A zingy sweet and floral breakfast smoothie to wake you up in the morning. Packed full of nutrients, this raspberry cashew smoothie is almost guaranteed to put a spring in your step.
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New year, new me, new you, perhaps. Veganuary is a good time to explore plant milks. And what a coincidence, there’s a splendid new book out which will help you do just that. Read on for a review of Plant Milk Power by Dr Aparna Prinja & Shital Shah. You’ll also find a recipe for a delicious raspberry cashew nut milk smoothie.
For the second year running I’m taking the Veganuary challenge. I’m over a week in now and I’m loving it. This book along with the raspberry cashew smoothie has helped, but I just find it really exciting to come up with three meals a day that are entirely vegan. So far this year I’ve posted a recipe for roasted hazelnut bliss balls, but do watch out for some more substantial recipes further down the line.
Plant Milk Power
Authors Dr Aparna Prinja and Shital Shah debunk the myth that plant milks are difficult to make. Their book, Plant Milk Power: delicious, nutritious and easy recipes to nourish your soul is stuffed with gorgeous recipes for easy and quick to make vegan milks and smoothies. There’s no need to strain or sieve anything. How fabulous is that?
From the title, I was expecting worthy recipes for conventional nut milks such as my hemp seed milk. But Plant Milk Power is actually a lot more interesting than that. The premise is that they are delicious drinks in their own right. Yes, you could add them to hot drinks or your cereal, but that’s not the real point of them. I haven’t tried to use them this way as they are sweetened with dates and I prefer my conventional milks to be unsweetened.
As the subtitle suggests, the milks and smoothies are meant to be nourishing to both body and mind. So they taste good, look good and are healthy too. Dr Aparna Prinja is a professional nutritionist and Shital Shah runs a nutrition-based catering business. So I reckon their credentials for coming up with nutritious and tasty recipes are sound.
In Love with Plant-Based Milks
As well as recipes for various nut and seed milks, there are lots of what I’d call light smoothies. As you can see from the front cover, these are beautifully coloured and range from green to yellow to pink to purple. If you like green tea, I can highly recommend the matcha, chia and almond milk. My matcha is a bit past its best, so the photo below is not as vibrantly green as it should be. But it was still a great way to start my day. I’d definitely call it a smoothie rather than a milk though. The chia seeds made it quite thick.
The base recipes for the plant-based milks are interesting too. They not only include the usual suspects, but you’ll find pistachio milk, oat milk and sesame seed milk amongst other less obvious ones. As for the smoothies, you can go safe, as in this raspberry cashew smoothie. Or you can go wild. The baobab, cacao, almond, chia and sesame seed calcium punch has just got to be tried.
Walnut milk is my new favourite thing. I was expecting it to be a bit bitter, but not at all. It’s absolutely delectable. You can see a photo of one I made further down the post.
At the back of the book, you’ll find an ingredient section. This not only tells you about linseeds, for example and their health benefits, but also shows a photo so that you can easily identify them. Possible allergies and intolerances are not forgotten either.
Standard nuts and seeds are covered in the first section. Although oats are a grain, they have a place too. The second section covers ingredients that are used both for flavour and health. These include baobab, cardamom, maple syrup, moringa and saffron. The final section is all about fruit. These have also been chosen for their health benefits as well as their flavour.
Although some of the ingredients take a bit of effort to find, many of them are everyday ones that you can buy anywhere. Many of the recipes require nuts or seeds, dates and water only. Oh! Don’t forget that pinch of kelp, if you so desire. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read on.
Plant Milk Power: delicious, nutritious and easy recipes to nourish your soul */ Dr Aparna Prinja & Shital Shah. Published by Meze Publishing in paperback with an RRP of £15. ISBN – 9781910863411.
If you like the sound of Plant Milk Power, head down to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the chance to win a copy.
What I Really Liked
I have to say I’m completely in love with this book. It’s just perfect for jumpstarting that healthy new year, whether or not you’re vegan or participating in Veganuary. Even if I get tempted by less healthy foods later in the day, I like a nutritious start. I also like my breakfasts to be interesting. There are so many good ideas in Plant Milk Power that I feel completely inspired. I can’t wait to get going with almond, cacao, chicory and walnut milk. Sadly, I threw out my chicory powder when I was having a clear out a few months ago. I wasn’t using it so thought the compost heap needed it more than I did. Oops!
There are lots of good tips too. I’m already incorporating some of them into my morning smoothie. Iodine is one of the nutrients often lacking in plant based milks. It just so happens that kelp is full of it. So if you add a pinch to your morning milk or smoothie, it’s going to help. When I remember, which isn’t very often, I take a kelp supplement. But I’d far rather add it to a smoothie than take it on its own. It doesn’t affect the taste, so that’s an added bonus as far as I’m concerned. I’m not a fan of the flavour.
Plus there are simple drink ideas to kickstart the day that are a lot healthier than coffee. As I may have mentioned, walnut milk is my new favourite drink. Every recipe sounds delicious and the photos are appealing. There are lots of pictures, so the book gets extra brownie points for that.
