Cardamon and Cinnamon Spiced Almond Milk

Tuesday, April 28, 2015's incredibly cold, I've been in shock this past week about the prospect of getting through a winter and it's still only autumn. After devouring salads for breakfasts these past few years I see how foolish that would be in the coming months. In a pinch a bowl of porridge with stewed apples is more like it, something warm to shake off the cold. It's okay but my big breakfast fantasy would probably be along the lines of scrambled tofu, tomato beans, grilled portobellos, and sautéed greens alongside warm quinoa. Best reserved for weekends I think. If that sounds like too much work for a morning meal then a warming glass of spiced almond milk has always kept the chills at bay. Actually it needn't be reserved for mornings and you can make it in advance as it lasts a few days in the fridge.

I first enjoyed this drink at Le Comptoir restaurant in Dubai, it was wonderfully sweet and rich. I've toned down the sweetness in this recipe, feel free to adjust according to taste. I've also been using Brazil nuts to make nut milk, (use the same ratio of nuts and water) it's smooth, creamy and tastes great with coffee. And I suspect it would also pair beautifully with cardamon and cinnamon. Amazake is a natural sweetener hailing from Japan, it's made from fermented rice. This "sweet sake", the literal translation, is often used as a warming drink when diluted with hot water in Japan. Outside of Japan it is sold in health food stores and primarily used to sweeten desserts.

Cardamon and Cinnamon Spiced Almond Milk
I love this drink hot but it can also be enjoyed cold splashed over a generous glass of ice-cubes.

3/4 cup almonds
1 3/4 cup filtered water
2 heaped tbsp amazake
1/2 inch cinnamon quill
seeds of 4 cardamon pods
ground cinnamon for dusting

Soak the almonds overnight in plenty of water. The next day drain and rinse the almonds before placing in a food processor with the water, amazake, cinnamon and cardamon. Process on the highest speed for about two minutes. Using a nut milk bag or fine muslin cloth pour the almond milk into the bag or cloth and squeeze as much milk out of the bag/cloth.

You can either heat the milk in a saucepan or use a cappuccino machine to create some froth whilst heating the milk. Best drunk piping hot with a dusting of ground cinnamon.

Serves 2.