If you visit this blog regularly you’ll know I’m pretty selective about the products I recommend. But, when I do come across something I believe to be blog worthy I have no qualms in giving it a well deserved thumbs up – and this new (to me) soya milk brand most certainly warrants a pat on the back. Up until now we’ve had a pretty limited selection here in the UK when it comes to soya milk, with only one major brand being at the forefront, so it’s great to finally have more choice.
Whilst I love to mix up my plant milks I always have a carton of soya in the fridge – I refuse to give up my morning tea, I only have so many vices left! Obviously too much of anything is never good but i’m happy with the balance we have in our own diet. We tried two different Vivesoy milks – unsweetened and cappuccino (i’m sucker for anything coffee flavoured), and were super impressed with both.
My problem with most soya milks is the sometimes unpleasant aftertaste, even with flavoured milks. Genuinely, hand on heart, not the case with this one. I’m so ridculously over the moon with their cappuccino flavour soya milk (which I served over ice, ‘iced-coffee’ style and in an ‘ice-cream’ float – yes, I went there) I’m in danger of becoming addicted …..seriously could not stop drinking this stuff and will have to stock up the next time I see it in Tesco for sure. Not much can satisfy my iced-coffee cravings other than a Starbucks (feel free to wrap me over the knuckles) but this is as close as it gets.
The other big soya milk hurdle for me is how well it works in tea. Being a total tea drinking nut I need a milk that is sufficiently thick and pourable, and this brand ticks both boxes and more. Oh, and my Husband insisted I mention how easy to pour the carton is – a little bugbear of his (p.s. he didn’t want me to feature his hand – ha, too bad). So yeah, what can I say ….it’s a goodun!
Now, I don’t mean to insult your intelligence here. I’m pretty sure all of you are accomplished smoothie makers and need no advice or tips from me. Nether the less, I feel that this particular raspberry smoothie is so good I might be forgiven for offering it up as some sort of recipe that you may be inclined to use.
Obviously I’m using the word recipe in the very loosest sense of the word, as I hardly think bunging a few (actually its four but who’s counting) ingredients into a blender constitutes as one – so think of this more of a friendly suggestion that results in absolutely the smoothest, creamiest and sweetest morning drink. Not that its consumption has to be confined to the earlier part of the day, it’s just that I don’t usually consider smoothies as anything other than breakfast fodder.
I pretty much always have chopped frozen bananas in my freezer ready to be whipped into ice-cream or blended into smoothies. These really are the crucial component, non-frozen bananas are no replacement…..sorry! The maple syrup might seem like an odd addition but I promise you will not taste it in the slightest. So why bother including it? Well, it really does help to bring out the natural sweetness of the fruit, which I think is essential to a successful smoothie. Of course, you can leave it out if you are very opposed to extra sweetener but in my opinion it won’t be as delicious.
Maybe you can share your favourite fruit smoothie recipe in the comment box, I’m always on the lookout for new ideas!
raspberry & banana smoothie (serves two)
2 chopped frozen bananas
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup plant milk (i recommend soya or coconut)
2 tbsp maple syrup
……put everything in a blender and blitz until completely smooth. fill a glass with ice and pour. serve immediately…….
If i’ve not made my obsession with all things Mexican clear yet, let me take this opportunity to say…..I am obsessed with all things Mexican. Never having actually visited the place(on the when i start making money to do list), this obsession is merely based on hearsay, food I’ve tasted, made and oggled (that’s not a sp. mistake, I do been oggle. I’m an oggler), recipe books I’ve devoured and programmes I’ve watched on telly…..Thomasina Miers, Daisy Martinez and Rick Bayless to name but a few of my most admired tv chefs. It’s been an enjoyable education.
I got into Mexican cuisine in a big way when we lived in Chicago. We lived in an area where there were a crazy amount of Mexican food outlets – everything from taco joints (esp. this one!) through to full on restaurants that were open 24/7. And believe me, we did make full use of those wacky opening hours!
It was here that I first encountered Horchata. That cool and creamy sweet drink which is the perfect accompaniment to any Mexican meal. It can be made many ways but in Mexico the traditional ingredients are rice and cinnamon, so you could say this version is a huge cheat….. but who doesn’t love a shortcut, eh? Here in London, you can get a superb horchata at Wahaca, as well as some pretty authentic tasting Mexican fodder.
I’ve added the matcha in place of vanilla but of course a dash of good vanilla extract wouldn’t go amiss. I really love the subtle green tea flavour the matcha brings to the drink although if you don’t happen to have any, it will work just as well without. Quite honestly, this is the perfect summer drink. Surprisingly light, smooth and refreshing, I can’t wait to serve it at my next Mexican themed dinner party – don’t worry, I never go in for sombreros or mustaches, preferring to keep it somewhat less tacky. Kitsch, yes. Tacky, nooooo.
easy vegan matcha horchata
2 cups filtered water
1/2 tsp good quality cooking matcha powder
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/8 cup maple syrup or agave
Blend the oats, water, matcha powder and cinnamon stick until smooth.
Add the sweetener and blitz again.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve or muslin cloth and serve over ice.
You can also refrigerate the horchata until you require it – should keep for a few days in the fridge.