Chai Spiced Milk and DIY Plant-Milk Tips

Chai Spiced Milk and DIY Plant-Milk Tips
chai spiced milk and DIY plant-milk tips

I’m still celebrating World Plant-Milk Day (or Week, as the case may be). If you’re new to the event, and wondering what I’m talking about, then catch my post from earlier this week. If you’re ready for some advice on making your own plant milk, then read on.

Tips for the best homemade plant-milk:

  • The ratio for making nut or seed milk is 1 part nuts/seeds to 3 parts water. Use less water if you desire a thicker, richer beverage.
  • Soaking the nuts or seeds beforehand makes them easier to digest and softens them for blending.
  • Storing pre-soaked nuts or seeds in the freezer allows you to make milk at a moment’s notice.
  • You can strain your blended nut/seed milk with a nut milk bag. (I’ve heard that paint strainer bags also work but I haven’t tried them). Alternatively, use cashews as your base because they blend in fully and don’t need to be strained out.
  • Homemade plant-milk stored in the fridge between 35 and 41ºF should last up to 5 days (according to VeganMilker).

You can make plant-milk as neutral-tasting as possible so it can be used in sweet or savory dishes. But it’s also fun to add flavorings to the blender for an instant, delicious beverage. Being a huge fan of chai lattes, I like adding chai spices to my milk and either heating it on the stove or adding ice for cool refreshment.

Chai Spiced Milk

3.5 cups water (filtered is best), divided
1 cup raw cashews
4-5 pitted dates
1/8 teaspoon clove powder
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, optional
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt

Boil 3 cups of water. Add the cashews to a bowl and cover with 1 cup boiled water. Add the dates to a small bowl and cover with 1 cup boiled water. Add the spice powders to a small bowl and cover with 1 cup boiled water. Let the three bowls sit for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour.

Strain the cashews and add them to the jug of a high-speed blender. Add the dates and their soaking water to the blender. Add the spiced water to the blender. Add the vanilla, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup water to the blender. Blend on high until smooth and frothy.

Serve over ice, or gently heat in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat until warm. Serves 2.

Until next time, happy non-baking!

DIY Confectioners’ Sugar

Confectioners' Sugar

Cookie with Confectioners’ Sugar

Recently I made a treat that used confectioners’ sugar in the frosting. Confectioners’ sugar, also called powdered sugar or icing sugar, is granulated sugar that has been ground into a fine powder. It can be sprinkled over a baked good, but it also readily dissolves in liquid making it easy to stir into icings and frostings. Just be sure not to confuse it with superfine sugar or bakers’ sugar; they are ground finer than granulated sugar but not as fine as confectioners’ sugar.

So, I have taught you exactly what confectioners’ sugar is. Now I am here to offer you a method for making your own, in case you are preparing frosting while a cake cools and find that you have run out of powdered sugar. (No, of course, this has never happened to me. Or, at least, not this week.)

The Spruce Eats gives us their advice: “All you will need is a blender, measuring cup, a clean dish towel, (and) sugar. … For each cup of confectioner’s (sic) sugar needed use one cup of regular granulated sugar. … Put the granulated sugar into the blender and secure the lid. Place the dishtowel over the top of the blender to catch any powder “smoke.” Blend using the pulse method until the sugar turns to powder. This method works best in small quantities, 1 to 2 cups at a time.

If you are making even a smaller amount, alternatively you can use a coffee grinder, spice grinder, or mini-food processor. Just be mindful that the sugar crystals can scratch plastic, so consider carefully before making the powdered sugar in a plastic blender or processor.” I have a dry cup for my Vitamix which works beautifully for making powdered sugar.

Store bought confectioners’ sugar will have additives, such as cornstarch. You can opt to make your own confectioners’ sugar just in emergency situations, or you can prepare it yourself to ensure that your sugar has no additives.