Oat Milk Recipes + Introducing Oatly

A while back I shared an article on my Facebook page: it reports that non-dairy milks (or ‘drinks’, as they’re legally called) are now more popular than ever in the UK. I remember when, over three years ago, after I decided to eat a plant-based diet I went to the long-life milk aisle in Tesco and could only find one type: Alpro Soya Milk. That was it! Pretty soon other brands appeared and prices became more competitive. And now even in Scotland I am spoiled for choice. The latest ‘milk’ on the market is Oatly, a Swedish brand of oat milk, and one that I have quickly grown fond of.

There are heaps of reasons for this: Oatly drinks are GMO free, made in Europe (so kind of more local for me), nut-free and soya-free for any of you allergic people out there, and their marketing is pretty darn cute. (‘Wow, no cow!’) And as they say, ‘It’s like milk, but made for humans.’ That, right there, is why I’m vegan. Cow milk was made for cows, plants were made for animals and people to eat. In the UK they have several flavours available: Original, Organic Original, Chocolate (definitely my favourite) and Chai (haven’t found it in my local Sainsbury’s yet), and of course Organic Creamy Oats.
Wow no cow collage
On a Sunday  morning after a late night shift I made myself a heavenly Chocolate Oat Milk Frappé with Oatly Chocolate Drink and Oatly Cream. I can’t think of a better way to start the day! I’ve also made myself a simple Amaretto hot chocolate with Oatly chocolate drink: just two ingredients heated in a pan make for a delightful nightcap.
OATLY frappe 1

 

Maca Chocolate Frappé with Oatly Oat Drink

  • Servings: makes 1 large serving
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2 bananas (frozen)
1 cup Oatly chocolate milk
2 ice cubes
1 tsp cashew butter (optional)
a shot of espresso OR 1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp cacao powder
a dash of Oatly cream, to serve
cacao and cinnamon, to serve

Place the frozen bananas, chocolate milk, cashew butter, espresso, cacao and maca powders in a high-speed blender and blend till smooth. Add the ice cubes and blend for a few seconds, until the ice is crushed but still lends some texture to the drink.

Pour into a large glass. Add a dash of Oatly Cream, dust with cacao and cinnamon. Enjoy immediately.

Using Oatly Organic I prepared this scrumptious lemon sugar crêpe for breakfast. I found the oat milk has a delicate flavour, with a barely perceptible sweetness (even though no sweeteners are used in the formula).
OATLY crepe
I’ve been using Oatly the Original in my smoothies, porridge and baked goods with great success. It binds ingredients well, has a subtle flavour, and provides a bit of extra fibre too. Oatly Cream is one of my favourite new products; if you happen to be intolerant or allergic to soya and/or don’t like coconut cream because of its distinct flavour, you should try Oatly Cream! The non-distinct flavour means it won’t overpower other ingredients in your recipes and similarly binds well. I’ve made an orgasmic amazing mac ‘n cheese using Oatly Cream.
OATLY mac n cheese
All in all I’m really pleased with Oatly products and will definitely be buying them again in the future. The Oat Cream especially because it doesn’t have that distinctive soy flavour that soya cream or coconut cream have.

Have you ever tried oat milk before? What have you made with it? Leave me your suggestions below, I’d love to share recipe ideas with you!

Disclaimer: I was endorsed for the products reviewed here but as always all opinions are my own. Oat milk rocks. Drink it up. 

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Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Cashew and Almond Butter Chocolate Smoothie Bowls – 2 recipes

Freedom!!! I want to yell, Braveheart-style. This Wednesday I handed in my last assignment. Done. No more essays, no more presentations. But like William Wallace, I’ve only fought one battle, and the big one is yet to come: the dreaded Dissertation. IMG_1686 But I’ve earned a week of respite before I start researching, analysing and writing again. Oh and I’ve got myself a new part-time job. No rest for the wicked… At least I will always have chocolate. Raw, nourishing, soul-soothing, super creamy chocolate. Everyone is raving about smoothie bowls these days, making the healthiest and most colourful creations, but I’m happy with a bowl of liquid chocolate for breakfast. I’ve earned it. IMG_1693 IMG_1687 I bought my cashew butter from Sainsbury’s but you can make your own, of course. You needn’t add protein powder, as I have; there are more notes on adaptations you can make at the bottom of this post.

