Posts tagged egg nog
Let's get Christmassy...drink up!

Its getting a little Christmassy around here now! Wooooo

As soon as December hits it get's me in the mood (as you could probably tell by my Michael Buble comments in a previous post!)

I've been crazy busy making boxes of Wholeplus goodies... a big box of Gingerbread balls went of to Saviour Snacks earlier this week as did a big box of chocolate Toppers to a new heathy fast food restaurant called Nourish- based up in sheffleld. I'm so excited to be involved with these companies as they echo the real food philosophy that i am all about. I have a few more collaborations in the works too. I have been selling boxes of the  'festive balls' to many friends and family and via the website and it makes me warm inside to think lots people will be eating my healthy tasty treats and not just all the typically Christmas candies!!

How cute are these little gingerbread balls.... it took a while to package all 80 of them up!

How cute are these little gingerbread balls.... it took a while to package all 80 of them up!

Festive food is obviously one big part of Christmas but festive drinks are another! What are your favourite tipples... do you go for alcoholic or not?  It's so cold at this time of year i often often go for shot fruit punch to take off the chill but today i have something a little different for you!

I recently created another mini ebook for the Real Food Source to accompany their special Gluten Free Christmas 'baking bundle' (UK peeps- just so you know it's a really good deal!)

Here is a little teaser of the book- it's another FREE DOWNLOAD for everyone around the world with handful of festive recipes to inspire you- you can download it here. This time it was a collaboration of both my recipes and their own so that means that not all are vegan (eggs are used in two of the recipes) but there is no dairy, gluten or refined ingredients in any of the recipes.

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I wanted to share with you my simple vegan 'egg nog' smoothie with you today, it's taken directly from the book. I have a few more drinks in the works and I am also really curious as to the festive drinks and their names in other parts of the world.

I'd love to know what your favourite Christmas drinks are for beating the chilly winter weather, and for those who live in hot climates....what is your classic Christmas drink?

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Recipe: Vegan 'egg nog' smoothie

Ingredients:

Serves 2

  • 1 frozen banana (approx 80g)
  • 50g coconut milk powder 60% oil* dissolved in 50g hot water
  • 150g cold water
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

2-3 drops rum extract (or add actual rum to sub a little of the water!)

Method:

Blend all ingredients together until very smooth. Best served immediately.

* I purchased my coconut milk powder from the Real Food Source but you could substitute with approx. 70ml regular coconut milk just as easily.

 

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Buffet Bites and the ‘Egg’ nog experiment

Well, these last couple of weeks have been a bit of a whirl-wind.

Cake still adorns all surfaces- waiting to be eaten, unwrapped presents lounge in boxes and bags, post-it notes and ‘to do’ lists remain half ticked off….

…..but this evening I relaxed! Work in the office is over for the rest of the year and now I can look forward to the holiday season with increasing excitement and last minute preparations!

egg nog smoothie

Actually I have been getting quite excited this year, since the festive recipes have swung me into the holiday spirit, but some years Christmas is literally knocking at my door before I realise that time has come around.  That’s the problem with being ‘too busy’… if you’re not careful it’s easy to miss all the fun, particularly all the build-up and anticipation which is often just as much fun as the big day itself.

Sometimes you just need to take a little time out. Take a step back and spend just 5 minutes looking around you. Smile from within. Calm.

I’m always busy, always rushing and always have another plan up my sleeve. It’s the way I love to be, but I also know I can be my own worst enemy when things don’t go to plan. I am not very good at creating some flexibility and allowance for if things take a ‘slightly different turn’ from how you anticipated. It is very easy to blame others or to blame the situation, which only serves to leave you frustrated when in actual fact you simply need to build in a little contingency plan. That way you can’t lose…and if it does all go to plan- bonus!

This statement is definitely a case of ‘do what I say and not what I do’. I really need to learn to listen to my own advice. It’s crazy that I can see this so clearly sitting here on the sofa, as I type with a clear and peaceful mind, the house is quiet and it’s almost time for bed. Why is it that in the flow of day to day chaos my mind seems set in a permanent state of ‘fast-forward’. Stop…rewind…so what was it I said?

