Saturday, August 24, 2013

Nut Milk - No More Dairy!

There are more people than not who have serous food allergies to milk, including lactose intolerance (the inability to digest the natural sugars in cow’s milk). In addition, dairy milk is mucus forming, high in sugar and fat that is not easily processed in the human body. Although cow’s milk is high in calcium, in order to make it safe for human consumption it is pasteurized and processed with additives and chemicals. The nutritional value is considerably decreased. Plus, ingesting all those additives and chemicals are harmful to one’s health. “Do you still think milk does a body good?”

Almond milk and nut milks have been used for centuries, even longer than cow’s milk has been used. It is high in protein content and was able to keep stable longer during a time when refrigeration was non-existent. Almond milk is indisputably nutritious with little to no saturated fat and no lactose. Almonds are a rich source of B vitamins, E, and minerals – including zinc, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, copper and iron, making it a perfect choice for brain health. Almond milk also has the closest flavor profile to that of dairy milk, making it a great alternative for all dairy lovers.

Although there are many brands of almond milk on the market now, these products are usually high in sugar and preservatives, which defeats the purpose of drinking almond milk as an alternative. Making almond milk is super simple, and requires very few ingredients. The nut milk can be made in bulk, stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight glass container for up to five days. Once it starts to separate, it’s time to throw it out and make some more.

I have written articles on the benefits of making your own nut milk both in my books and my blogs. Almond milk, as well as other nut milks can be used to make a variety of dairy-like foods such as cheeses, yogurts, creams, and ice creams.  Making nut milk is also a lot of fun. Here are a few basic Almond milk and nut milk recipes that have been previously published by me. Enjoy!

Raw Almond Milk
Ingredients:
1 cup raw almonds (soaked for 8 hours) 2-3 pitted dates ½ tsp. non-alcoholic, organic vanilla extract 1 tsp. lecithin granules (optional) 4-5 cups purified water

Preparation:
Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high until super smooth and white. Strain the nut milk through a cheese cloth into a bowl, squeezing as much of the milk liquid out as possible. Set the pulp aside to use later in recipes. Milk is ready to use. Store fresh nut milk in the refrigerator in an air-tight glass jar for up to 5 days.

Chocolate Raw Cashew Milk
Ingredients: 1 to 1 ½ cups raw cashews (soaked 2-4 hours) 2-3T raw cacao or raw carob powder 1T raw coconut butter (optional) 3-4 pitted dates ½ tsp. non-alcoholic, organic vanilla extract 1 tsp. lecithin granules (optional) 4-5 cups purified water

Preparation:
Place all ingredients (except for raw cacao and coconut butter) into a high-speed blender and blend on high until super smooth and white. Strain the nut milk through a cheese cloth into a bowl, squeezing as much of the milk liquid out as possible. Set the pulp aside to use later in recipes. Milk is ready to use.  

Place nut milk back into the blender and add the raw cacao and coconut butter. Blend on high until super smooth and well combined. Chocolate milk is ready to serve. Store fresh nut milk in the refrigerator in an air-tight glass jar for up to 5 days.

Recipes extracted from Go Nuts! “Almond Milk, The Natural Alternative To Dairy!” (Article Reprint, Raw-Riffic Happenings! Issue 8/15/09, e-Newsletter)




Almond Milk Crackers
So now that the milk is done, and you have all this almond pulp, let’s make crackers! “Waste not, want not!” Almond “pulp” crackers.

Ingredients:
Leftover almond pulp
1/2 cup ground flax seeds or chia seeds
1/2 cup (more or less) purified water
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3-4 chopped, pitted dates
dash of sea salt

Preparation:
Combine all the ingredients in a big bowl, and mix well. Allow the mixture to form a dough. Spread the dough over dehydrator trays. Score the dough, making square shapes. Dehydrate for 12-18 hours, flipping over half way. Dry until crisp. Let cool and store in an airtight container or baggie.

Serving suggestions:
Spread coconut butter over crackers, avocado, raw honey, or eat as is.

Now you have milk and crackers, and no waste!