What Could Be Better
Really, there’s very little I can think of to improve Plant Milk Power. The main issue I have with the book is that it’s a paperback. I much prefer my cookery books to be hardbacks as I find paperbacks get tatty really quickly. Especially if they’re used as often as this one is likely to be.
The other niggle is that with my librarian’s hat on, I want and expect a recipe book to have an index. It makes it so much more useful. Whilst the book only has 43 recipes in it, it’s still quicker to go to an index to look for recipes with raspberries in, for example, than it is to trawl through the page of contents.
Plant Milk Top Tips
You need to be organised. Every recipe requires overnight soaking of the nuts or seeds. I haven’t tried nearly as many of the recipes as I otherwise would have done as I keep forgetting to do this. Activating the nuts and seeds is key to these nourishing milks and smoothies.
You will need a power blender to make the plant milks in these recipes. An ordinary blender just won’t cut it. You need a machine that’s able to grind the nuts and seeds up finely enough to make a smooth milk.
As a Froothie ambassador, I have tried a number of power blenders. By far and away the best so far is the new glass-jugged Froothie Evolve*. I much prefer to blend in a glass jar as I’ve always been a bit wary of plastic. The Evolve is powerful and has a vacuum function so that the nutrients don’t oxidise. See my power blender review for more info on this. This makes your plant milks even more nutritious.
Having said that the Nutri Force* is a powerful little blender which is the perfect size for the milks and smoothies in Plant Milk Power.
Raspberry Cashew Smoothie
It’s a rare occurrence for me to buy fruit and veg out of season. But when I spotted some reduced raspberries recently, I couldn’t resist. Raspberry cashew nut milk smoothie was one of the recipes in the book after all. Gosh, I can’t wait until the raspberry season so I can guzzle this again. Plus there’s a couple of other raspberry recipes I’d like to try. The raspberry and tiger nut smoothie has my name written all over it.
As you can imagine the combination of raspberries and cashew nuts is a really good one. The cashew nuts make for a particularly creamy milk and the raspberries provide colour and punch. But the ingredient that got me particularly excited was the addition of rosewater. As anyone who’s been following me for a while will know, I adore the combination of rose and raspberries. Initially I was tempted to use my rose syrup instead of rosewater. But I wanted to stay true to the recipe and not use refined sugar, so in the end I went with the ingredients as stated in the recipe.
These include lemon zest. What a lovely addition this is. And why haven’t I thought of using it before? It brings a bit of extra vibrancy as well as flavour. And lemon and raspberries are another good combination.
So, once you’ve soaked your cashews overnight, it’s just a case of whizzing everything up in a power blender. So simple and so quick.
Alternatively, you can add chia seeds and transform your raspberry cashew smoothie into a ‘Turkish Delight’ chia bowl.
Stay in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you get hold of Plant Milk Power or try this recipe for raspberry and cashew nut smoothie, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on your preferred social media site and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
Plant Milk Power. PIN IT.
Raspberry Cashew Smoothie – The Recipe
Raspberry Cashew Smoothie
- 6 cashew nuts (about 9g)
- 150 g fresh raspberries
- 2 dates
- 1 tsp rosewater
- ½ organic lemon – zested
- pinch of kelp powder
- 110 ml fresh water
- Soak the cashews in 60ml water overnight.
- In the morning, remove the cashews from the soaking water and place them in a power blender. Discard the water.
- Add the remaining ingredients and whizz until you get a smooth smoothie. I used the smoothie function on my Froothie Evolve, then gave it an extra minute at speed 7.
I’m sharing this healthy and delicious raspberry cashew smoothie with The Peachicks Bakery for #CookBlogShare.
Plant Milk Power Giveaway
Meze Publishing is offering one Tin and Thyme reader a copy of Plant Milk Power. To be in with a chance of winning, please fill in the Gleam widget below. You will need to leave a comment on this post, answering the question, which then gives you additional chances to enter if you so wish. Gleam will pick a winner at random from the entries received. If you are commenting anonymously, please give me some way of identifying you as I will be verifying the validity of entries. Any automated entries will be disqualified.
This giveaway is only open to those with a UK postal address. Winners will need to respond within 5 days of being contacted. Failure to do this may result in another winner being picked. Leaving your details gives permission for them to be passed on to Meze Publishing should you be a winner in this giveaway.
Prizes are offered and provided by Meze Publishing and Tin and Thyme accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of said third party. Tin and Thyme reserves the right to cancel or amend the giveaway and these terms and conditions without notice.
Closing date is Saturday 8 February 2020
Thanks to Meze Publishing for the copy of Plant Milk Power. They did not expect me to write a positive review and all opinions are, as always, my own. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon and Froothie Optimum products*. Links are marked with an *. If you buy through a link it won’t cost you any more, but I’ll get a small commission. Thanks to my readers for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging.