Pick Me Up (Recipe): Super Easy To Make Ice Cacao Drink with NO SUGAR!

Pick Me Up (Recipe): Super Easy To Make Ice Cacao Drink with NO SUGAR!

Ice Cacao Drink Recipe

A few weeks ago I went to this really cute cafe that was essentially a WALKING VIDEO AD for a wholesome lifestyle. By this I mean every single person that hung out there was clear-skinned, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I was grabbing a coffee for my mum and I wanted something nice to drink for myself, but not coffee since I’ve been off that since my 40 day practice  which was, gosh, ages ago!

Anyway, my beady eye spied the iced cacao drink on their menu and it turned out to taste exactly like Milo! I’m not going to lie, I have a soft spot for Milo where my childhood memories are. We don’t keep it in the house because we don’t keep sweets or snacks or any type of processed food. My Dad has a separate storage area for his snacks but that’s a different story. My Mum was always really strict about what I was allowed to eat when I was growing up and despite my Grandma’s best efforts to sneak junk food into me (like Swenson’s ice cream after ballet class!!!!!!!!!!) those habits are locked in. I’ll have the occasional sweet treat or fried food but I feel better when I’m eating nourishing foods. But MILO, yas, I remember the taste of Milo so when I had a sip of this cacao drink it blew my mind. BUT I was kind of weirded out by JUST HOW MUCH it tasted like Milo… how did it get to taste so sweet? Have you ever tried pure cacao? It’s BITTER. It does not tasteth like chocolate milk. Probably all those antioxidants in it. Methinks there was some form of sugar in it. I couldn’t tell from the menu. It’s like those chai lattes you get from some cafes. They’re made from a concentrate and have milk poured on top. So nice and easy to drink but I wasn’t going to regularly order something that was sweetened beyond my control.

Plus it cost a lot you guys! $5!!!

I did some mulling over and turns out, this is super easy to make and you can totally save your pennies. Buy me flowers to say thanks or something with the money you save haha.

And even though I didn’t use sugar or dairy, it kind of tastes like chocolate milk! Success!

Tip: This is a great go to if you’re trying to replace your coffee habits with something else. Just don’t go crazy and have 3 – 5 glasses a day ok! One a day is plenty!!

Ice Cacao Drink RecipeIce Cacao Drink Recipe

RECIPE

You’ll need:

Almond Milk – half a glass

Cacao Powder – 2 tablespoons

Honey – 1 tablespoon

Ice Cubes (unless you prefer a hot drink)

Boiling Water 

*If it’s possible, use organic ingredients. Make sure the almond milk is UNSWEETENED, that’s kind of the whole point of doing this, right? If you don’t like to use honey, try maple syrup. 

Ice Cacao Drink Recipe

Method:

All you need to do is heap in the cacao powder into a heat proof glass with the honey. Once you add in a splash of boiling water and mix, you have your concentrate. Super easy! I don’t like to heat up honey but I make an exception in this case.

Top up with ice cubes, or if you want your drink to be hot then fill the glass up 3/4 with hot water – you’ll want to have warm almond milk to fill the glass the rest of the way up. 

Pour almond milk over the ice and stir. 

DONE!!! (Keep the change!)

Ice Cacao Drink RecipeIce Cacao Drink RecipeIce Cacao Drink Recipe

P.S. I also like to add in supplements like magnesium oil. Since I’m drinking, right? Just do a quick scan of your supplements to see if they can be mixed beforehand, usually they just don’t mix well with dairy.

Anyway I hope you enjoyed that, if you tried it out, let me know what you think! x

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Ice Cacao Drink Recipe

Happy New Year! 

Happy New Year! 

I’m celebrating the New Year with breakfast in bed and icy pops in total silence.

SUCH BLISS

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How was your New Year’s?

It’s been a really hot couple of days over here. Unbearably hot! I may have mentioned that I hardly sleep due to the pregnancy, did I? Well, I don’t sleep much, which is ok! But when the thermostat hit the high 30s the last few days and refused to drop back down during the evenings, I got so uncomfortable. Honestly I spent all night and early morning of New Year’s Eve Eve staring at the weather app on my phone haha. I’ve always run a little warmish, in Traditional Chinese Medicine this is known as having excessive internal heat, and that last night definitely finished me off.

