My mum always replied with "The person who cooks can't really eat much!" when we admonished her for not digging in with gusto, a delicious meal she had toiled over. As a child, I never understood that. Even less when I was in my teens and my expanding tastebuds had suddenly opened up a whole new world of flavour sensations for me. How could someone not want to stuff their face with a dish so divine, you could smell it miles away. When I grew up and acquired a family of my own, cooking became second nature. I cooked everyday and because of the work I did, several times a day. The divine smells, the exciting aromas were always tantalising - still are. But they also have an appetite killing property. When you smell something for hours, it fools your stomach into thinking you have actually eaten it. You feel full but satisfied? - probably not. It was then that I fully understood what my mum was trying to say to us all those years ago. The person who is constantly cooking, can't eat much. And it is probably a good thing. Can you imagine my small framed body being able to take on all the food I cook? I graze. And I think between my main meals which I am striving to eat mindfully, it is sufficient.
There will be a day in between months of food and more food. A day when I won't feel like eating but rather nourishing my body without eating. A spring clean. They call it a cleanse. I did a 3 day cleanse for the first time earlier this year in winter! (sheer madness I tell you because I just couldn't get warm). And then I have been doing a simple one-day cleanse at home every other month. My cleanses are not rigid. I still have a piece of salmon or egg along with the 8-10 bottle of veggie and fruit juices and smoothies. And I have coffee. I couldn't do without it. Honestly if I had to go without it, I would've nodded off two paragraphs ago.
So coffee. With milk. Hot. Frothy. A great pick-me-up. But negates the clean and calm feeling I slip into during a juice/smoothie cleanse. With the weather promising (barely!) to warm up, I needed to create a coffee beverage which was nourishing and refreshing rather than being a good old punchy cup of pure java. That is for my everyday. So for the cleanse day, I created this gorgeous coffee beverage with a strong generous shot of my favourite Nespresso Coffee (Dharkan) and blended it with homemade almond milk, dates, pure vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Voila! Coffee Nut Milk. A light and refreshing beverage that would please the gluten free/refined sugar free/vegan diet and also comes with that much needed caffeine kick. I am thinking, a post gym beverage amped with protein powder. A reason good enough (besides the steam room which I lust after) to haul my food loving bottom to the gym.
Did you know that there were 1001 ways in which Aussie coffee drinkers like to drink their coffee?? And that in Australia and NZ, 3 out 4 liked their coffee with milk?? When Nespresso approached me to create a milk based coffee beverage for their latest campaign, I wanted to do something unconventional. Inspired by the Pistachio Kulfi Milk recipe in my cookbook which is sensational and pretty as a picture(you must try it!), I created Coffee Nut Milk. The coffee milk's colour was unbelievable. Sultry brown with a glamorous edge. The dates and vanilla added to the oomph factor of this truly urban beverage. I now have two one-litre bottles sitting in my fridge.
I love my Nespresso machine. I have the Titanium Gran Maestria. Even though you could make this gorgeous coffee milk with a organic, fair trade instant coffee (try Republica's coffee, I love it! ), how nice would it be to express a strong shot in a stunning coffee machine and even froth your almond milk in a little aerator attached to it? And that is why the lovely people at Nespresso are giving away a Pearl White Lattissima machine by Delonghi priced at $579 to one of you!
TO WIN THIS PRIZE
1. You MUST have an Australian postal address.
2. You MUST leave me a comment below starting with the words "Moo Moo Nuts!" and tell me "What about your daily coffee makes it special?" For eg, Nick makes me my first cup of coffee in the morning. He has for the past 19 years. Every single day barring a handful of days when we were traveling or not in the same house. To me, coffee is synonymous with him. Maybe the reason why I love coffee so much. Because he makes my coffee, it is something I look forward to every morning, my reason for hopping out of bed on a cold day!
3. The most creative/entertaining answer will of course win this glorious machine!
4. Please share this giveaway with your friends and families on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. Tag them if they are coffee fanatics!
5. Giveaway runs until September 9th, 2014. Winner will be announced on September 10th, 2014 on my Facebook page, so make sure you have liked it!
6. EXTRA - Nespresso is giving away more machines if you wanted to try your hand at winning them in a separate giveaway! Go to their Facebook page, create and share a coffee beverage using milk and share with the #NespressoCreations to be in the running. Don't forget to tag @Nespresso.
Good Luck guys! May the bean be with you!
PS - Why are people using the term Mylk? Can anyone shed any light on this please? Google couldn't answer this for me!
COFFEE NUT MILK (vegan/ gluten free/ refined sugar free)
A refreshing coffee beverage made with almond milk and sweetened with dates.
Makes - 1.5 litres
1 cup (168g) almonds
5 cups (1.25 litres) cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3rd cup (170ml) espresso coffee (I used Nespresso Dharkan, you could blend 2 tablespoons instant coffee in 2/3 cup of hot water)
10 pitted dates
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place almonds in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Soak overnight. Drain water and rinse almonds. They will feel plump and the skin will be loose enough to peel off. You may or may not peel the skin.
Place almonds in the jug of a blender or food processor with 5 cups of water and salt. Blend until smooth. Line a deep jug with a nut milk bag or muslin cloth. Pour the almond milk through the nut milk bag/muslin cloth. Gather the top of the bag and squeeze until all milk has been extracted from the almonds. You now have almond milk. The leftover almond meal can be used in baking or in curries and stews.
Place almond milk in a blender along with the espresso coffee, dates and vanilla extract. Blend until very smooth. Store in glass bottles in the fridge for up to two days.
I use salt because it just lifts the flavour of the milk to a new level. It balances the sweetness of the dates perfectly. I also add salt to just my plain old nut milk. It rounds off the sweetness of the nuts.
This milk will keep for only about 2 days in the fridge. As it is preservative free, the shelf life isn't great but the quantity is small which helps in sustaining whatever little shelf life it has.
**** Winner Sharyn Williams - Announced 26th Sep 2014 ****