Healthy winter warming beverages

June 21, 2020

Warming beverages and steamy soups are the reasons we love winter!

There is nothing like the comforting warmth of these two.

Lately, we have been experimenting with plant-based hot beverages.

Some tips on making plant-based Lattes and other creamy beverages.

Perhaps before you consider making yourself a creamy latte, you should decide on the ‘milk’ you want to use.

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Dairy milk can be a lot sweeter than plant-based milk (with the exception of oat and rice milk) – this is because of the lactose in the milk, which makes it sweeter.
  • If you are new to plant-based beverages, you might need to add a bit more sweetener to adapt to the taste (especially if you are making your own unsweetened milk), but you do get used the less sweeter milks!
  • If you are used to store-bought plant-based milk or plant-based milk beverages at coffee shops, Homemade plant-based milk can sometimes disappoint when it comes to the texture of the milk – homemade milk can separate or be too watery.
  • If you do make your own plant-based milk, we recommend using this recipe.
  • You can use the simple recipe of 1 cup nuts, seeds or oats to 4 cups water. We have used this milk in some of the recipes successfully without the milk separating/splitting.
  • Our favourite plant-based milks – cashew milk; oat milk & walnut milk.
  • We do, however, recommend using homemade plant-milks, for a number of reasons:
  1. Less packaging
  2. No added preservatives and you know what is in it.
  3. You get nut / seed pulp to make your own granolas, cereals or what we like to call cheat ‘almond flour’.

The recipes we have chosen take minimal effort.
You may need a milk frother, coffee plunger or high-speed blender.

Cafe Mocha

You will need: • 1/2 cup strong brew (or to your preference) coffee – we used a cold brew we made and heated it up • 1/2 cup milk of choice (we used oat milk for its thick creaminess) • 1 – 2 blocks of dark chocolate (we used our homemade chocolate) • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder • 1 pinch of salt • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

– Start with brewing your coffee. – In a saucepan, add the milk, chocolate, cocoa powder and salt and heat until chocolate is melted and the mixture is steaming hot. – Optional: Froth with a milk frother or put it in a blender for a little foam if you like it that way. – Pour onto the coffee. At this point, you can top it with a marshmallow or add some extra sweetener of your choice if you like.

Hot Chocolate

You will need:

  • 1/2 mug milk of choice
  • 1/2 mug water
  • 2 of our homemade chocolates or 20g dark chocolate
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp sweetener of choice (or more, depending on your preference)

– Add everything, (except the sweetener) to a small pot and gently heat, whisking continuously.

– Stir in your sweetener and enjoy!

Beetroot latte
In our experience, the trick when it comes to beetroot lattes is not to go overboard!
After many trials, here is our modification refined from many recipes:

  • 25ml fresh beetroot juice
  • 1 tsp sweetener of choice
  • 1 cup plant-based milk
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon
  • If you are feeling a like a little chocolateness, add a tsp of cocoa powder.

-Heat up plant-milk gently until steaming (not boiling, or it will split).
-Mix in the beetroot juice.
-Use a milk frother or high-speed blender to make a bit of foam, optional.
-Pour into a mug, stir in sweetener and sprinkle with cinnamon.

We don’t have our own recipes for the next lattes, but we think these ones are pretty good!

Chia latte (or dirty chia latte)

Coffee and chia tea meet to make this indulgent beverage. We’ve made this many times, usually with cashew or walnut milk.
You’ll need ground coffee and a french coffee press for this recipe.

Matcha latte

This matcha latte is quick and easy to prepare. Unfortunately, we have tried many matcha latte recipes that didn’t taste so great.

Our tips:

  • Use good quality matcha tea powder
  • Use a milk base that you have already tried and liked.
  • Minimalist baker recommends macadamia nut milk & coconut milk combined, a combination of cashew / oat works well too if you do not like coconut.

Take the time in your day to brew yourself a latte and take the time to enjoy it!

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