if you think it needs it. The same goes with salt.
 

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