Creamy Cashew Butter Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

  • Servings: serves 1
  • Print

2 bananas a handful of spinach
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp lucuma powder
1 scoop protein powder
250ml (1 cup) almond milk
1 tbsp runny cashew butter
pistachios and grated zest of an orange to serve

Save a few slices of banana for the topping. Blend the rest of the bananas, cacao, lucuma, protein powder and almond milk till smooth. Pour into a bowl and top with the banana slices, a few pistachios, cashew butter and orange zest. Enjoy immediately 🙂

IMG_1655 You know I’m a convert to coconut sugar by now. I just love its butterscotch flavour, and what better way to enjoy coconut sugar than with a bowl of chocolate smoothie? It all looks a bit brown, granted, so feel free to add a pop of colour with some juicy berries, nuts and seeds, or goji berries. Get creative, and if you decide to recreate the recipe, snap a photo and share it, I love to see your creations! IMG_1656 IMG_1660

Chocolate Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl

  • Servings: serves 1
  • Print

1 banana
1 apple a handful of spinach
250ml (1 cup) almond milk
1 tbsp almond butter (runny)
1-2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp lucuma powder
a dash of cinnamon powdered stevia (optional)
coconut sugar for sprinkling

Slice the apple and banana. Save a few slices for the toppings. Blend all the ingredients except the slices for the toppings and the coconut sugar. Pour into a bowl and arrange your toppings. Sprinkle over some extra cinnamon and some coconut sugar. Add an extra drizzle of almond butter if desired.

You could use avocado in these smoothies instead of apple or banana, or reduce the amount of almond milk to make it extra creamy. Other topping ideas are nuts, seeds, cacao nibs, goji berries, chopped dates, peanut butter, berries, … this is not an exhaustive list. These recipes are pretty versatile so feel free to tweak it as suits you.

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What’s your favourite smoothie bowl recipe?

Love and cookies,
thevegancookiefairysignature-2

Blueberry & Pumpkin Seed Butter Smoothie

Hello again! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and Boxing Day. I enjoyed a few lovely days with my family; I was in charge of vegan food and my mother looked after the omnivores (so basically everyone but me). I’m currently making my way through the enormous pile of leftovers in my fridge – oh happy days!

I’ll keep it short and sweet today. I got some pumpkin seed butter last week while I was in Planet Organic – where I spent a disgusting amount of money I didn’t have on food I promptly gobbled up – and tried it in just about everything I could (including on a spoon, straight from the jar). It was lovely on plain old toast, but you know me, I like adding nut butters to smoothies – and now seed butters, too!

This one is creamy, luscious and just perfect for the post-Christmas calm after the storm. I’m looking forward to a few days of peace and quiet, having a clean kitchen again, reading Harry Potter while I’m sipping on this smoothie, and just relaxing. 


a handful of frozen blueberries
1 banana, sliced
1/2 tbsp pumpkin seed butter
almond milk
1/4 tsp spirulina
1/4 tsp powdered stevia (or a drizzle of maple syrup)

Place all ingredients in a blender and whizz till smooth and creamy. Top with some dried goji berries and toasted shaved almonds for extra pizzazz. Drink immediately.


How was your Christmas, busy or quiet? What are your post-holiday plans?


Luxurious Cardamom Hot Chocolate.

I was having a really effing awful day when I sat down to write this introduction. The night before I had suffered a tiring 7 hour journey home from London via delayed trains and bus replacement services  and made it home five minutes late for Downton Abbey only by the grace of a rapid taxi driver (which only cost me £4 – gotta love Scotland). Then, on the day that I write this, I had another gruelling battle with my bank, via automated telephone calls and a time-consuming trip into town, but resulting, happily, in me receiving enough money to be able to eat. I shan’t name the bank I was with, nor the one I have now changed to, but I am ever so glad to be rid of the former. 
 
I then had to get to university for a meeting with my personal project tutor, and some much needed studying. Delays, delays, delays. I abhor them. I got myself a hearty lunch of no less than two baked potatoes suffocating under a lava stream of baked beans, followed by a much-deserved mocha before heading to the library. The barista made it extra chocolatey. I could have wept with gratitude. 
Some days you feel that no amount of chocolate will alleviate your sorrows. You’re wrong. Chocolate is always the answer, and if it isn’t, then it’s soup. Whatever the trouble, I always know that I can find the perfect meal to combat it; though the meal itself may not erase your problem instantly, it can at least pep you up a bit. And sometimes that’s just the best you can do.
The Cookie Monster described this hot chocolate as ‘tar’. The Cookie Monster is Irish and therefore does not know real chocolate when he tastes it. He thought it was more appropriate as a sauce for ice cream; and though it would serve that purpose nicely – especially in times of bottomless heartache – it is. not. tar. It is hot chocolate as they would serve it to you in Vienna; it is the stuff of dreams. If you grew up on Cadbury’s powdery, watery “hot cocoa” I don’t blame you for your ignorance, but I will tut if you don’t educate yourself. So drink up your tar and be quiet. 


Serves two


500ml (2 cups) almond milk, unsweetened

40-50g (1.75 oz) dark, sultry chocolate

6 cardamom pods, 8 if you like it quite spicy
a wee drop of coconut oil, for extra smoothness
a drizzle of maple syrup, if you must
Break open the pods and grind them to a fine powder with a mortar and pestle.
In a saucepan, scald the milk and ground cardamom. Take off the heat, drop in the chocolate, and let it sit for a minute. Lovingly swirl the milk round in the pan until the chocolate blends in. If you wish to add any coconut oil, now’s the time.
Sweeten if you are not used to the darkness of the chocolate. Omit if you feel brave.
Serve immediately in pretty china cups. Enjoy on its own for the full experience of the sultry, slightly spicy chocolate. 


