Blog : gluten free

JCN Food Intolerance Friendly Lunch

JCN Food Intolerance Friendly Lunch

This week on the blog, we are sharing a sneak peak of the food and festivities from last Sunday’s Food Intolerance Friendly Lunch. Our lovely sales superwoman Lauren Welsh, had the pleasure of attending the event and taking lots of drool worthy snaps for us to share with you. So a few more details….

When
Sunday 19th June 2016

Where
Fiamme Trattoria, Albion, Brisbane

What
A lavish 3 course lunch with options catering to various food intolerances including
egg free, cow’s milk free, gluten free and dairy free

Check out the menu:

JCN MenuWho

Pictured here are our lovely hosts Nutritionists Jessica Cox & Carissa Anne of JCN Clinic
& Chefs Craig & Nicola of Fiamme Trattoria

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The lunch was attended by 60 people with nutritionists, dietitians, wellness entrepreneurs and general foodies in the mix!

Our Involvement

Our Luz Almond Frozen dessert was featured in two of the three desserts on the day…

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Guests also received a tub of our NEW Luz Almond Milk Yoghurt to take home!

It was such a pleasure to join forces with the lovely ladies over at JCN Clinic and we are so grateful to Jess for inviting us to be involved. We can’t wait for next year!


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5 Foods to Help You Avoid the Lurgy this Winter

5 Foods to Help You Avoid the Lurgy this Winter

While our friends in the Northern Hemisphere are revelling in the warmer weather, for us down under, the cooler months have begun to take their toll (unless we have been smart and decided to escape – Hello Europe) which has also meant an increase in colds and flus floating around! Our dietitian Olivia shares the 5 best foods for keeping your immune system in tip top shape:

  1. Fresh (or frozen) fruit and vegetables – you have heard the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” –  while it takes a bit more than an apple, the fundamental concept is there! Fruit and vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes. Antioxidants in particular, boost the immune system by mopping up free radicals which attack cells. When people talk about antioxidants you will often hear them refer to the ORAC value – with higher values corresponding to higher antioxidant content. You will notice when you compare the ORAC values of F&V, a general rule of thumb is the darker the colour, the higher the antioxidant content. Blueberries and raspberries are particularly high in antioxidants so try adding them to your breakfast  or enjoying them as a snack through the day for a seriously delicious and low sugar boost to your immune system!IMG_6435
  2. Turmeric – This bright yellow coloured spice has been getting some serious airtime of late with turmeric being added to everything from your warming curry, the crumbing on your fish and increasingly as an alternative beverage to your morning coffee  (sans caffeine) with Turmeric Latte’s (AKA Golden Milk) popping up on menus everywhere. In an era of ‘superfoods’, Turmeric, a spice which has been around for centuries, has been escalated to stardom status. Curcumin, the active ingredient in Turmeric is responsible for it’s distinct yellow colour, as well as providing a list of health benefits, in particular reducing inflammation, with its benefits been comparable to that of anti-inflammatory drugs! It is also a powerful antioxidant and is a well tolerated treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. Try incorporating turmeric into your regime – we recommend a Golden Latte made on our Almond Milk for a delicious way to get the benefits!
  3. Ginger – A well known spice in Asian and Indian Cuisine, as well as being very popular in the western world, Ginger has long been heralded for its immune boosting properties. It is particularly effective for the relief of nausea and symptoms associated with colds and is best simply served as a ginger tea. Slice fresh ginger and place in mug topped with hot water. Add manuka honey and lemon for extra anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties!
  4. Yoghurt & Fermented foods – Probiotics found in yoghurts and other fermented foods play a major role in maintaining the balance of bacteria within our gut. Ensuring there is adequate good bacteria, is essential for keeping our digestive system functioning optimally as this represents the first line of defence against pathogens which ultimately make us sick. Incorporate yoghurt (try Luz Almond Milk Yoghurt) into your daily routine to give your gut a healthy boost!IMG_6469
  5. Matcha – Before there was turmeric, there was Matcha! A long standing tradition in Japanese culture, the Western world caught wind of this vibrant green powder a little while back and these days it is commonplace to see it in everything from lattes (Have you tried our Matcha Almond Milk?) to cakes, desserts and even pancakes! Matcha which literally meals ‘powdered tea’ is basically a super concentrated version of green tea, concentrated in everything from colour, to taste and health benefits. One of the main benefits associated with matcha is the buzz of energy similar to that of caffeine, but without the jittery and anxious side effects. It also rich in antioxidants (ORAC values 20 x that of blueberries) and is known to enhance mood and improve memory and concentration.Powderalmondsbottle
Chai Latte

Chai Latte

Ingredients

4 Black Tea Bags

2 cups Luz Almond Original or Date Almond Milk

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

Grind black pepper

Sweetener to taste

Method

  1. Place all ingredients except sweetener into a small saucepan over medium heat with the tea bags hanging out of the pot.
  2. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes so flavour infuses.
  3. Squeeze tea bags to release flavour, mix and then taste.
  4. Add sweetener of your choice to taste (we recommend maple syrup or honey).
  5. Serve immediately.
Fragrant Quinoa Porridge

Fragrant Quinoa Porridge

A wholesome nourishing breakfast for these cooler months! Try any variation of fruit to mix it up!

