Month: September 2012

Hazelnut Shortbread

Yesterday I showed you how to make nut milk. A byproduct is the leftover nut pulp or meal. There are plenty of recipes that require various nut meals but for a sweet treat you can’t beat shortbread. This recipe uses hazelnut meal which was the nut I used in yesterday’s nut milk tutorial.

Ingredients:

250g butter, at room temperature
120g pure icing sugar, sifted
leftover hazelnut meal (or about 120g dry meal)
230g plain flour
200g Nutella Hazelnut Spread

Method:

Preheat oven to 180°C (or 160°C fan forced). Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Add the hazelnut meal and flour and fold to combine. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm-diameter fluted nozzle.

Pipe small spirals of dough, about 2.5cm wide, onto your baking trays.

Bake in oven until golden (approximately 10-15 minutes).

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Spread the bases of half the shortbread with the Nutella.

Top with the remaining shortbread, base-side down.

Repeat. Then enjoy your delicious creations!

Nut Milk

Sometimes I like to drink nut milk rather than dairy milk. It makes a nice change and gives my body a break if I’ve been over indulging in  cheese etc. Cows milk alternatives can be expensive, making your own is cheaper and you end up with two products- the milk and the meal. The “recipe” is the same regardless of the nuts you use. Hazelnut milk is particularly nice in coffee. You can also use rice, oats, or some seeds instead of nuts.

You will need:

1 cup of raw nuts
4 cups of water + water to soak
Blender
Sieve/muslin/nutmilk bag
Bowl or jug
1 litre bottle

Method:

Place one cup of nuts into a bowl and cover with water. Leave to soak overnight.

The next day drain and rinse the nuts and place in the blender with 4 cups of water.

Blend. I use the ‘liquid’ setting on my blender.

When you can see the nuts have been broken down and your water is ‘milky’ stop blending.

Strain the liquid to remove the nut pulp. I use a metal sieve lined with muslin. You can purchase proper nutmilk bags from health food shops or on the internet but basically anything fine will do the job. I use a sieve and muslin because that’s what I have lying around the house. I’ve even heard of people using (clean) pantyhose! Whatever works for you.

Squeeze to get all the milk.

Poor into a sterile 1L bottle.

And ta dah! You have one litre of nutmilk and the leftover nut meal (if you don’t use the meal immediately you can dehydrate it in the oven on low heat).The milk will keep for 3 to 4 days but it usually doesn’t last that long around here!

Enjoy!

Citrus Cleaner

One great way to simplify and save money is by making your own cleaners. Bicarb, vinegar etc are great however sometimes you want that little bit of extra grunt, and a lovely natural scent wouldn’t go astray either. That’s where this citrus cleaner comes in.

This is not something I’d buy citrus fruit specifically for, rather it’s really a frugal way to use every last bit of the fruit you can. My parents have an orchard so when I go up to visit them I often return with a load of citrus. We’re talking lemons, limes, navel oranges, blood oranges, tangelos, the list goes on and on. When we’re sick of eating them plain and baking them in cakes I will juice a whole bunch. Before juicing I peel the fruit with a vegetable peeler (I don’t want the thick layer of pith you get when peeling by hand) then immerse the rinds in a jar 3/4 full of plain vinegar. This simple concoction infuses for about 2 weeks and is then ready to use after being strained and diluted 50:50 with plain vinegar. The citrus oils smell amazing and have fantastic cleaning powers. It’s an effective all purpose cleaner that allows you to clean your home without chemicals and it’s oh so cheap!