Tiger Nut Horchata (Nut-Free and Dairy-Free!)

OK, OK, I know a lot of you are wondering why this tiger nut recipe is labeled “nut-free,” but surprise—tiger nuts are not actually nuts, despite the name! They are starchy and fibrous root vegetables that taste like a cross between a nut and a sweet potato (at least that was my thought when I first tried them). They are high in fiber, magnesium, and potassium and are a great alternative for flour and milk if you are doing a gluten-free, dairy-free, or nut-free diet. When I was learning more about them initially, I read that tiger nut milk is the base for a Spanish-style horchata (as opposed to the rice milk version that I’m familiar with) and since I love horchata, I knew I had to try making it and it did not disappoint. I’ll show you how I made my version:Tiger Nut Horchata, serves one

For the tiger nut milk (makes about 3 cups of milk):

1 cup tiger nuts (I use this peeled version)
3 cups water (filtered water is best)

For the horchata:

1 cup tiger nut milk
1 teaspoon maple syrup or simple syrup to taste
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

First, you’ll need to make your tiger nut milk. Ideally, you would take your cup of tiger nuts and soak them in enough water to cover them overnight (or up to 24 hours), but I’ve made it a lot where I put them in hot water (freshly boiled) and let them sit 2-3 hours before blending. That’s a quick way to do it if you didn’t remember the night before.

Once your tiger nuts are soaked, rinse the soaking water and add them to a blender with 3 cups of water. Blend on high for several minutes until creamy looking. Spread a thin cotton tea towel or a nut milk bag over a bowl and pour in your mixture to strain out the milk. Keep squeezing until all the liquid has passed through and you have a relatively dry pulp left over.

Side note: You can make tiger nut flour with the leftover pulp by simply spreading it out on a baking sheet and putting it in your oven on the lowest setting for a few hours (or letting it dry on your counter even), stirring it every so often. Once dry, add it to a food processor or blender and blend until it’s a fine powder. Store in an airtight container and now you can use it for baked goods as a flour replacement!

Once your milk is strained, add 1 cup of your milk to a glass and mix in your maple syrup or simple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Feel free to add a little more or less of whichever you’d like! Stir together and pour into a glass with a cinnamon stick as a garnish. I wouldn’t keep this in the fridge too long, so make the horchata the same day you want to drink it. But I find the regular tiger nut milk lasts 4 days or so in the fridge (although you’ll want to make sure to shake it occasionally and before drinking, as it tends to settle a bit to the bottom). It’s so good! If you don’t feel like a cold drink, you can also heat this up for a delicious vanilla steamer and it’s a lovely way to wake up or wind down on a cold winter day as well. The milk is super creamy and has a distinct subtle sweetness unlike any other milk I’ve tried, so it’s definitely a treat to try if you haven’t already! xo. Laura

Tiger Nut Horchata

For the tiger nut milk (makes about 3 cups of milk):

  • 1 cup tiger nuts (I use this peeled version)
  • 3 cups water (filtered water is best)

For the horchata:

  • 1 cup tiger nut milk
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or simple syrup to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. First, you’ll need to make your tiger nut milk. Ideally, you would take your cup of tiger nuts and soak them in enough water to cover them overnight (or up to 24 hours), but I’ve made it a lot where I put them in hot water (freshly boiled) and let them sit 2-3 hours before blending. That’s a quick way to do it if you didn’t remember the night before.
  2. Once your tiger nuts are soaked, rinse the soaking water and add them to a blender with 3 cups of water. Blend on high for several minutes until creamy looking. Spread a thin cotton tea towel or a nut milk bag over a bowl and pour in your mixture to strain out the milk. Keep squeezing until all the liquid has passed through and you have a relatively dry pulp left over.
  3. Side note: You can make tiger nut flour with the leftover pulp by simply spreading it out on a baking sheet and putting it in your oven on the lowest setting for a few hours (or letting it dry on your counter even), stirring it every so often. Once dry, add it to a food processor or blender and blend until it’s a fine powder. Store in an airtight container and now you can use it for baked goods as a flour replacement!
  4. Once your milk is strained, add 1 cup of your milk to a glass and mix in your maple syrup or simple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Feel free to add a little more or less of whichever you’d like!
  5. Stir together and pour into a glass with a cinnamon stick as a garnish. I wouldn’t keep this in the fridge too long, so make the horchata the same day you want to drink it. But I find the regular tiger nut milk lasts 4 days or so in the fridge (although you’ll want to make sure to shake it occasionally and before drinking as it tends to settle a bit to the bottom).

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

Hot & Cold Mocktail Recipes

Recently, I decided to take a month off from drinking alcohol. You can read more about that on the blog soon, but mainly I was looking to disrupt this habit in my life and just take a little break—like a reset button. During this 30-day period, I made lots of different kinds of mocktails (which are simply cocktails that don’t contain alcohol) and other yummy drinks. We’ve shared quite a few recipes for non-alcoholic drinks on the blog before, but I had a number of people ask me to share more from Instagram, so I thought I would.

So, first I figured out during my sober month that for me a big part of having an evening drink isn’t so much about the booze as it is about the ritual. I like to take a couple minutes to make a drink, whether it contains alcohol of not, and then take my time enjoying it. I might watch some TV, read a book, or chat with my husband. But it’s really more about taking a little time to chill out at the end of the day and I think for me those few minutes I take to actually put the drink together is almost a mini signal to my brain that says, “Good job, you’re done working today and now it’s time to take a break,” or something along those lines. Of course I do enjoy a boozy drink or glass of wine too; I’m not saying it’s the exact same thing as obviously alcohol does have an effect on our bodies/brain. But a big part of it for me is about taking a couple minutes to make a drink, and this little habit signals it’s break time.

