Ume is actually a specific type of vinegar made from Japanese pickled plums or Umbeboshi. The vinegar has a salty, sour flavor, and is a fantastic seasoning for countless dishes. Ume is good for digestion, along with many other health benefits. It’s a staple ingredient that I always have in my kitchen.
Q: Can I use yams instead of sweet potatoes?
Yes, absolutely. Any variety of organic sweet potato or yam will work well for this dish.
Q: Any particular kind of maple syrup?
Any pure, non-processed maple syrup (Grade A or B) will work.
Q: Should this be served cold or room temperature?
Ideally, this dish should be served hot or warm.
Q: Why pre-soak the hazelnuts? Can I use crushed instead?
You always want to soak your raw nuts to dissolve the enzyme inhibitors that coat the nut. I would recommend using whole hazelnuts, as they will have more flavor for making milk.
Q: You specify a high-speed blender for this smoothie. What difference does speed make?
I recommend having a high-speed blender in every kitchen, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec. The power, versatility, and durability of these higher end brands, really make them worth the extra cost. However, if you already have a standard blender, it will definitely work for this recipe.
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