Let the hot chocolate debate begin – where do you stand: powder or melted chocolate?

Spiced Pumpkin Hot Chocolate – My Favourite Autumnal Drink

It has now been a good 5 weeks since I started my degree at the University of Stirling and I can safely say it was an excellent decision to come here. The campus is gorgeous, I get along great with my classmates, the course is engaging and challenging… what more could I ask for? One of my classmates is American, so naturally with autumn/fall rolling in with great gusts of wind and billowing golden leaves, the topic of pumpkin puree came up. 

I got some funny looks when I mentioned how I put pumpkin puree in my hot beverages. Apparently in  the USA, all the pumpkin drinks don’t actually contain any pumpkin at all. 

Go figure. 

Well, rules were made for breaking. And besides, real pumpkin puree is what makes this autumnal beverage so deliciously smooth and silky. Read chocolate pieces ensure utter sultriness and the spices are guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart. You simply can’t survive autumn without this drink. 


Serves one

200ml (2/3 cup + 2 tbsp) unsweetened almond milk
20g (just under 1 oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 tsp dark cocoa powder
1 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 tsp maple syrup
¼ tsp allspice
In a small saucepan, gently heat the chocolate pieces, the pumpkin puree, cocoa powder, maple syrup, allspice and a little of the almond milk, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients into a smooth paste.
When the chocolate starts to melt, gradually pour in the almond milk, stirring all the while. Keep stirring until the hot chocolate is utterly smooth.
Pour into a mug and drink immediately. 



In case you didn’t know, I co-host a wonderful radio show called You Cannae Call Her Fanny every Tuesday from 5.15pm-7pm on which I talk about my Recipe of the Week; and every Friday 1pm-3pm I take part in the Air 3 Radio Book Club. We’re talking about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows) this week – join in the conversation

Cacao Kick-Start Green Monster {Green Monster Series}


Do you sometimes wake up wanting chocolate for breakfast? Me too. No shame in that.

Especially now in the winter months – the winter months in Scotland – when I want a smoothie for breakfast that will have the same filling, warming effect as a bowl of piping hot porridge, I make my green monster extra thick so it’s like a milkshake. Cacao makes it wonderfully comforting. Frozen bananas tend to make your smoothies creamy but also cold, so add warm water to counter their effect. 

 


Oh and serve it in a mug. It makes me feel like it’s Christmas morning and I’m having hot chocolate. (I didn’t do it when I shot the picture. But I wish I had. I always do now when I make this smoothie.)

Serves 1

2 tsp maca powder
2 tsp lucuma powder
2 tbsp cacao nibs
a small handful of raw cashews, soaked overnight
a handful of kale
1/2 tsp powdered stevia
about 250ml (1 cup) warm water
1 frozen banana
2 tsp coconut oil (optional)

Blend all at high speed till utterly, sumptuously smooth. Curl up on the sofa and sip joyfully, preferably with a cat on your lap.


Need more green monster inspiration? More on the series {here}


Homemade Cashew Milk

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you might already know that I am obsessed with homemade cashew milk. If you haven’t tried it yet, your life simply isn’t complete. 


Cashews are so naturally creamy, it makes them perfect for all sorts of vegan creams, milks, puddings and other creamy sauces. They contain naturally occurring fats that are healthy – nay, essential – for a glowing skin and generally healthy constitution, not to mention many important minerals.

Don’t forget to soak your cashews – any nuts, actually – because soaking them breaks down enzymes that your body cannot digest easily. 

Now a lot of people will say that you can’t make nut milk without a nut milk bag to strain the pulp. Well I used my good ol’ sieve and guess what? Perfect results. So no need to go and buy nut milk bags, you can just use a plain sieve (or sifter, or strainer): simply pour the blended milk through the sieve over a glass bottle, scrape down the sides of the sieve with a spoon to help as much liquid as possible go through, and you will be left with nut milk pulp in your sieve. 

I kept the pulp and blended it again with a cup (250ml) water and a pinch of stevia, and that made some more milk. Simple. Strain again through the sieve, and with that pulp, you could easily make a type of pudding or add it to your morning porridge or smoothie to make it creamier. Waste not want not!


Makes around 1.75-2l (7-8 cups)

250g (8.8 oz.) raw cashews, soaked overnight
1.5l (6 cups) filtered water
1 tsp stevia (powdered)

Blend all the ingredients at high speed until totally smooth. It will be liquid but a quick taste and you will see it is still rather creamy.
Place a sieve over a large bowl (at least 2l/4 pints) and slowly pour the milk through it. Scrape the sieve with a spoon to help the liquid pass through. You should be left with a thick and grainy cashew pulp. 

This step is optional: blend the pulp with a pinch of stevia (just 1/4 tsp will do) and another 250ml (1 cup) of water. Repeat the sieving process. 

Pour the cashew milk into as many jars as you need, depending on their volume, and store in the fridge. It will keep for three days.