Thursday, February 20, 2014

Almond Milk

*Updated 24 Feb 2014.

I'm all about superfoods these days. The more I learn about them and eat them, the more I fall in love with them. I recently encountered raw cacao nibs and it was love at first bite...or rather, nibble. I blame the vegans and the organic hippies, their green gospel is proliferating and their preaching is getting through me. I fear that one day, one day, I might just say no to butter and bacon! Oh, the thought gives me the chills!

Anyway, I don't think I'll be a food extremist, I'm all about balance. And I'm a gastronomic adventurer so no way I would let myself be restricted by certain food religion. Having said that, it is sensible to learn more about good food. I don't really like calorie-counting-artificial-sugar diet fad. I like whole food...real food.

Lately, I have been trading my favorite moo lattes to soy-cappuccino and have mustered the strength to say no to whip cream...and I love it! At home, I've been whipping up smoothies with fruits, nuts and seeds using soy, coconut milk and nut milk as my base. However, these vegan milk are not easy to come by around here, and when they do, they're usually ridiculously expensive! Another issue is that though they are labeled organic, some are heavily laden with unnatural ingredients and preservatives which I cannot even pronounce, thus would like to stay away from.


So to solve this problem, I make my own nut milk. Not only do I save a lot of dinars for doing so, I know exactly what is in them. And it will keep well in the fridge for a week without the need for preservatives. Best of all, it's so easy to make I don't even break a sweat!

Here's 2 of my favorite flavored almond milk, cinnamon and cacao.



Cacao and Cinnamon Almond Milk I www.haideekitchen.blogspot.com
First, you have to rehydrate the raw almonds overnight so it will yield the maximum amount of "milk". 2 cups of almonds will turn into 3 to 3.5 cups when rehydrated.

When you're ready to grind your milk, here are the equipments you will need:
1. electric blender
2. jelly strainer with stand, ( I use Lakeland Jelly Strainer kit, if you don't have one, a fine-meshed strainer and cheese cloth will do the job as well).
3. a bowl that will fit under your jelly strainer
4. dry measuring cup
5. wet measuring cup
6. measuring spoons


If you're a purist, almond and water is all you need to make a raw, unsweetened almond milk. My ratio is 1.5 cups rehydrated raw almonds + 3 cups water. Blend until you get the texture that you want then strain it. But that can be pretty...blah. So I'm sharing with you 2 of my favorite flavors, cinnamon and cacao.

Now let's get started.

Cinnamon Almond Milk




Time (from prep to finish): Under 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups rehydrated raw almonds
3 cups water
2 tbsp natural, unprocessed light muscovado sugar, add more as per your preference*
beans of 1/2 vanilla pod
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
*You can substitute muscovado sugar with pure maple syrup or dates to make this a sugar-free recipe. Use 1tbsp maple syrup or 4 pieces of dates, seeded.

Directions:
1. Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend for 2 minutes at a time until you get the smoothness/texture that you want. Taste and add sugar to your liking.

2. Pour the mixture into the jelly strainer and let the milk drip into the bowl by itself. When the flow has stopped, give it a good squeeze until all the milk has been wrung out. Discard the sap or better yer, use it as a body scrub ;-)

Cacao Almond Milk




Time (from prep to finish): Under 10 minutes

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups rehydrated raw almonds
3 cups water
2 tbsp natural, unprocessed light muscovado sugar, add more as per your preference*
beans of 1/2 vanilla pod
2 tbsp cacao nibs,  (or 1 tbsp cacao powder or cocoa powder)
1/8 tsp salt
*You can substitute muscovado sugar with agave nectar or dates to make this a sugar-free recipe. Use 1tbsp agave nectar or 4 pieces of dates, seeded.

Directions:
1. Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend for 2 minutes at a time until you get the smoothness/texture that you want. Taste and add sugar to your liking.

2. Pour the mixture into the jelly strainer and let the milk drip into the bowl by itself. When the flow has stopped, give it a good squeeze until all the milk has been wrung out.




Haidee's Kitchen
15 Feb 2014

1 comment:

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