Okay, that was the fanciest name I could come up with. I am all for Nigerian Nomenclature with food, but after reading a lot of your comments about the Ugu Smoothie, I am taking my your advice about “packaging”. Today, of all days, I would have jetted off to a warm location to celebrate my birthday. I do it every year, but this time around, I traded a holiday for an Iphone 6. Shame on me right. Teeheeee. I looked at it, one week in a sunny location versus Iphone 6 plus, and that darned Apple won again. Holiday cancelled, I took the day off instead, (I mean who goes to work on their birthday) and decided to try out something that had been bugging me for weeks – an alternative to Soya.
I am Aunty Dunni to a special little boy who is on a gluten and diary free diet. Both of us are late November babies and in my head I wanted to bake him a cake. Oh yes, you read that right. Me, bake and not just any ordinary cake, but with special ingredients. I started searching for recipes with excitement, which slowly dwindled when I realised I probably wouldn’t pull it off. As an alternative to cow’s milk, many recipes required soya milk, almond milk, coconut milk and the likes. Soya, came out on top a lot, and people, I have a lot of reservations about Soya milk. Especially for women. It contains phytoestrogens (false oestrogen) which can mess up with your menstrual cycle. I don’t know if it is scaremongering or not, lots of things in this world will probably kill you but better be safe than sorry. After making Coconutty for Eko (recipe HERE), I made a mental note to make almond milk. As I was bringing out almonds from the freezer, I spied my honey beans which I store in the freezer to prevent weevils, and that is how this idea was born. Honey bean Milk
Usually when I want to try something new, I go online to find out if it has been done before, for many reasons top of which, it will serve as a guide when experimenting. Putting bean milk into Google was quite annoying, all I got was Soybean milk, then I changed tactics and started searching for brown bean milk, black bean milk, and Voila!!!! I came across two vegan recipes sites. One of them used white beans, and the other used Navy beans. I already knew I was going to go the soya bean milk method, but I needed validation. I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to try it out. As I am home today for my birthday, before all the dining out in the evening, I soaked some beans in water last night and tried it today. Pleased to report, it works, it is sweeeeet, the vanilla takes it from really good to AMAZING!!!!!! You can use this milk for anything, from cereals, to Ogi, (pap) to smoothies, or just a chilled healthy drink for the kids. Your kids will love this, trust me. Let’s Cook
You will need
Ewa Oloyin – honey beans
Vanilla – or you could use cinnamon, cloves, ginger, star anise
Dooney’s Kitchen Tip – you can go to town with this milk, in terms of flavourings. I am going to try using cloves next, or cinnamon, or star anise. Anything you can think of, go for it.
1. Soak your beans in enough water overnight. Leave the skin on. I didn’t want to try this with brown beans, because the flavour of brown beans is quite strong. Ewa Oloyin (honey beans) is mild, plus it is naturally sweet.
the beans should have softened and plumped up by the morning.
2. Drain any excess water and pour a couple of handfuls of the soaked beans into a blender. Top with up with enough water to more than double the level. You are not making Moin Moin or Akara here, it is a light fluid milk like Soya Milk. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: you need to leave the skin on the beans as most of the natural sweetness is found on the skin.
3. Blend till almost smooth –
4. Pour into a fine sieve, cheese cloth or fine mesh cloth and drain. The chaff should remain. Oh, don’t worry if you think what is this Dunni girl saying, this smells like I am making moin moin. I had to write that here because those were the thoughts that flashed across my mind. Don’t worry, the magic will soon begin, you just wait.
5. After sieving, you may need to do it twice if you don’t have a cheesecloth, the liquid milk should remain in the bowl. If it is too thick, dilute with a little water.
now look at that, doesn’t it look like Soya or almond milk?
6. As with making soya milk, you need to heat up this milk a little. This gets rid of most of the strong bean taste, leaving a light beany flavour, if that makes any sense. You need to heat this up slowly and stir constantly, otherwise it will start to curdle. If that happens, not to worry, just pass through a sieve again
7. Add your flavouring – in my case I use Vanilla Extract, just a few drops. If you are using cloves, cinnamon or Star Anise, add them at the start so they infuse into the milk. If you are suing any sweeteners like sugar or honey, now is the time to use it.
8. Let is warm up nicely for about 8 minutes or more until the bean flavour is no longer as strong. You can add more vanilla (or your choice of flavourings), if you so desire, this milk is like a black canvas, customise it to your taste buds. If it thickens, you can dilute with a little warm water, then pour into containers to chill in the fridge.
I got these cute small milk bottles,
Vanilla Honey bean milk – and of course, my green, white green straws that scream – Proudly Nigerian
Now off to take a good whiff of the flowers that arrived today from friends. Y’all are invited for dinner.