Monday, August 22, 2016

Tigernut Strawberry Milkshake!

Super foods are little wonders of nature that we should consume as often as we can. Some are quite common and known to everyone while others still wait their moment of glory. By now everyone is familiar with the benefits of quinoa, kale, and hemp among many others. However, I don't know how many have already heard about the benefits of tigernuts or had the chance to try them. Recently, however, tigernuts are receiving more the exposure they deserve.

Tigernuts are not a modern-day invention; in fact they have been around for thousands of years. Their name is a bit misleading as they are not nuts but small plant roots or tubers. They are nutrient rich, packed with resistant starch and vitamins like C and E.

Luckily for me, Spain is one of the main producers of tigernuts, locally known as Chufa.
Horchata, which is the name of the milk or fruit juice extracted from tigernuts, is seen everywhere when Spain's hot summer settles in. 

I don´t know why but this drink is linked with summer. Though you can find it all year long, it's really popular in this season, perhaps because it's so refreshing, delicious and nutritious.  

Horchata can be simply made at home if you have tigernuts. You just need to use 250 g of tigernuts that have been soaked overnight to which you add 1 liter of water. Process in a blender and pass the mixture through a sieve. Refrigerate and serve cold. You can add sugar if you want but I find tigernuts to be naturally sweet and do not need any extra sweetness. 

Horchata is delicious as it is, but you can always spice things up with delectable and refreshing flavors. This time I decided to flavor the horchata with strawberries and cinnamon. The drink was not only delicious, but also extremely refreshing. What's more, the drink is nutritious and helps you recover during those hot summer days!

I hope by now you are tempted enough to try this refreshing drink. If so, here are the ingredients you need to prepare enough for two:  
  • 250 ml tigernut milk
  • 100 g strawberry purée
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 10 ice cubes
In a shaker, combine all ingredients, and shake for about a minute, pour into a glass, sprinkle some cinnamon and serve immediately! If you don't have a shaker use a jar, then strain the mixture!


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tropical Panna cotta!

Spanish summer is not for the faint of heart, especially in the Spanish heartland away from the coast. Temperatures sometimes exceed 40 C in Madrid. With such hot weather, I avoid traditional baking and I satisfy my sweet cravings with fresher desserts that are quick and easy to make.

An Italian classic, panna cota, which means cooked cream, is one of these easy desserts that are made ahead of time and served chilled: just what you need on a hot day!

The basic recipes calls for three main ingredients. To this base you can add whatever flavor you want. I went for tropical flavors in the form of mango and passion fruit. Mangoes add a mellow and sweet flavor to the panna cota, whereas the passion fruit gives the dessert fresh and tangy notes.

These 2 amazing fruits work perfectly with the creaminess of the panna cotta and this will give you a refreshing and delicious dessert that you can even make several days ahead!

For 4 servings you need:
  • 400 ml 35% cream
  • 40 g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 4 sheets of geltaine (about 7g)
  • 50 g mango purée
  • 2 passion fruits pulp

First, break the gelatin sheets and soak them with cold water for about 5 minutes.

In a sauce pan combine sugar, vanilla and cream and let them simmer on a gentle heat for few minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside. Drain the water from the gelatin sheets, add them to the cream, and whisk to make sure that the gelatin melted completely. Divide the mixture in 2, add the mango purée to one half and the passion fruit pulp to the other. Pour the mixtures to the serving pots and let them chill for at least 4 hours.

When you´re ready to serve decorate the pots as you wish. I decorated the passion fruit pots with mango flowers and the mango ones with passion fruit pulp!

And now you are ready to serve a cold, refreshing, fruity and gluten free dessert! Enjoy!