Tag Archives: #trinidad

Dairy Alternative : Oat Cashew Milk

I have a secret. Confession really. You don’t have to sit down. Coffee is my cryptonite. Whoa! It feels good to get that of my chest. I’ve been in a bit of denial; six cups before noon is totally normal right?

Let’s be real. Haven’t we all sat in the denial  pool at some point in our lives?  I’ve done the green tea route.I love teas actually but if I had to choose between the two, it will be coffee. It always be coffee.

There is a point to this rambling. I made my usual cup of smooth, dark deliciousness but I had the urge for a creamer. My usual go-to in this instance is coconut milk. Popped the ‘fridge open…dang it! I was out. I needed milk but not from the usual suspects.

I’m just not about that life. I’m also not vegan. I just really try to avoid dairy as much as possible due to health issues. But I digress.

Oats. Those wholesome grains that usually make its rounds at breakfast, stared back at me from my refrigerator shelves. So oat milk it was. Creamer problem solved.

I added some cashew in there which adds a lovely creamy consistency. If you happen to be lactose intolerant  or  just looking to have a healthier / cheaper dairy alternative, then this “milk” can be your go to as well. So here is a super simple recipe on how to get your fiber in and have bonus benefits on good cholesterol and whatnot.

You will need:

2 Cups Oats ( I used quick oats in this recipe but I recommend Old fashion  rolled oats)

4 Cups filtered water

1 cinnamon stick (medium ) or 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp  freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 cup  raw cashew nuts ( soaked in 1 cup filtered watered for 20 -25 mins & drained)

Fine sieve and nut milk bag/ cheesecloth

Sweetener of your choice ( I used honey)

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Process:

Add oats , cashews ( and cinnamon stick if using)  to your blender. Pour in filtered water and  blend for 3 minutes until everything has been pulverized and has has become a smooth mixture.

Next place your nut milk bag into sieve and place over a large bowl to strain out the leftover pulp.  Squeeze gently; you don’t want your milk all over the kitchen floor. Trust me.

You should now be left with creamy milk. Add in salt, nutmeg, ground cinnamon ( if you haven’t used stick) and sweetener. Stir everything together until fully incorporated. You can strain again to ensure a smooth finish.

Congrats you’ve made “milk”! Moooovellous! Too much? Ok.

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Note: Do not boil this “milk” as it thickens. 

Quick tip: If you don’t have a fine sieve or a fancy nut milk bag,  a thin clean cotton cloth  lined in a colander can also be used.

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Quick Pepper Sauce

Let me start off this post by saying a very Happy Divali to my Hindu community. I get to experience a very multi-cultural country and I am grateful to be born here. With the menus that would be present at most Hindu households today – curried everything, I thought about sharing this quick recipe with you. Also I visited the market this weekend and through  bargaining aka sweet talk , scored scotch bonnet peppers...way, way, way too many.

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So in keeping with today’s theme I decided to make a quick pepper sauce. This condiment can be found in almost every household here and will definitely debut on lunch and dinner tables today. It can be purchased at local markets and grocery stores. But  homemade with fresh herbs and produce is where its at. Let’s jump in, shall we.

ingredients laid 1
blender action

You will need:

1 medium onion

20 scotch bonnet peppers ( I told y’all I  hauled)

6 leaves shandon beni

5 large garlic cloves

1 large lime

1 Tbsp salt

1/2 Tbp sugar

6 stalks fresh chives (sometimes the stalks have two coming out in this case use 3)

1 1/2 cup  white vinegar

Glass jar

Process: 

Washed all produce thoroughly. Roughly chop chives, onions and chandon beni. Add peppers, garlic, chopped herbs and onions into blender. Pour in vinegar, add salt and sugar and squeeze the juices from the lime in. Be careful with the seeds from the limes, make sure to catch them if squeezing directly in.

Cover and hit that blend/ grind button. When everything has combined, taste a little carefully. Salt can be adjusted as needed. Pour into glass jar and store in the fridge. Boom. Condiment done.

Yields:  2 1/2  cups of hot sauce.


pepper sauce shot 2

Simple Banana Mango Smoothie

You’re in a rush. I know. I understand. Our lives have become a huge to – do – list and so very little time to get things done. Breakfast. We need it. We sometimes tend to forget it. Let’s stop doing that, ok ? Yes, I do too. Totally not judging.