Sometimes you just need to take a little time out. Take a step back and spend just 5 minutes looking around you. Smile from within. Calm.

Ok, ok I’m listening. Practice makes perfect. Hopefully one day I’ll master the balancing act.

But now for food, since that’s probably what you came here for? Although you may find my questioning mind creeping in a little more! Sometimes simply writing it down helps.

I’m all caked out. So this is a savoury post…a round up if you like of savoury nibbles or buffet bites (as it sounds cute).

These healthy nibbles should help see you through the holidays and beyond. I have here a combination of my previous posts, plus the outcome of my ‘egg’ nog investigation and experiments that some of you will be aware of from my facebook page- we simply cannot get soy-nog in the UK!

Some savoury nibbles to get the party going….

Speedy seedy crackers - Great for dipping, also great cut into strips as a healthy alternative to cheese straws!

Coconut cashews - Er, no explanation needed!

‘Meat’ balls - Serve these instead of scotch eggs or sausage rolls, satisfying finger food!

Plus I came across a great idea for using up Christmas Day ‘leftovers’….. Pasties!

I will try and post this recipe and my results on boxing day as I plan to make the pasties, but in essence the method is simple….

Use four smallish plate sized rounds of rolled ready-made or homemade shortcrust pastry (it’s usually vegan anyway but check the label). Add a mug of veggies and up to a mug of nut roast/stuffing all crumbled up together. Add a few dollops of sauce (whatever type you had with the meal- cranberry, bread sauce, gravy). Lastly add a few pinches of herbs. Spoon ¼ of the mixture in to the centre of each pastry round leaving 2-3cm of pastry round the edge. Lift up and seal the edges together making a semi-circle with the seam at the top. Place on a baking sheet, brush with soy milk and bake at 180C for approx. 40 mins until golden. Serve warm or cold.

So simple… I’ll try and post pictures on boxing day.

Now, for my ‘egg’ nog experiment 

(Gosh this has ended up being a long post- hope you're still with me!)

I checked out various recipes and they were all so diverse!! Some used tofu, some used nut butter, and some used banana.  There seemed to be various options to obtain the desired thickness.  I wanted to create a nog not using tofu, no real reason for that other than I fancied the challenge. A banana and nut butter combo inspired me as I didn’t want there to be an over-dominant banana-ry taste. I also used a thickener to ensure light and delicate flavours but it may also work by doubling the amount of banana and nut butter and omitting the thickening stage- note this has not been tested!

The result….? A  thick milk-shakey frothy drink that is creamy and lightly spiced. It tasted good to me but then I have never had real or soy egg nog before….maybe you can be the judge?

Recipe: Christmas Nog

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cashew or almond butter
  • ½ a large banana- chopped (I used a frozen one but fresh should be fine also)
  • 4 dates
  • 2 cups ‘milk’ (I used a combination of 1 1/3 cups rice milk and ½ cup soy milk)
  • 2 tsp thickener (I used cornstarch but arrowroot/tapioca should also work)
  • 1 tbs ground flax
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • Spices- 1 tsp vanilla extract, ½ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp cinnamon

Makes approx. 2 large glasses

Method:

Mix thickener with approx. 2 tbs of water for form a paste. Pour the ‘milk’ with the thickener paste added into a small saucepan and also add the dates. Simmer until it boils and thickens and the dates begin to soften. (note: it should be at least half as thick as the nog will end up). Add the ‘milk’ mixture to a blender along with all the remaining ingredients. Blend until totally smooth and creamy and frothy on top.

Chill until cold and then pour into glasses to serve. Sprinkle some extra grated nutmeg to the frothy top if desired.

Cheers!!


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‘Twelve Days’ day 11: mini choco-nog sponges

I had really enjoyed my chocolate yule log, it was so indulgent yet not at all heavy and sickly sweet (meaning I could eat a lot in one go). It was the combination of the light and airy fat-free swiss roll sponge combined with the luxurious (but healthy)

chocolate frosting that made such an amazing pairing and so it got me thinking….how else could I achieve that same effect?

