Homemade Almond Milk

Per a friend's request, I ventured to make my own almond milk this afternoon.  It's been on my list for a while now and I was glad to document my little experiment.  A staple in every dairy-free home, most choose to purchase almond milk from the market.  I use to as well.  Now that I am trying to incorporate raw whole milk into my diet, almond milk has taken a backseat.  I still hold a fondness for this sweet and simple drink.  It pairs so nicely with a cookie or as a substitute for dairy in baked goods.  There is a major advantage to making your own milk at home.  You can control exactly what goes in it. If you've ever taken the time look at your store-bought almond milk, you'll have noticed many additives listed as ingredients.  Sadly, these often include sugar and starches.  Another positive comes from the sprouting involved in homemade almond milk. Sprouting raw nuts breaks down the enzyme-inhibitors in the skin and allows us to fully enjoy all the nutritious benefits nuts have to offer. Bring on the good fats!

Today, I am bringing you an easy recipe that will save you money and put fresh, frothy sweet almond milk (without any yucky additives) at your finger tips.  Walk with me through this fun process and then give it a try! Happy almond milk making!

{Homemade Almond Milk}

1 cup  Almonds, fresh + raw
3 cups Filtered Water
1 tbsp Honey, organic + raw
1/2 tsp Vanilla
Pinch of Sea Salt
Pinch of Cinnamon, optional

Very fine cheese cloth or nut bag

Soak and cover almonds in filtered water for 8-10 hours or overnight. Drain and place in a high-speed blender with filtered water and vanilla. Blend for a few minutes or until liquid and smooth. Drape the cheese cloth over a bowl and gently pour the milk through it.  Lift the cheese cloth up, strain gently and press the remaining liquid out until only the meal is left.  This is the part were you will  know if you have a fine cheese cloth. If you don't the meal will seep out. Feel free to save this meal and use for baking later. With larger batches you will have much more almond meal and can use it to bake muffins, bread or cookies. Pour your milk back into your rinsed blender.  Add a dash of sea salt and any other flavor you'd enjoy, cinnamon, cocoa, lavender, chamomile, more vanilla or leave it plain.  Once finished pour into a holding glass and chill in the fridge.   In a hour, pull it out and have a little sip.  Savor and enjoy often!

Goat Chèvre Filled Prosciutto Wrapped Dates

I began a new journey on July first. To continue my move toward a whole, balanced body I am cleaning up my food even more.  As many of you know I ate gluten-free, mostly dairy and egg-free, soy-free, peanut-free and avoided a few other random intolerances like parsley. If you eat the standard american diet this may sound crazy already... haha but if you've started looking into your health, taking the time to read about the food sold in stores these days and learned what most animals are fed before being sold to us, you understand.  On July first, after much thought and research, I decided to remove grains and processed sugar completely from my diet for a period of 6 months.  I would like to see how my body responds. If I see the results I am thinking I will, then I will most likely continue eating this way after December.  My decision s not based on the Paleo diet or other trendy food diets. If I had to box  myself in I would have to say I am learning about and leaning toward Traditional food and preparation.  If you ever have questions about why I choose to eat the way I do or want to get started on your own journey towards health, email me on my contact page.  I love chatting about food and the body. I am by no means a doctor or nutritionist, but I have some life and literature experience that I have no reason to keep all to myself. 

Sooo it's July 19th today and I am feeling good about my decision.  My weekly food intake now incorporates more good fats, organic, grass-fed meat, raw dairy, organic fermented and fresh veggies and of course peices of organic, fresh summer fruit.  I know I am providing a vital service to my body and any future generations I may be blessed to contribute towards.  Just those thoughts give me the energy and motivation to make time to shop, create and eat well. I see this as an exciting investment for the future and a solid time of growth for me. Now let me share a delicious appetizer that will hopefully spark the motivation in you. Bring this easy and quick treat to any warm, summer evening get-together and you will have more compliments than you can handle. Enjoy!

{Goat Chèvre Filled ProsciuttoWrapped Dates}

16 oz of Madjool Dates, organic + fresh
8 oz Goat Chèvre, preferably honey
8 oz Prosciutto, organic, preferably hormone/antibiotic 
Balsamic Vinegar, organic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Gently slice dates longways just enough to removed pitt.  Fill each date with a spoonful of chèvre. tear your prosciutto into strips and wrap the dates.  Evenly space the dates on an oiled baking sheet, then carefully drizzle your balsamic vinegar over the dates. I would recommend a splash for each date and no more. Bake for 15 minutes or until the prosciutto looks golden and crispy.  Remove form the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before serving.  Pair with a small side dish of flavored balsam vinegar for dipping, such as honey or vanilla. Enjoy!

Roasted Sweet Potato + Honey Brie Salad

The beauty of a vibrant and fresh plate is easy to sweep past.  We live every day so quickly. Missing the small artistic masterpieces around us. Every living piece of this world encompasses design, creative thought. I see this especially in the simple food around me.  I hope you find yourself slowly begining to appreciate the colors, flavors and aromas of the artistic dishes you encounter throughout your day.

Salads have always been a playful dish for me. With so many various combinations it's quite easy to delight the eye and the tastebud with vibrant colors and flavorful ingredients.  It saddens me when I hear others speak so negatively of this dish.  I instantly want to sit them at my table and create a unique plate specifically for their taste and pleasure, a salad they will not soon forget. I never bore of delighting others with a fresh way of approaching food.  Sharing my little knowledge and experience is a joy, when I see it give hope to the bored and frustrated eaters of this world. May this hearty salad bring you a renewed love for the greens.

{Roasted Sweet Potato + Honey Brie Salad}

1-2 Sweet Potatoes (or Yams), organic, peeled + cubed 
1 Hass Avocado, organic + cubed
1/2 Sweet Onion, organic + chopped
3-4 Tbsp Coconut Oil, organic, extra-virgin + cold pressed
1 Persian Cucumber, organic + sliced
2-3 cups Kale, organic + chopped/torn
Goat Brie, sliced
Himalayan Sea Salt, to taste
Pepper, freshly ground to taste
1 Tbsp Raw Honey
Vanilla Fig infused Balsamic Vinegar or your personal favorite

Begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cubed sweet potatoes in a bowl with 1-2 tbsp of melted coconut oil, sea salt and pepper.  Pour onto a baking dish and spread evenly.  Roast for about 40 minutes or until golden and a bit caramelized. Try to mix and flip the potatoes ever so often to complete the roast. While the potatoes are roasting, sauté chopped onions in 1-2 tbsps of coconut oil on medium to low heat until browned and caramelized. Once the potatoes and onions are done, combine all the remaining ingredients into your salad bowl, seasoning it with sea salt and pepper to your particular taste. Drizzle raw honey over the salad and pour your favorite flavor of balsamic vinegar over the mix.  Toss until evenly coated,  then serve and enjoy!


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