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup Luz Almond Cold Pressed Almond Milk with Medjool Dates
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries
  • ½ fresh apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp almonds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

1. Combine water, quinoa, cinnamon and vanilla in a saucepan on medium to high heat. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low and cover for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add Luz Almond Milk and cranberries then cover for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Serve topped with fresh apple, almonds and a sprinkle of cinnamon!

NB: You may like to add a tsp of honey or maple syrup to sweeten

Warm Cacao Chia Pudding

A delicious gluten and dairy free alternative to an old favourite!

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup Luz Original Cold Pressed Almond Milk
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (optional)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp rice malt syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped almonds to serve
Method
1. Combine all ingredients except chopped almonds in a small saucepan over low heat.
2. Heat for ten minutes stirring continuously.
3. Serve topped with almonds!
This nutritious and utterly delicious breakfast, packed with healthy fats, protein and antioxidants should keep you full for hours!!!
Chocolate-y Easter Tart

Chocolate-y Easter Tart

These delicious tarts make the perfect Easter dessert! For a little fun try decorating with Easter eggs or baby chickens

Serves 6

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 1 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cacao
  • 2-2 1/2 tbsp ice-cold water

Filling

  • 1 ½ cups Luz Almond Medjool Date or Original Almond Milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp tapioca flour
  • ¼ cup cacao (additional if desired)
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup (additional if using Luz Original)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

 

Method
1. To make the pastry mix together all the dry ingredients (almond meal, coconut flour and cacao) in a bowl then add to a food processor.

2. Combine vanilla, maple syrup, coconut oil and 2 tbs ice cold water. Add to food processor and blend until it forms a dough. You made need to add a little more water if it appears dry.

3. Refrigerate for half an hour then press into 6 individual 10cm diameter tart tins.

4. Blind bake on 150 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes then remove weights and cook uncovered for further ten minutes or until crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

5. To make the filling, put the tapioca flour, cinnamon and cacao in a saucepan. Add vanilla and maple syrup.

6. Whisk to combine over low heat then add almond milk and coconut milk and whisk constantly. Slowly bring the mixture to the boil and continue stirring constantly until thick custard consistency.

7. Pour into tart cases.

8. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours. Gently remove tarts from tins and serve dusted with cacao.

Crazy for Cacao

Crazy for Cacao

As known lovers of chocolate we thought we would give you some insight into the incredible benefits of raw cacao. 

Cacao, as it is spelled (no it is not a spelling mistake) refers to a dark brown powder produced by cold pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The purpose of cold pressing as we have explained previously in relation to our almond milk is to preserve the nutritional content of the bean and keep the living enzymes intact while removing the cocoa butter. This minimal processing results in a product which maintains a high ORAC ( value, a measure of the amount of antioxidants in foods. In contrast, cocoa which looks exceptionally similar is produced by roasting the raw cacao. This process damages the molecular structure resulting in a decrease in the nutritional value as many of the nutrients are not heat stable. Furthermore, the more commonly known cocoa powder often has sugar, amongst other things added in the manufacturing process.

At Luz Almond we are proud to use cacao, (as in the raw packed with goodness version), in two of our delicious products – our cacao cold pressed almond milk and our slightly more decadent cacao fudge with chocolate pieces frozen dessert.

Luz Cacao Cold Pressed Almond Milk

So why do we love cacao so much:

  1. Cacao is a rich source of flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that protect from ageing and disease. Cacao has a higher ORAC (measure of antioxidant content) score than acai berries, spinach, blueberries, red wine and green tea, giving it one of the highest antioxidant values of all natural foods.
  2. Cacao is a great source of magnesium which assists the body to process fats and proteins, as well as building strong healthy bones and teeth.
  3. Cacao also contains two compounds (phenylethylamine and anandamide) thought to act on the brain creating a feeling of euphoria and allowing cacao to act as an aphrodisiac and mood enhancer.

Definitely a few good reasons to give these delicious products a try!

Cacao Almond Milk Frozen Dessert

Quinoa Porridge topped with Panfried Cinnamon Pear

Quinoa Porridge topped with Panfried Cinnamon Pear

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2/4-1 cup water
  • ½ cup Luz Almond Cold Pressed Almond Milk with Dates
  • ½ fresh pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon plus extra for dusting

Method

1. Combine water, quinoa, cinnamon and vanilla in a saucepan on medium to high heat. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low and cover for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add Luz Almond Milk then cover for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. In the meantime, heat coconut oil over medium heat in small frypan. Place pear in pan and sprinkle with cinnamon, cook for 2 minutes each side or until golden.