We all want to have something a little easier to grab and go in  the morning. Coffee is a great idea, currants roll..not so much. How about we chuck some good ‘ole fiber in.Yes?

This smoothie can totally be dinner, lunch or a snack too.Your time is limited, it’s important. I understand. I got you! Awesome..let’s go.

You will need:

2 Cups Spinach ( packaged  type)

2 Cups Water ( Coconut water works well here too)

2  Bananas, very ripe

1 mango, very ripe

2 Tbsp soaked chia seeds ( optional)

1 Tbsp  coconut oil ( optional)

A knob of ginger, peeled and diced ( optional)

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Process:

Add spinach and water into blender and blend.Next add in bananas and mango. When everything has combined smoothly add in chia seeds and blend for an additional  minute.You can add more liquid if you desire, depending on the  consistency you like. Makes 2 servings.

Adapted from: SimpleGreenSmoothie

Note : You can substitute the spinach for any favorite leafy vegetable such as kale/ romaine lettuce or watercress. You can also mix the greens when you want to switch it up!

Serving up the Perfect Cup

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“I was an internal auditor”, he chuckled heartily, “I also got tired of the competition as well” James Kendall noted, on his decision to pursue his passion for coffee.

Tucked away on the corner of Luis street and Ariaptia avenue, sits a little gem within the hustle and bustle of Woodbrook. As the doors pull open, you are instantly wrapped in a warm, comforting aroma of richly blended coffee and the biggest smiling face welcoming you in.

Kendall, the man who quips himself as the cook, bottle washer and any other title regarding his espresso bar – Perfect Cup – is behind the counter ready to serve.

His coffee bar came into realisation when he became obsessed with creating the perfect cup of coffee for himself, trying different coffees and methods to do so. With such a strong a passion for coffee, he began doing further research into this area, as a retirement project.

Having travelled abroad with family and friends, he was always amazed at the novelty of coffee and it being readily available, at any time of the day or night at coffee houses dedicated to quality.

Realising that he could create a niche market for persons like himself here in Trinidad, he decided to go to Toronto, Canada where he did a barista and coffee training learning the fundamentals of coffee and opening his own business later on.

The coffee served at Perfect Cup is indeed a unique blend created by Kendall himself and is his signature house blend.

“Coffee that is served in my bar is actually a blended coffee. Its Brazilian,    Ethiopian and Peruvian beans blended together. The Brazilian bean gives a more chocolate taste to the coffee.”

His coffee beans are roasted in Canada, New Market where he initially met the person who did the roasting at the training he attended. He decided to partner with him as the roasting technique proved ideal to be used for his business.

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While there are cafes located all over Trinidad, Kendall notes that his espresso bar isn’t one of these.

“I wanted to stay away from the word cafe, because in Trinidad, cafe tends to take the connotation of a place where one can come in and buy food. And while light refreshments are served here, coffee is the main objective.” Kendall explained.

When asked why he chose importing the bean oversees as oppose to selecting regionally, Kendall replied:

“Well it was by chance that I came across the roaster that I now use while I was in Canada. And the coffee used while training, I loved it. And that’s why I chose to use that particular roast and make it my house blend.”

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 Kendall acknowledges, the beans which are produced regionally, is limited in supply from certain countries as coffee wasn’t a major export. But his main concern was the roasting method used for his beans. He admitted that locally, he could not source a really good roaster, and so this is why his choice has been internationally as well. He however added that should he find a roaster he could work with locally, that it would be a match made in coffee heaven!

The enthusiastic Kendall also noted that he plans on working on having local cocoa for his chocolate drinks as without a doubt, Trinidad has the best in the world.

And as with any business venture, there has been challenges faced in being able to start his business, having to deal with bureaucracy of importing, to funding out-of-pocket for his own business, not taking any sort of loans to do this. All the while staying focused on having his passion turned into reality.

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Advertising, he admits hasn’t been as strong in his first year of business, though he does have a Facebook page, but he plans on working on getting his brand known and so plans have been made to handle that area this year.

As he tends to his customers, handing out steaming cups of espressos and  fussing about with customers’ orders , it can clearly be seen that Kendall is genuinely happy  not just serving coffee but also a cup of love.

“Just being able to do my own thing and knowing that my customers are looking forward to their coffee, gets me up on mornings.” He ends with a satisfied smile.

Check out the Perfect Cup on Facebook.