Saturday, October 5, 2013

Homemade Almond Milk

Here's the thing: I was uncomfortable so much of the time, I didn't even realize how much the dairy was affecting me. It had control over me! It's so creamy, amazing and potentially crispy crunchy, how could I not put it on EVERY dish I made for the family? How does one stop pouring cream into their coffee and live with it? How does one stop consuming dairy products when they sell them? AND what choice did I have but to bring home the things that were over the "sell by" date? It pained me to throw out perfectly edible goodness. Oh, I suppose I should have figured out a way to donate items to folks that needed food. But I didn't. I suffered the pains of eating the delicious evil.

Flash forward 2 months: Can you even conceive that black coffee or coffee with almond milk is palatable? Actually, I'm so addicted to the wonders of coffee, that I DON'T CARE what color it is. Close your eyes and it's all the same on the inside. And it wakes me up, that's the important part.

My reflex to put cheese on anything and everything still exists; I'm working through that issue, just like all the rest. It's a change of mindset really. Once I removed the offending dairy from my diet, a couple bites of lactose can upset me for days. It's not worth it. I want to feel good AND be healthy.

In light of the recent changes in diet I've undertaken and in an effort to banish as much processed food from my life, I started making my own almond milk! Yes, I make my own almond milk (unless I forget to soak the almonds) and it's very easy (unless I forget to soak the almonds)!! It can be a bit messy if you don't have the correct size bowl under your sieve (or you try to strain it directly into a jar like I've done), and it does separate since there's no gum of any kind to homogenize it (oh no!). It lasts about 7 -10 days (usually less in our house since it gets used up so fast). Kids and husbands may turn their noses up at it at first since it's a bit of a thinner consistency, again, because there's no gum to thicken it. Also, unless you are used to unsweetened almond milk, you'll need to sweeten the milk a bit for the kiddos. I blend up some dates with the almonds to solve that issue.

Here's the recipe: 

1 cup almonds 
4 cups water
1/2 cup dates

Soak almonds in water for 24-48 hours, 48 is preferable but if you *ahem* forget to soak the almonds, 24 will do. 

Drain soaked almonds and put in blender. Add 4 cups fresh water to blender and the 1/2 cup of dates. Blend for 20 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, then blend again for another 20 seconds. Drain through a mesh sieve into a bowl that it fits over. Pour milk into a jar, cover and refrigerate. Let the almonds drain thoroughly and save for other recipes (yes, I'll post those too, soon). Sometimes, we put a tiny bit of cocoa powder in the blender with the almond milk and make some frothy cocoa milk for the kid. 

So there you are! Easy peasy! 


About Me

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With a degree in Restaurant Managment and Nutrition and a background in and love of the culinary arts, Jess is able to whip up delicious yet nutritious meals. She gardens extensively and uses what she grows to feed her family not only during the summer and fall but throughout the winter and spring by preserving and freezing the fresh produce. She is committed to growing, buying, and eating as much local food as possible. She started this blog to spread information about eating locally and its benefits. She also wanted to have a forum to share the recipes she uses and the stories she writes. She would love the opportunity to be able to share this knowledge to increase the amount of people using local and organic products.
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