That being said, I don’t usually make super elaborate mocktails. They are still usually very simple, just 2-3 ingredients. I also tend to keep them very low to no sugar, simply because I do make them most days, so I want them to be drinks that I feel good about having that often. I don’t really have that many “recipes” as I tend to just think of them as more a formula you can change up based on what you have or what you like. And since the weather is finally cooling off, I’m sharing both hot and cold drink options. 🙂

For a cold cocktail, I will use some kind of flavored sparkling water + fresh citrus + fresh herbs or berries. I sometimes add a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar (like 1/2 to 1 teaspoon). And sometimes I’ll mix one part sparkling water to one part kombucha (although kombucha does contain sugar, but I love the flavors and also getting some probiotics is great).

Using this formula, here’s a sample drink I made pretty often during my sober month. Half a teaspoon balsamic vinegar muddled with a couple big leaves of basil and a few raspberries or strawberries (whatever I had), then I’d add ice and fill the glass with a flavored sparkling water. Give that a stir and you’ve got a very flavorful and sort of strange (but I like it!) mocktail.

To make a non-alcoholic hot toddy, all you need is a flavorful tea + fresh lemon + a few spices (turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg—it’s up to you). I personally tend to stick with teas that are heavy on the ginger as I like that flavor alongside lemon, but you could also make something more fruity if you like.

I don’t usually drink coffee in the evenings unless it’s decaf, but in the afternoons I sometimes make what I like to call “frothy coffee,” so I just thought I’d share that here too. You simply take a cup of hot coffee and add it to a blender along with a tablespoon of coconut oil or butter (or a mixture of the two), add a couple pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg and blend well. It will get super frothy and it’s really delicious. This is especially great if you’re doing Keto as it contains a decent amount of fat and feels like drinking a latte. 🙂

Like to do shots? Try a shot of apple cider vinegar. 🙂 I also add this to my hot tea non-alcoholic hot toddies and it adds a little zing of flavor. I’d love to hear if you have any favorite mocktail or beverages you make when you’re avoiding alcohol! What are your favorite combinations or flavors? xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.

My Favorite Tool For Making Non-Dairy Milks

Since we try to eat mostly plant-based at our house (and I have a high dairy food sensitivity), we go through a decent amount of non-dairy milk every week. My husband likes almond milk, I like cashew milk, and sometimes we do rice or coconut milk. But I’ve been trying to weed out extra ingredients that are used as preservatives in foods (even in “healthier” foods) and make more of those same items at home, and non-dairy milk has been in that category the past year. Until recently, I’ve been doing the good old-fashioned version of using a blender and nut milk bags to make milk, but I always hated it and it felt like such a messy chore as I hated using the milk bags. If you use a larger weave bag, you get a lot of ground grains in your milk and if you use a fine weave bag, it takes forever to squeeze out all the milk as the holes are so small and the grains inside the bag keep blocking the milk from coming out. And of course some people do the two-strain process with a larger then a smaller weave bag, but that’s even more work, so I never wanted to do that method either.

Anyway, I had just about given up on making non-dairy nut milks at home and then I saw the phrase “nut milk maker” floating around the internet, and once I knew that was a thing I immediately had to look up all the options in that category to see if there was one that would make the process more enjoyable for me. It took me a little bit of digging, but I eventually decided on this milk maker and I’m so glad that I did!

One main thing that I like about this milk maker (and what makes it different from other milk makers I looked at) is that it strains out the nut/rice/soy/coconut bits for you so you don’t have to! It has this metal cylinder basket with tiny holes that you put your nuts into and it grinds the nuts in that basket, keeping the larger grains inside of the basket so you don’t have to strain anything. You do end up with more or less “pulp” in the basket depending on what you are using to make the milk, so when I do cashew milk there’s almost nothing in there—but quite a bit of almond or coconut pulp left when I make those milks. You can use that leftover pulp to make recipes though, so make sure to check out some yummy treats like this so you don’t waste the leftover bits. Some nuts (like almonds and cashews) you do want to soak first overnight (or sometimes I soak them in the morning and then make the milk at night) before putting into the machine, but that part is the same as using a blender, so unfortunately you don’t get to skip that step. I soak the nuts while in the metal basket so you don’t have to transfer them once they are ready, attach the basket, push the grind button 5-6 times (the more you press it, the thicker your milk will be), and then pour the milk into a glass container where I add a capful of vanilla extract, a shake of salt, and a little maple syrup. Lola drinks the cashew milk every morning—she loves it!

For coconut milk, I fill the basket about 3/4 full with large dry shaved coconut shavings and then blend 5-6 times. I add the same salt, vanilla, and maple syrup to that too and it’s so good.

The whole process feels so much easier to me than doing the nut milk/bag method that I honestly don’t even mind making the milk anymore. There are times where I’ll forget to make it and be on my way to bed and see it on the counter and think, “Oh yeah, let me quickly do this first!” That would never ever happen with the blender method for me, so that was a big cue for me that I find this method a lot simpler. You can also make soups and porridges and use the grinder to grind coffee and other items, but so far I’ve only used it to make the nut milk.

Now, if you are a person that simply cannot handle one more item on your counter, then you may want to stick with the nut bag method. But if making your own non-dairy milk always feels like a pain to you, then this may be your new favorite kitchen gadget too! xo. Laura

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.