I woke up on New Year’s Eve voiceless which was terrible timing since we had a whole bunch of people coming over. I figured I’d spend the day just listening but it seems that some days the more you want to listen to people, the more they want to hear you speak. This was even after B had gone around to everyone stating firmly that I had completely lost my voice and couldn’t speak. Oh well. The people want what the people want. I stuck everything drinkable in the chiller to keep my voice croaking on. I was so miserably tired from not sleeping, feeling so horrible with my painful throat and just completely under the weather that I felt like I might weep. That’s when I excused myself for 11 minutes to go meditate. I say to people all the time that meditation helps. Sometimes I forget that I should add, “But you need to keep at it.” So even though I had meditated at 3:30 am when the weather app said it was 34degrees (celsius so people who live in farenheit countries aren’t like, “What is your problem?” haha) I obviously needed to give myself some kind of boost. And it did the trick! My throat was still a little sore but my voice felt stronger and I had enough energy to get me through the afternoon until everyone went home happy with full bellies. Awwwww…..

In the evening time B and I just hung around at home nibbling on leftovers, watching the last bit of Home Alone. And staring at the baby bump. I don’t know if other parents are like this but we’re obsessed with staring at it. We watch it the way people watch movies. Also, is it Christmas if you don’t watch Home Alone?! B and I are the same age so even though we didn’t know each other back then we both remember watching Home Alone as kids thinking, “I’d so do that.” The weather was starting to cool down and even get windy so just before the midnight fireworks we drove down to the beach to hang out for a while. On the way home we picked up some icy pops which I had BIG NEW YEAR’S DAY PLANS FOR.

The oatmeal I didn’t even have to cook. Well, I cooked it the day before and because I never get the portions right, I just stored what was left in the fridge to have with fresh strawberries in the morning, cold. SO GOOD.

I’ve been asked a few times how to cook oatmeal. ??? Usually the packages that the oats come in will say something like cook for 5 minutes. There isn’t much to it but I know that a lot of people really have no confidence when it comes to anything beyond boiling water for tea. No worries!

Basic Oatmeal My Way:

Ingredients

Whole rolled oats – these days you can even get organic. Let’s say a handful per person.

Enough water to cover the oats in a small saucepan.

I like to add a good shake of ground nutmeg and cinnamon when I’m cooking the oats.

Method

Bring the oats in the water to a gentle boil, keep it on a low heat – oatmeal tends to bubble up really quickly and then spill over all over your stove when you turn your back on it. So keep the heat low so you don’t miss it. When the oatmeal starts to bubble, keep stirring so it doesn’t stick, you might add a little more water if you feel like it looks dry. Once you can’t see the water separate from the oats, that’s it. It should look like flaky mush. Makes sense? Let’s say it should be done in around 3-5 minutes. You can’t OVERCOOK oatmeal although it could dry out. 


To serve you can add honey or maple syrup and a splash of your choice of milk. You could cook the oatmeal in milk instead of water to make the oatmeal extra creamy. 

Like I said, if you made too much, it’s fine! Just put your leftovers in the fridge. Easy. 

Processed with Rookie Cam

Do you have any resolutions for this year? I wrote something last year about having a Peaceful New Year’s Eve . I was thinking to myself yesterday that even though I’m bringing in the New Year not feeling 100% that everytime my baby kicks, it makes me smile and I have no complaints. There have been some moments in 2016 that were really, really tough and horrible but there have also been many moments of joy. Isn’t that just life though? I think overall I faced things as peacefully as I could and I’ll try harder again this year. Every year I get a little calmer and at ease with peace, I hope!  I think if I had just one resolution to make this year it would be to just focus on being the kind of person that I look forward to spending time with.

And that person would conveniently have messy hair and eat icy pops in bed hehehe.

White Cotton Knit Dress from Kmart;
Nail Polish from Essie in Pink Diamond 

Make that REALLY messy hair. I’m wearing a cheap cotton knit dress that I found in KMART for $6. So comfy for sleeping! Although as my bump gets bigger, the dress gets shorter. It’ll be a singlet by the time the baby is due.

Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful end to 2016 and that 2017 will bring you lots of peace.

x

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Easy Recipe: I don’t even like noodles but I can’t stop eating these. Plus Chinese Vocab!

Easy Recipe: I don’t even like noodles but I can’t stop eating these. Plus Chinese Vocab!

“These are amazing. What did you put in here?” he mumbled through a mouthful.

My childhood memories.

There are certain things that you can’t get at Chinese restaurants. You gotta go to someone’s home, sit in their kitchen and watch as wheat noodles are boiled, drained, tossed in sesame oil and then stir fried with some simple vegetables.

