On a cool fall or winter day, few things warm the stomach like a fresh vegan waffle rinsed down with a warm, frothy vegan beverage. You can even dunk your waffles just like doughnuts. Perhaps you don’t have a nearby cafe that serves both, perhaps you just want to stay at home, or perhaps you’d like to show a friend that you don’t need animal milk or cream to make a tasty, frothy treat. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to add such a cafe-style flare to your drinks, and the equipment to do it is inexpensive.
You can add froth to pretty much any drink you want, provided the flavors of the non-dairy milk and sweetener go with it. I’ve added froth to coffee, tea, hot chocolate, hot carob (quick recipe below), and even spiced apple cider.
The only piece of hardware you need is a milk frother. While a range of styles are available, I use a basic battery-operated model that can be purchased for under $10. (At that price, I might earn a few nickels from my affiliate link!) The tip has a spiral wire coil that adds air to the liquid as it rapidly spins. The more expensive ones add features such as stands with built-in rechargers, shiny finishes, or travel cases, but the frothing technology appears to be similar.
The process of making vegan milk froth is relatively simple. Fill a mug about 2/3 of the way with your favorite hot beverage, prepared just as you would normally make it. While it’s heating or steeping, put 1/4 to 1/3 cup of non-dairy milk in a second mug or cup (no need to heat it). If the milk is not already sweetened or flavored, add 1 teaspoon of agave nectar or maple syrup, and 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Stick the tip of the frother into the second cup and turn it on, starting at the bottom of the cup to mix in the sweetener and extract, and then stirring with the the tip near the surface of the liquid to froth it up. Try not to spatter your counter!
Pour the froth into your hot drink in the first cup. To add a bit of cafe-like fanciness, top with a swirl of agave nectar or maple syrup, and a few dashes of cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, carob powder, or cocoa powder.
I’ve learned a few tricks through experimentation:
- Thinner liquids seem to froth better than thicker ones, e.g., regular soymilk or nutmilk works better than soy creamer or coconut milk.
- Overdoing the sweetener will result in a faster-dissolving froth.
- Sprinkling with too much nutmeg and cinnamon will result in a faster-dissolving froth.
- Experimenting with different flavor combinations sometimes pays off. I still have many things I’d like to try, such as hazelnut milk froth on top of hot chocolate. That would go very well with a chocolate vegan waffle.
In case you don’t already have a favorite hot vegan beverage, here’s a recipe for a quick and easy hot carob drink:
- 1 cup soymilk or other non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar
- 2 tablespoons roasted carob powder
- 1 to 2 teaspoons molasses (preferably blackstrap)
Add all ingredients to a mug and stir or whisk briskly. Microwave until hot, while preparing your froth in a second mug or cup. Stir briskly again, and top with froth.