A Growing Lifestyle

My thoughts, experiences and influences

Almond Masala Porridge

One minute there’s bush fires, the next its pouring down with rain, its becoming nearly impossible to predict tomorrows forecast. As the rain continues to pour down assisting with the battle against man verses nature in these bushes fires, I’m up at 4.00 am in the morning laying awake in my bed.

I have no idea why I cannot sleep, usually I can sleep like a baby when the rain is singing me a lullaby. So I decided to get up out of bed and make myself some green tea.

Its been a while since we have had rain; so I thought I would take advantage of the cold wet weather, like I’m sure many of the firemen in Australia are doing.
…So I decided to make porridge.

ALMOND MASALA PORRIDGE.

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Since I was up so early, my appetite hadn’t kicked in yet, giving me time to prepare my ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup of rolled oats

1/2 cup of Unsweetened Almond milk

1/4 cup Almond meal

1/4 cup Almonds

1/4 cup pepitas

Garam Masala for sprinkling

Note: Change the proportions to fit your individual appetites

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INSTRUCTIONS

Pre-soak your almonds and seeds! This is very important!

There are so many health benefits to soaking your almonds and seeds.
To name a few:
It assists in helping your body absorb more vitamins and proteins
Helps break down gluten making digestion much easier
Helps neutralise Enzyme Inhibitors
To remove or reduce Phytic Acid

To know more about soaking your nuts and seeds read about it here: http://http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/the-benefits-of-soaking-nuts-and-seeds

I also pre-soaked my oats in the almond milk so they can absorb the milk to make them more soft, easier and quicker to cook.

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Once the oats and nuts have finished soaking. Bring the oats and almond milk to a slow boil,  in a small saucepan. Constantly stir to stop the oats from drying out and sticking to the bottom.

Add in the almond meal and fold to combine. At this stage I found that I needed to turn down the heat and add in a little bit more almond milk to keep it moist.

Fold in the almonds and seeds.

Serve in a pretty bowl and sprinkle your Garam Masala all over.

Eat, while watching and listening to the rain hit your windows.

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Raw, Vegan, Sugar-Free Chocolate!

Its one of those days, where its overcast, rainy and all you want to do is curl up in a little ball around your favourite tea while watching movies that consist of beautiful people. For me, I just caught up on this weeks episode of ‘The Hour’ as I just can’t get enough of Ben Whishaw.

Watching this show with all its charm and sexual tension makes me in the mood for Romance and love… well more or less I just wanted to get my endorphines a little bit excited… and what better way to do it but through chocolate! So I made myself a batch of My New Roots chocolate, which I have been wanting to cook in so long.

This chocolate, was soo easy to whip up, so in no time I was on my couch curled around home made, vegan, sugar-free chocolate, while watching the movie Bright Star.

RAW, VEGAN, SUGAR-FREE CHOCOLATE. – Yes Please!
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Here is the link to the recipe http://http://mynewroots.org/site/2012/05/ecstatic-raw-chocolate-3/

I made around half the amount than what was suggested in the Ecstatic Raw Chocolate recipe and I chose to make mine coconut and mint flavoured, but you don’t have to do that. If you click on the link, Sarah Britton from MyNewRoots suggest lots of flavour combinations and the full measurements.

She also gives you the run down on the benefits of using Cacao.

I also put my chocolate in tiny chocolate moulds that I got from the 2 dollar shop, just because they look pretty.

I found that the dates in this recipe were really nice and chewy. When I was preparing them, I heated mine up for a couple of seconds, which made the process of mashing them up a lot easier especially if you are using packet dates and not fresh Medjool dates.

I think next time I’m going to try this recipe with agave instead of dates so I can add in some chopped up nuts to add a bit of crunch.

The chocolate I made was nice and bitter, not powerfully sweet, which is just how I like it. But if you prefer to have your chocolate a little bit sweeter, maybe add in a couple of tsp of agave or honey.

INGREDIENTS

 50g       Pitted Dates mashed

15-20g Cacao powder

45g      Cacao butter

A couple of drops of Peppermint extract

A couple of drop of Vanilla extract

1 Tblsp of Shredded Coconut

A pinch of flaky Sea Salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Mash up your Dates with a folk on a hard surface. If you are having trouble, heat them up for a couple of seconds, or remove the skins if they are tough. Don’t soak them.

In a glass bowl over water ( make sure the water doesn’t touch the glass bowl) or you can use a double bowler, heat up some hot water over medium-low heat. Add the Cacao butter in the glass bowl to let it melt.

 Once melted, add in the extracts and Salt, mix.

Mix in the Cacao butter. Once remove from heat and fold in the Shredded Coconut and Dates. It may be hard to fold in the dates at this point, so Sarah suggests to refrigerate until the chocolate firms up a bit.

Once the mixture is good to go, get a teaspoon and carefully place the mixture in your tiny moulds. Make sure you apply the tiniest pressure to try and get rid of as many gaps as possible on the bottom. Place the moulds in the fridge or if you are too impatient, put them in the freezer. Once they are set, take them out of their moulds, put on a DVD and curl up in a blanket and indulge in this healthy chocolate goodness! 

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