I knew the change was coming...in fact there were two significant changes...both my MILK and CEREAL choices.
I love cereal! Up until about a month and a half ago I was choosing Nature's Path Heritage Flakes. To me it is about the best you can get for a pre-made store bought cereal. I have a very busy lifestyle including a day job and a commute AND I'm given'r with Pura Vida Performance and the Pura Vida Mavericks and loving it. HOWEVER, I have limited time! I'm sure you can relate to this in some way with your life as well. We are BUSY bees!
What sort of spurred this all on was the fact that I was a bit low energy and I also noticed that I was having issues with clearing my throat a lot in the morning. AND with being a "holistic" nutritionist, I believe that we can eat most foods in moderation. When I stepped back and took at look at what I thought could be the culprut of my "ahemmm" issues it was a total no-brainer. DAIRY!! I was having dairy every day with my breakfast and coffee!
I originally went to the health food section of Zehrs and had a look at all the almond, coconut and rice milks on the shelf to see what was in them. My oh my have they changed over the past few years my friends! There are now 10 ingredients in Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original almond milk. Yikarumba! I thought to myself, it's high time to start making my own!
Believe it or not, up until a month ago, I had never taken the time to make any nut milk of any kind ever before. Whaaaaaaaaaaat?!?! Yes it's true (said sheepishly). :)
I always thought of it as a BIG production and boy was I wrong. It's takes a whopping 10-15 minutes with an overnight to 2 day soak time to soften the almond which is easy peasy. Now THAT is totally doable in my books. If you agree then lets get on with it!
But before we do, even though we have busy lives, we have to be sure to take care of our health because without it what do we have. Small steps like these are great investments in our health and the health of your loved ones.
How To Make Homemade Almond Milk
1 cup raw almonds, preferably organic
4 cups water, plus more for soaking
Pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp maple syrup (you can use unpasteurized honey or coconut sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (other options: nutmeg, unsweetened cocao or vanilla)
Bowls (big enough for your strainer to rest in - see pic above)
Blender (high speed preferably)
Fine-mesh nut bag or cheese cloth
- Soak the almonds overnight or up to 2 days. Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with about an inch of water. They will plump up as they absorb the water. Let stand, uncovered, overnight or up to 2 days. The longer the almonds soak, the creamier the almond milk. If you are soaking them for more than a day, place them into your fridge.
- Drain and rinse the almonds using your strainer. Drain the almonds from the water they have been soaked in and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water. You will see that the water is pretty dirty. This is an important step as there are anti-nutrients from the outside of the almonds in the water. Anti-nutrients are on the outside of most nuts and grains and are known to block the absorption of nutrients.
- Combine the almonds and water in a blender. Place the almonds in your high-speed blender and cover with 4 cups of water.
- Blend at the highest speed for 1 to 2 minutes. The almonds will break down into a very fine meal and the water should be white.
- Strain the almonds. Line the strainer with either the opened nut bag or cheese cloth and place over a large bowl. Pour the almond mixture into the strainer.
- Press all the almond milk from the almond meal. Gather the nut bag or cheese cloth around the almond meal and twist to close. Squeeze and press with your hands to release as much almond milk as possible. You should get about 4 cups or enough to fill a 1 liter mason jar.
- Sweeten to taste. Taste the almond milk, and if you would like a sweeter taste, add one of the sweeteners mentioned above to taste.
- Refrigerate almond milk. Store the almond milk in sealed containers (preferably mason jars) in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
- Using the leftover almond meal. Almond meal can be used in your breakfast to go with your almond milk, smoothies and in baking.
Also, please note that you can change it up by using other nuts like cashews or hazelnuts. Mmmmmm!