Cacao and Orange No Grain-ola with Homemade Almond Milk

, from Issue #62. April, 2016
Photography by Kelly Gibney.
Cacao and Orange No Grain-ola with Homemade Almond Milk

Grain-free cereals have become increasingly popular with the rise of the paleo diet, though this tasty and luxe breakfast will be a treat for anyone craving something a little different. Homemade nut milk is incredibly simple to make. You can substitute almonds with walnuts, cashews or macadamia nuts – they'll all will work brilliantly.


1 cup unsweetened coconut chips (also called coconut flakes)
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup almond slivers
½ cup cashew nuts
¼ cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/3 cup rice malt syrup (or maple syrup)
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
pinch sea salt
zest of 2 oranges
2 tablespoons raw cacao nibs (optional)
Almond milk
1 cup raw almonds 
4 cups water
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons rice malt syrup (or maple syrup)
½ teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
generous pinch ground cinnamon (optional)


Please note: The almond milk must be started 12 hours prior to allow for soaking time.

Almond milk: Place the almonds in a large bowl with the water and salt. Leave to soak overnight or for 12 hours. Drain nuts and rinse well.

Place the nuts in a blender with the rice malt syrup, vanilla and cinnamon (if using). Blend for five minutes until the almonds are very fine. Give the blender frequent breaks to avoid overheating.

Strain the nut milk using a nut milk bag (see below) or a sieve lined with muslin. Pick up the corners of the muslin to tightly squeeze every last bit of liquid from the almond pulp. Store the milk in a glass bottle or large jar in the fridge for up to four days.

Preheat oven to 120°C.

Combine all the nuts and seeds in a bowl and mix through the melted coconut oil, rice malt syrup, vanilla, cacao powder and sea salt. Toss well to coat thoroughly. Spread out thinly on a lined baking sheet. 

Bake for 25 minutes, tossing at least once during the baking process to prevent sticking or burning.

As soon as the tray comes out of the oven, sprinkle with the orange zest and cacao nibs (if using). Toss well. Leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight jar. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks. Makes almost 4 cups 

Pantry note: Rice malt syrup is a fructose-free sweetener made from fermented cooked rice. A rich syrup with the colour and consistency of maple syrup, you’ll find it at all health food stores and in the health section of good supermarkets. I find it is slightly less sweet than honey or maple syrup. 

Nut milk bags are available from health food stores and can be less fiddly than using muslin, though both will yield a successful nut milk.