Frosting is the obvious answer, so this time instead of going for the obvious cupcake and frosting scenario, I decided to make another tray of swiss roll sponge but this time instead of rolling it up, I cut out circles with a cookie cutter and frosted those instead. So then you have mini chocolate sponges.  But the chocolate sponge needed something a little bit special and a little bit (ok, a lot bit) seasonal to top it. 

I’ve already given you a number of cranberry and mincemeat inspired creations (and I haven’t quite finished with the cranberries yet!) so I didn’t really want to go down the fruit route again.  This left the Christmas spiced combo up for grabs. Not that I mind…I love ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla- all warm and creamy dreamy. Mmmmm.

So egg nog anyone? Or maybe more accurately in this case, simply ‘nog’. Or even more appropriately… choco-nog mini sponges!

Ok, so now you’ll think I’m crazy…but…I have never actually tried egg nog. I’m not sure I’ve ever even come across it on the shelves (although often if you’re not looking for something you don’t realise it actually exists when its right in front of you face!)  So, here I am making what I call a ‘nog’ frosting having never actually tried egg nog before!  This may be nothing like real ‘nog’ but it’s a warm and creamy nutmeggy-vanillary frosting and to me that sounds like a noggy creation…or what I imagine one to be!

I’ve used banana in this recipe which does give a little bananary taste. If you would prefer a more neutral base to let the spices shout more loudly then feel free to reduce or omit the banana and substitute for more cashew (or other neutral) nut butter instead.

I know…I really must find some egg nog to try this Christmas, I’ve heard the vegan versions are pretty good so I just need to track some down! In the meantime whipping up a bit of this frosting with some almond milk and a dusting of nutmeg on the top may well just do the trick- I’d certainly recommend it and it's definitely the best way to clean up the remnants in your blender!

Recipe: mini choco-nog sponges

Ingredients

Frosting

  • ¾ cup cashew nut butter
  • 4 dates
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp rum extract
  • ¼- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ a frozen banana (or another ¼
  • cup nut butter)
  • ½ cup firm tofu (water pressed out)
  • 3 tbs maple syrup/brown rice syrup/agave nectar
  • Pinch of stevia powder (approx. 1/6 tsp or to taste)
  • 3 tbs coconut butter melted- if you want a thicker frosting (omit for a soft whippy frosting)
  • Makes approx. 1 ½ - 2 cups

Sponge

  • 10 1/2 oz. firm silken tofu
  • 1/3 cup rapadura
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • 1 tbs vinegar
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract 
  • 1 tbs ground flax mixed with 2tbs hot water
  • 1 cup whole wheat spelt flour
  • ¼ cup ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½  tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Makes approx. 20 mini sponges (depending on their size and shape)

Method

Prepare frosting by adding all the ingredients to the food processor and blending together until smooth. If your blender is less powerful you may want to chop up the dates and soak them in a little hot water first. Once fully blended, the mixture will be thick but fairly runny. Set aside to use as a soft frosting or if you added the coconut butter for a thicker frosting, spoon into a bowl and allow to firm up in the fridge for an hour or two.

To make the mini sponges. Preheat oven to 180C degrees. Line a 10x15 inch pan with baking parchment.

In a food processor, mix tofu, rapadura, agave, vinegar, water, vanilla and flax mix (see note below). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ground almonds, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour the blended tofu mixture into flour mixture; stir together thoroughly.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top of the batter evenly and bake for 10-12 minutes. 

Once the sponge is cool, lift out of the pan, place on a cutting board and using a circle (or any simple shape) cutter, cut rounds of sponge out of the slab. There will be a little wastage (or nibbles), so to avoid this you could cut the slab into squares.

Once the frosting is prepared, drizzle, spoon or pipe the nog frosting onto the individual sponges and serve immediately. The frosting and sponges can be prepared up to a day in advance and stored separately for last minute frosting.


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