4. Serve quinoa in bowl topped with pear and serve immediately.

NB: You may like to add a tsp of honey or maple syrup to sweeten

Why you SHOULD keep drinking that almond milk latte

Why you SHOULD keep drinking that almond milk latte

As proud producers of almond milk and almond based products we feel it is time we cleared something up! The arguments against almond milk are not new, no doubt it has popped up in your Facebook feed about the environmental cost or the actual percentage of almonds in your almond milk. But when it comes out of the mouth of someone whom many of your target market follow and whom you have spent significant advertising dollars with … well let’s just say a confused emoji face springs to mind!

So we are going to clarify a few points and just to make it more simple we are going to break it down as they have.

1. The water.
“It takes 5 litres of water to grow one almond!”

Yes this may be true but please put it into context! As Alissa Walker pointed out in her article ‘Seriously, Stop Demonising Almonds’, 80% of California’s water is used to grow food but we shouldn’t stop eating any fruit, vegetables or even meat due to how much water they take to grow so why are almonds now the devil?

By just focusing on the ‘water cost’ you are failing to consider the whole picture such as the social and economical value of the food we are growing with the water, not to mention the nutritional value. From an economic perspective, while almonds use 10% of the California’s water, they are generating approximately 15% of the state’s total farming value and almost 25% of agricultural exports from the state (Walker, 2015). Plus given the increasing demand for almonds which has seen prices skyrocket, almonds are bringing in significant revenue for California, $11bn of it in fact.

And what about the fact that the water is being used to provide us with a healthy food rich in protein and good fats – surely being used to create something which benefits the health of the population stands for something, right?

2. The waste.

“The almond meal is tossed when almond milk is commercially produced”.

Firstly don’t lump all commercial almond milk producers together. At Luz we actually wholesale our almond pulp to people for use in baking, plus we are always looking for ways to utilise it in product and recipe development. The fact is all food manufacturing has waste so no need to single out almond milk!

  1. The carbon footprint.

“The environmental cost of shipping almonds from US + packaging = small environmental disaster”

Carbon footprint, yes, environmental disaster – slight exaggeration perhaps? Regardless many products are also produced with ingredients from overseas so perhaps it is better to focus on supporting local farmers and industry – something we are big advocates of at Luz! We proudly use Australian almonds to minimise our environmental impact, as well as contributing to the Australian economy.

We won’t even get into the carbon footprint of the meat industry but needless to say it is huge!

  1. The dose of additives.

“Most brands are packed with thickeners, emulsifiers, sugars and other crap stuff “– you are right, we couldn’t agree more! Luz Almond milk is made simply of almonds and water without all those additives and nasty stuff. Again the fact is many manufactured products are packed with this stuff and I can assure you almond milk is not the only or the worst examples of this so it is about reading and understanding labels!

  1. The nutritional value.

Probably the most contradictory point in the whole article – on one hand we have that “most brands only contain about 2% almonds” so you can’t really benefit from the vitamin E, B2, magnesium and copper, however on the other hand it says really “we would only eat a small handful of almonds in one sitting and having two lattes on almond milk will add up to more than that”. So wait there is too many or too few almonds?

On a gram per gram basis it should be no surprise that almonds pack a greater nutritional punch than almond milk so by no means are we suggesting almond milk should replace almonds in your diet. However there are an increasing number of people looking for an alternative to dairy milk to use on their cereal or in their baking, coffee etc for many different reasons. For this, almond milk is a great alternative as it not only tastes great but also contains vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron and B vitamins. Obviously the amount of each of this is dependent on the actual percentage of almonds used in the milk but once again we always encourage people to READ LABELS and know what is in the food you are eating.

  1. The price.

“Almond milk is one of the most expensive alternatives out there” – well that shouldn’t really come as a surprise given how much almonds are these days. As a rule of thumb the most expensive brands usually contain more almonds and less of the other stuff but again read the label!

 

Our simply Luzscious verdict

Sure make your own! In an ideal world we would all love to make it BUT if god forbid you are busy or don’t own a high speed blender or I don’t know … just can’t be bothered then buy Luz…the closest thing to the homemade version!

But wait a minute … wasn’t the headline of the article ‘Sorry, but you actually shouldn’t be drinking almond milk’?

Guess your recipe books may need an edit!

 

 

Choc Almond Butter Cups

Choc Almond Butter Cups

Makes 10 small cups

Ingredients

1 block Loving Earth Dark Chocolate (80g)

¼ cup raw almonds, chopped

3 tbsp PSA or other nut butter

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup

 

Method

  1. Combine almonds, cinnamon and maple syrup in small saucepan over low-medium heat. Stir occasionally until nuts slightly golden.IMG_4626
  2. Add nut butter to saucepan and stir to combine into a thick crunchy butter.
  3. By placing a bowl over a saucepan of steaming water melt the chocolate and coconut oil, stirring continuously to ensure smooth consistency.
  4. Once melted pour a small amount into each of the 10 small patty cases to line the bottoms then place in the freezer for 5 minutes.IMG_4625
  5. Squash a small teaspoon amount of butter into each cup and flatten with smooth. Then pour chocolate over the top to cover. Place back in the freezer until set.
  6. Keep in fridge until ready to serve.

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