Aubree Holmes, here, with a few fun ideas for the day before Valentine’s Day, better and more recently known as Galentine’s Day.
I’ll admit, I’m new to this concept of Galentine’s Day, but I am all for making space to spend quality time with friends. We all need reminders that we are grateful for one another, so why not take this unofficial holiday as an opportunity to spoil your gal pals with a fun gathering and maybe even a little treat to take home with them.
Here’s what I propose: a Strawberry Matcha gathering.
This doesn’t need to be anything big or super planned out. Just set out a few easy appetizers and ask your friends to bring their favorite sweet treat to share. When they arrive, gather around the table to make these fun and nutritious recipes:
Iced Strawberry Matcha Lattes with Salted Date Walnut Milk
First, you’ll want to make the Salted Date Walnut Milk. Prepare the walnuts ahead of time by soaking them for a minimum of four hours. The longer they soak, the creamier the milk will be. This is an important step because it ultimately makes the milk easier on the digestive system. More details on how to make this are in the recipe below. If you’d rather skip the process of making milk together, you can absolutely use store bought non-dairy milk.
Whether it be for dairy sensitivities or a desire to eat anti-inflammatory, nourishing foods, non-dairy milks are everywhere. The trouble is that many options you’ll find at your local grocery store have added refined sugars, gums, and other additives for the sake of flavor and shelf-life. This ultimately negates many of the reasons for using non-dairy milk in the first place. As with anything pre-made, I always recommend checking the ingredient list and choosing options that use whole food ingredients.
Now, onto the matcha! If you’ve come to my house, you’ve most likely been offered a matcha. I’m a big fan. Matcha is traditionally made ceremonially with just water. The westernized versions, on the other hand, are often served as lattes. I like to add different flavors to mix things up.
That being said, the ceremonial element to the preparation and savoring of matcha comes with a beautiful element of intention, not to mention, the seemingly endless benefits it provides when consumed. Not only is matcha a wonderful source of antioxidants and energy (without the jitters), it is said to be excellent for the health of one’s brain, heart, skin, immune system, and digestive system. For bonus points, matcha is mood-balancing and detoxifying.
Put that all together with a yummy homemade nut milk and delicious, bright red strawberry purée, and you’ve got yourself a festive beverage to enjoy with your gal pals.
To make things extra cute, send your friends home with a little Galentine’s present: a tin of matcha and a matcha whisk with a little note telling them one of the many reasons you are grateful for them.
With gratitude always,
Iced Strawberry Matcha Latte
Makes 1 Latte
YOU WILL NEED:
2 teaspoons matcha powder
¼ cup hot water
¼ cup room temperature water
½ cup strawberries, chopped
½ cup ice
½ cup Salted Date Walnut Milk (recipe below) or non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup, optional
In a small bowl, use a matcha whisk to briskly whisk the matcha powder and ¼ cup hot water, using a figure-eight motion to break up any clumps and create a bit of froth at the top. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, stir together the room temperature water and strawberries in a shallow saucepan over medium high heat. Stir in maple syrup, if using. Bring to a simmer until the strawberries have softened and the cooking liquid thickens to red syrup, about 5 minutes.
Pour the strawberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl, using a spoon to press the softened strawberries through. Pour the strawberry mixture into a drinking glass. Add ice, followed by the milk and cooled matcha. Serve right away.
Salted Date Walnut Milk
Makes about 3 cups
YOU WILL NEED:
4 ½ cups water
1 cup raw walnuts
2 dates, pitted
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon mesquite powder, optional
½ teaspoon lucuma powder, optional
Place the walnuts, dates and 2 cups of water in a bowl and let soak for a minimum of 4 hours (the longer they soak, the smoother the milk will be). Drain the water and rinse thoroughly.
Place the walnuts, dates, remaining 2 ½ cups of water, mesquite powder and lucuma powder in a high-powered blender. Blend on high until fully incorporated and smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Place the strainer of your choice (fine mesh sieve, cheesecloth or nut milk bag) over a large bowl or serving container. Slowly pour the blended mixture into your strainer. Using a spoon or your hands, squeeze any remaining liquid through. Discard the pulp that is left in the strainer.
Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days, stirring before serving.
All images via Carla Choy