Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Almond Milk, and a recipe book from school days...

Did you soak your almonds?
I was busy today so mine soaked for 24 hours instead of 12 - this doesn't matter though, as they began to sprout and that's so much healthier again!
You'll see that the almonds are lovely and plump once the water is drained away...
The next step is to remove them from their paper-thin wrapping. You need to pour boiling water over the almonds, and then ask your children to 'pop' the almonds after the water has cooled for a few minutes.
Blossom loves to pop almonds so I gave her the job tonight...
They just slide out so easily, but beware because they can go shooting all over the kitchen if they are pointed upwards! We had a lot of laughs tonight as almonds jumped skywards around us. 
Once you have all the almonds popped, place them in your blender with around 5 cups filtered water.
 Blend them on your highest setting for 2-3 minutes.
Line a large bowl with a fine metal strainer, and a piece of clean white cheesecloth...
...and pour half of the almond milk mix in. Stir to separate the milk from the almond meal. 
When most of the milk has strained through, pour in the rest of the milk from the blender. Pull up the sides of the cheesecloth carefully and twist the top around - this releases the milk much faster and easier into the bowl.
When you have squeezed all the milk you can from the cheesecloth, discard the almond meal inside (most of the nutrients are in your milk now), and rinse your cheesecloth under clean running water. Allow to dry and you can reuse next time.
Pour the almond milk into a container, and if you like you can add some natural vanilla essence.
Another lovely way to flavour it is to add a few medjool dates to the almonds and water before you blend. This gives you a sweet almond milk.
Almond milk can be used in so many ways, the same as you'd use cow's milk. I have it on cereal, in smoothies, bake with it. It's fantastic if you need a dairy free diet, but anyone can use it because it has loads of wonderful nutrients and it's better for us to obtain our dietary needs from many and varied sources rather than just the same old few. 
I'll do up a pdf of the recipe later and add it to my sidebar for you. :-)
Tonight's dinner was a wonderfully tasty Beef Casserole and Dumplings....
...and for dessert? A Chocolate Pudding, made from a recipe in the same recipe book I learnt to cook from in High School 35 years ago! All organic ingredients this time, though. :-)
Do you remember these cook books from school?
Tonight I'm going to soak some flour in yoghurt, preparing it for breakfast muffins in the morning. I'll share the recipe next time if you like?
Healthy hugs
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