Tuesday 01 November 2011
One of the most frequently asked questions I get from new clients is, “what about milk?” Well I’m not the biggest fan of dairy, especially cow’s milk, but if any, it should be raw and organic.
The next big question is, “without dairy, where will I get my calcium?” First of all, cow’s milk is to fatten baby cows. Are you a cow? I didn’t think so. Mother Nature was smart when she left all those other food groups for us. There are plenty of excellent sources of plant-based calcium, with nuts and seeds being some of the richest in the bone building minerals. If you’re looking to reduce dairy in your diet, and you’re wondering what kind of milk substitute I recommend, the answer is always the same: nut or seed milk.
Nut milk is heavenly. It’s sweet, mild, and gentle on the belly. It’s light enough to serve as a neutral base in smoothies and soups. And best of all, it’s nutritious.
There are many good brands of nut and seed milks available, but truth be told, there’s very little reason to spend money on a store bought brand. Nut milk is one of the very easiest raw food products to make at home! Sure, if you don’t have the energy or time, a store bought brand is fine. But I think you’ll find that investing just a little effort in homemade nut milk pays off in a big way. You can adjust flavors, sweetness, and best of all, you can feel a sense of pride in having created your nut milk from scratch. And if you purchase nuts and seeds in bulk, you’ll also be able to save money.
It’s so simple and easy to make this fantastic milk. All you need is a blender and something to properly strain your milk, like a nut milk bag. There’s barely any recipe to remember — only a ratio. It generally takes one cup of nuts or seeds to three or four parts water (depending how thick you like it) to make a batch of nut milk. There are all sorts of different varieties of milks you can make using different kinds of nuts (almonds, cashews, coconuts, macadamias, etc) and seeds (sesame, hemp, sunflower, etc), natural sweeteners (dates, raw honey, maple syrup, agave, raw cane sugar, coconut sugar, stevia, etc), natural vanilla extract, raw chocolate powder, maca, spices, sea moss (for added minerals and creaminess) and much more!
One of my favorite milk is chocolate milk! I love this one because it is very creamy and delicious, as well as versatile and great for kids. Raw chocolate is great, but if you want vanilla milk, simply omit the chocolate, and if you want plain milk, omit the chocolate and vanilla.
Ingredients: (yields 5-6 cups or so)
2 cups raw almonds; blanched or whole (soaked overnight if possible)
½ cup raw sesame seeds (soaked overnight if possible)
7 cups of water (three to four parts water)
6-8 large medjool dates OR 2 tablespoons raw cane sugar (soaked overnight if possible)
¼ raw chocolate powder
1 tablespoon natural vanilla extract
Small handful of sea moss (for added minerals and creaminess)
Put the almonds, sesame seeds and dates in a glass bowl and cover with water. Refrigerate overnight. Drain, rinse, and put in a blender with 3-4 parts water, vanilla, chocolate and sea moss. Blend until smooth. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer (or nut milk bag) into a pitcher or bowl. You can strain it a second time if you would like it smoother. It’s best not to waste any food; you can add the leftover almond pulp to muffin or cookie recipes for added fibre and protein. Serve your fresh almond-sesame milk cold or store in an airtight glass jar in the refrigerator. It keeps fresh for 2-4 days. ENJOY!
If you plan to make nut milk on a regular basis, go ahead and invest in a nut milk bag! They’re cheap, convenient, and can be used again and again (unlike cheesecloth) to strain nut milks and soups.
So…what are you waiting for?! Stop dropping pennies on store bought nut and seed milks, and get blending! Once you experience the joy of fresh, homemade milks, you’ll never want to go back. Give it a shot, and let me know how it goes!