Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Project Smoothies completed

I finally finished the Smoothies chapter of Crazy Sexy Kitchen, the VegCookbook Club's first selection of 2013. Next month's cookbook has been announced: Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. 
Chai Latte
A lovely chai that is nicely spiced and warming. The drink wasn't too sweet with ginger and cardamom to balance out the dates. However, it isn't really what I think of when I think of a smoothie. Where's the fruit? In fact, I added freshly brewed black tea, taking a "Note From Chad" suggestion. This tea variation pairs well with a chunky book.
Closing the Smoothie chapter
For the Love of Nog!
This frothy, pale treat also seems like it could fall under "and other beverages." There isn't much fruit involved either, just banana and dates. For me, this was a super sweet beverage, although lighter than the "vegg nog" that I made from Nava Atlas' Vegan Holiday Kitchen. (Alas, no rum in the CSK version.) Both nogs have proven to me that nutmeg is a spice to break out year-round, not merely for holiday concoctions.     
Homemade cashew milk
Basic Nut/Seed Milk 
Finally, I used raw cashews for this homemade nut milk. This recipe produced a creamy liquid with a strong cashew flavor. I tried this milk in my morning smoothie but found it too rich and overwhelming. Instead I added small amounts to mugs of black tea and matcha.

The recipe was much simpler than I anticipated. I soaked cashews in water and then blended the bloated nuts. I wasn't able to find a proper nut milk bag for straining. (Even at Whole Foods!) Instead I improvised with some small cotton sachets* that I found at my neighborhood natural food store. After I squeezed the cashew liquid from its pulp, these sachets resembled spent prophylactics. (Just saying.)

*The bags are reusable and the packaging says they are ideal for teas, bath herbs, camping, and backpacking. Perhaps they'll come in handy for future VegCookbooking?

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