THE BEST.

You gotta.

I don’t even like noodles! So go figure. Ok that is a huge generalisation – I like rice noodles, spaghetti and those glass noodles made of green beans. But when my mum cooks noodles this way, I can’t get enough.

超级简单清炒面 | Ultra Simple Stir Fried Noodles

Vocab:
超级 (chāo jí) Super/Ultra
简单 (jiǎn dān) Simple
清炒 (qīng chǎo) Stir Fry
面 (miàn) Noodles! (the character doesn’t include the exclamation point but I just get really excited talking about food)
Doesn’t matter how many times I read the instructions on the back of the packet, I’ll always cook noodles for a small group of 10. Come over for dinner?
Or do it yourself:
1. Cook appropriate amount of noodles (ahem)
2. Drain noodles and toss with sesame oil and let cool, lift the noodles to let the steam escape. You don’t want the noodles to stick together. THIS TAKES AGES. Alternate arms and repeat. FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

lift and toss
3. Stir fry veggies – heat the oil, then add in your crunchy veg, the less crunch stuff and then your flavourings.

(OIL, CRUNCHY, LEAFY, SAUCEY or OCLS which is not helpful at all, sounds like some kind of college and actually makes things worse?)

I like using coconut oil and then for flavouring I add chilli, white pepper, sea salt. I like my food light but you can add soy sauce of course. Also, I can’t eat too much soy products. IF you were to use soy sauce, get yourself a good quality ‘Light Soy Sauce’. Don’t just grab that bottle of soy sauce with the red pouring cap thingy, there is an entire world of soy sauce out there. I used to take people on tours of Asian supermarkets and we stood in the sauce aisle for ages discussing all the different flavours you can make. A world of soy sauce.

Tip: When stir frying veg, you want the pan to be HOT and you want to move FAST so the veg still says crunchy and the colours stay vibrant. Leafy greens can be thrown in last as they will cook so quickly.

I love when I get a bit of char on my veg. Just a little, not too much. It’s either a sign of a good hot wok OR a wok that needs washing. Let’s all agree it’s the first thing, ok?

Another tip: When adding your liquid flavourings, such as soy sauce, pour AROUND the sides not onto the stuff. And don’t go crazy, you can check later when the noodles go in if you need to add more to adjust the flavour. You want to be able to taste the strands of noodles that you just spent forever tossing with sesame oil. Not a mouthful of light soy sauce. The noodles are THE MAIN EVENT.

Oh, my mouth just filled up with saliva. Man, I love food!

4. Hurl everything together in the pan and toss somehow. You may want to add more sesame oil. The sesame oil just makes the noodles SO fragrant and helps with movement.

Oh, remember that sauce aisle? Get yourself a good quality sesame oil too. You should be able to SMELL the fragrance wafting from a sealed bottle. And it should smell like nothing on earth compared to the regular cheapo version.

I’m not asking you to sit down in the middle of the supermarket and taste test all the different varieties of sesame oil. Just have a sniff, don’t get the bottle too close to your snoz because that grosses people out. Once you get yourself one that smells amazing you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about and you will look back at the cheapo one you used to own and laugh and move on to bigger and better and brighter things.

Confession: My noodles were still a tad clumpy, I was too slow to get them out of the boiling water and I needed to let them cool a little longer but I was HUNGRY and my arms were bored with tossing. So it was go time! Hahaha. They were still AMAZINGLY tasty. This is meant to be an easy fool-proof recipe for hungry/lazy anyway, and turns out, IT IS! Trust! You WILL be triumphant, no matter what!

H-H-Ha-Happy days.


5. Eat and eat and eat (ABOUT TIME!)
🍜

If you have leftovers, they taste so good chilled!

Here’s another version that my mum did whilst she was in town to visit me. She used shredded omelette with shredded carrot and a little bit of spring onion. Again all done with the above steps and it was AMAZING. I want my Mommy now. And I want those noodles back in my life right now. Excuse me whilst my heart and stomach have a quick weep. Pretty much the best meal of my life. (I know, could I BE more dramatic?)

Goes with everything

Those prawns were the size of my plate and they were so good and also they were about $10 each. I’ve never spent that much money on something that came wrapped up in A LEAF. But they were SO GOOD. Saving up my pennies to one day buy one more.Simple is best

Look how shiny.

