Smoothies & Beverages

Go Nutty For This Green Tea-Berry Latte with Creamy Walnut “Mylk”

This über-healthy alternative to traditional lattes features homemade walnut “mylk,” along with antioxidant-rich green tea and berries.

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There are so many interesting and unique things about this green tea-berry latte recipe that I hardly know where to start. What really jumped out at me when Chef Jeannette first showed it to me was one word: Synergy.

There’s a lot of emphasis in the health world these days around patterns of eating. Nutritionists are looking at combinations of foods rather than focusing so much on just one ingredient or one nutrient. And this delightful drink is a perfect example.

Think about it: Walnuts and green tea. Not a combo you might normally come up with, but that’s why we have Chef Jeannette! “Walnuts and green tea are an incredibly pleasant combo, with soft bitter notes that complement the berry layer nicely,” she says. And she’s not kidding. Just wait until you taste it.

Then there are the “mylks”—milk that doesn’t come from the traditional sources (cows and goats). Almond, rice and cashew mylk may crowd the aisles of the grocery stores, but once you’ve made your own you’ll never want to buy any of them again. First of all, they couldn’t be easier to make yourself. Second, homemade mylks are 100-percent free of thickening agents and added sugars. And finally, homemade mylks are richer, creamier, and cheaper than the store-bought kind. Need we say more?

Featured Ingredient: Walnuts

Many years ago in one of my first nutrition classes, one of the students asked what the best kinds of nuts were. The teacher answered with a clever little acronym: “All nuts are great,” she said, “but when in doubt, just think PAWs: pecans, almonds, and walnuts.”

Walnuts, especially, come recommended because they contain the highest amounts of omega-3 fats of any nuts. In addition to the other remarkable things omega-3s do for you—like help lower triglycerides and reduce arterial plaque formation—they also support brain function on a number of levels. One of those levels has to do with mood and feeling. In his excellent book The Omega-3 Connection, Harvard Medical School professor Andrew Stoll, MD, answers his own question, “Can eating more omega-3s really boost our mood?” with the statement: “The answer, based on the available scientific and clinical evidence, seems to be a cautious yes.”

Several studies have demonstrated greater attention, reduction in behavioral problems, and less “ADD-like” behaviors in school kids when they’re given omega-3s. Since it’s hard to get kids to eat fish—let alone carry it to school in a lunchbox—walnuts are a really smart idea for snacking.

Weight Loss: Walnuts may also be a tool for weight management. According to experts at Loma Linda University (LLU), eating a few walnuts (say, four to six halves) before meals decreases levels of hunger and may cause people to eat less. “Walnuts help alleviate hunger and are naturally nutrient-dense, meaning you consume many essential nutrients for a relatively small percentage of daily calories,” said Joan Sabaté, MD, MPH, DrPH, chair of LLU’s Department of Nutrition.

Nutrient Boost: In addition to omega- 3s, walnuts are rich in other nutrients. They have protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and potassium— plus about half the Daily Value for manganese, a trace mineral that’s essential for growth, reproduction, wound healing, brain function, and the proper metabolism of sugars, insulin, and cholesterol.

What to Look For: There are two common kinds of walnuts—the English walnut and the black walnut. They differ slightly in their nutritional profiles— the English variety has slightly less protein and slightly more fat. But both are great for you health-wise. You really can’t go wrong with either one.

Notes from the Clean Food Coach

Store excess walnut mylk in a Mason jar in the fridge for 3–4 days. Use it to make more berry lattes, or just enjoy as-is, warm or chilled, with a generous sprinkle of Saigon cinnamon. It also makes a great granola mylk. You can also chill the prepared berry compote and the mylk overnight if you wish to enjoy cool lattes for breakfast.

Although the protein powder is an optional ingredient, and the drink tastes fine without it, I’d recommend trying it just for comparison. Use whey or casein or egg protein, or, if you’re a vegan, pea, hemp, or soy. All will work, so experiment, have fun, and happy tasting!

To make this recipe ultra-quick, substitute 1½ cups premade macadamia nut milk in place of the homemade walnut mylk. This drink can be served warm for a comforting treat or chilled as a yummy breakfast.

Read more about alternative milks here:

 

Servings
2

Ingredients

Walnut mylk

  • 1 cup raw walnut pieces, unsalted
  • 2 green tea sachets
  • 4 cups spring water
  • Few drops liquid stevia, optional

Fruit layer

  • 1 generous cup mixed berries, fresh or frozen, thawed
  • 1-2 Tbs. raw honey or sweetener of choice, to taste

Latte

  • 1 scoop strawberry or vanilla protein powder

Preparation

  1. Soak walnuts in water to cover overnight in fridge. When ready to make lattes, heat 4 cups of water to just before boiling. Remove from heat, and add 2 green tea sachets. Allow to steep 7 minutes, and remove and discard the sachets. Set tea water aside to cool slightly while preparing other ingredients.
  2. Add berries to high-speed blender, and blend until smooth. Transfer berry blend to small saucepan over medium heat and stir in honey or sweetener of choice. Heat to just before boiling. Mixture should be thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Rinse out blender.
  3. Drain and rinse walnuts and add to rinsed blender. Add cooled green tea, and blend on high 1 minute. Strain through nut milk bag or cheesecloth, squeezing walnut pulp to extract liquid. Discard pulp or save for another recipe.
  4. If using stevia, return strained walnut mylk to blender, and add stevia to taste. Blend briefly to combine.
  5. Pour 1½ cups walnut mylk in blender, and reserve remainder for another use. (See “Notes from the Clean Food Coach above.) Add protein powder to blender, and blend briefly to combine. Divide fruit compote evenly between two mugs, and pour walnut mylk over each. Stir gently to combine before sipping.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 400
  • Carbohydrate Content 26 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 31 g
  • Fiber Content 7 g
  • Protein Content 13 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 3 g
  • Sodium Content 65 mg
  • Sugar Content 15 g