*DROOLS ALL OVER KEYBOARD AND SHORT CIRCUITS LAPTOP*

Ok, if you think shredded omelette is a great idea but who can be bothered, just fry an egg and slide it on top. I love when the yolk is still a little gooey and it MINGLES with the noodles.
With fried egg

Or just you know, whatever. They’re good any which way.

Plainish; with shredded chicken (or really just one shard because I got really lazy and really hungry); or with a fried egg.

 

Super Easy Stir Fried Noodles

It’s 9:30 in the morning and I must go get myself some noodles for breakfast. According to TCM it’s great to have warm meals.

Don’t quote me, I WILL manipulate random pieces of information to suit my wants. (I call these my convenient theories, of which I have many)

And right now noodles: I WANTS IT.

Enjoy and chat later! If you tried making these, lemme know! xx

 

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Sunday Feels – The Healing Power of Taking Rest

Is there anything better than waking up to rain against the window pane at the end of a busy week? Not only a rainy day but a rest day for me. I still woke up hella early as usual but gosh, it felt like luxury to have all those hours. Today is a Moon Day and I am looking forward to taking rest from my usual morning yoga practice.

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The constantly changing weather seems to be wreaking havoc on my body and after croaking my way through teaching this week, I could feel my voice leaving me for a well-earned vacation. Somewhere warm, I imagine. There was an ad years ago that showed a couple discussing where they would go for a holiday. The woman decided she would go to Phuket or somewhere like that and then the man promptly said he would go to Bali. Kind of reminded of that right now. Plenty of warm water and an early night seem to have done me the world of good today. Rest is always the crucial thing for me. If I don’t get enough of it, my body reminds me soon enough and then it will MAKE me have to take rest. I made some goals for myself this year and my body seems to have come up with a goal of its own for me – to take more time to rest.

breakfast in bedWhat do you do when you get the day off?

I like to shower and get into my comfy home clothes, make a simple brekkie, perhaps apply a face mask, laze around reading books, think about a late lunch, more lazing, perhaps even take a nap?! Already I feel so much better than I have in days! It is so important to find time to rest. Later on I will do a little light stretching, some Pilates exercises. It’s still important to get the body moving! If it is to be a rest day like today, then I won’t do much in the way of chores, but I will wash any dishes and the towels. It feels better to know that the kitchen is clean and tidy. And later on I will be glad when we have fresh towels. Food will be the really simple kind. That seems to suit me best. Here’s what I ate so far:

Breakfast: Avocado on multi grain bread. I like to smear what is left in the shell on my face which as it dries seems to tighten my skin. Such an easy face mask, and afterwards when I finally remember to rinse it off my skin feels incredibly silky. I walked around with a green face for an hour before I remembered to go splash the avocado off. But not before I took the rubbish out and said hi to my neighbours. Nice.

Lunch: I’m avoiding anything oily or too salty so as not to upset my throat. And I am just crazy about turmeric in all my food so I steamed some rice with turmeric and garlic. After the rice was perfectly cooked, I lifted up the lid, threw in some green vegetables, cracked an egg, and tossed in some white mushrooms. I’m so chill right now I can’t recall what they are called exactly, possibly oyster mushrooms? Anyway, I close the lid so the steam doesn’t billow out and instead stays inside and perfectly cooks all those toppings. This is one of my favourite ways to make a meal and I’m glad my body seems to love this type of food too.

steam powered

A few years ago I was working as a lawyer for a construction company, and all of us, and I truly mean the entire legal department, went through a phase of being obsessed with the hot chips from the cafe downstairs. They were so delicious we couldn’t get enough! Of course we completely overdid it one afternoon and I went home with the most terrible headache. I was so thirsty and all I wanted was steamed broccoli. When I went back the next day I found out I wasn’t the only one with a hot chip hangover. Yikes!

Back to my lunch. So, after a few minutes of gentle steaming the white of the egg is glossy and opaque, that’s when I know it is perfect. You may like your egg a little more firm but I like the yolk to be slightly oozy. My grandma used to make me gooey eggs like this and she would tell me it was my mum’s favourite way to eat eggs, and she called it “suo suo dan“; “dan” being the word for egg and “suo suo” being the action you make when you try to slurp up the goo. I still describe my eggs like that to this day. As to flavour, I just dash a very small amount of light soy sauce and sesame oil over the top. You can add white pepper, chopped chillies, coriander, but I’m happy with this and so is my tummy. Can there be anything better than having a warm feeling in the belly when it’s raining outside?

What nice things will you make for yourself to eat this weekend? xx