Almond Milk Made at Home

Almonds are one of humankind’s most beloved nuts. Compared to all other nuts, they are the most packed with nutrients and beneficial components. They are high in protein and filled with B vitamins, magnesium, copper and vitamin E. This milk is my son’s favorite. He insists I make it for him every week!

Ingredients:

2 cups of raw almonds

8 cups of filtered water

4 teaspoons vanilla essence

4 tablespoons of agave, maple syrup, honey or stevia to taste

4 pitted dates (optional)

Supplies:

Blender

Nut-Milk Bag

Large bowl

Pitcher to store your milk


Preparation
:

First, soak your almonds overnight for at least 12 hours. The next day, discard the water, rinse your almonds and place them in the blender with the water, vanilla essence, agave and pitted dates. Blend for about 3  minutes. If you have a small blender, you will need to do it in two batches. Then, add the mixture into the nut-milk bag and squeeze the milk directly into your bowl. Transfer to your pitcher and refrigerate. You can either compost the remaining almond pulp or add it to your oatmeal, smoothies, and muffins. From personal experience, my milk keeps fresh in the fridge for at least 1 week.

Golden Granola

There’s nothing like a crispy, sweet and warm granola. I have tried every commercially made granola, even the fancy organic ones, but nothing compares with a homemade granola where you can use the best and freshest ingredients, oils, and sweeteners. It’s so easy. It just takes 10 minutes of prep time plus oven time. Everyone in my household knows when the granola is in the oven, because it fills up the air with a delicious spicy aroma of ginger, cinnamon, and maple.

Ingredients:

3 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup raw walnuts, coarsely chopped (or almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans)

1 1/2 cups golden raisins (or black raisins)

1/2 cup sesame seeds (or wheat germ)

1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey)

1/4 cup olive oil (or canola oil, melted coconut oil)

1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients very well, then add the oil and the maple syrup. Mix again. Spread the granola evenly in a large baking tray and bake for about 45 minutes. Stir after the first 20 minutes. Once cool, place the granola in air tight glass containers and enjoy with your favorite milk, yogurt or by itself.

Note: I use olive oil, and trust me, my granola doesn’t taste like olives. But you can use any oil you prefer. Also, if you don’t like your raisins crunchy, add them at the end.

Morning Glory Smoothie

My everyday breakfast for many years now consists of a delicious, creamy smoothie. What I put in my smoothie changes according to the season and my mood. Typical ingredients I use include bananas, fresh fruits, dates, unsweetened plant-based milks, freshly squeezed orange juice, tahini, nut butters, whole seeds and raw cacao. Ever since I started to have morning smoothies I have more energy and I hardy ever get sick.

Here is a guide to prepare your own smoothie:

Base: Start with 2 cups of your favorite plant-based milk like soy, almond, coconut or you can use instead freshly squeezed orange juice.

Fruit: Pick at least 3 fruits: 1 banana and 2 cups of mixed berries, mango, pineapple, papaya, peach, kiwi, etc.

Seeds: 1 tablespoon: Choose 1 or 2: flax, hemp, chia seeds. Note: unless you have s super powerful blender, you need to grind your flax  seeds using a coffee grinder right before adding them to the blender. You do need to grind chia or hemp seeds.

Extras: For creaminess: 1 teaspoon tahini, almond or peanut butter.

Boosters: (optional) 1 teaspoon raw cacao and  a couple of pitted dates.

Pure and Simple Salad Dressing

Making your own salad dressing has many benefits: You get to use the finest and freshest of ingredients, it is a great way to avoid unnecessary packaging and you save money. No matter how healthy the salad dressing you buy is, most of them still have poor quality oils, stabilizers and additives and the containers become difficult to recycle due to the oil contents. I sometimes think of my salad dressing as my “health tonic”. It takes 5 minutes to make.

Ingredients:

1 cup of olive oil

1/2 cup of raw apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of dried herbs (like Herbes de Provence)

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon of ground kelp

2 teaspoons of sea salt (or to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation:

Mix all the ingredients in a glass container and enjoy! Store in a dark cool place, no need to refrigerate.

Homemade Coconut Milk

Referred as “the tree that supplies all that is needed to live” in ancient India, the coconut has been recognized as a top immune booster, antifungal, antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial remedy for thousands of years all over the world. This easy recipe takes 10 minutes, including clean up. It is very simple and you end up with a large pitcher of delicious, creamy milk for the whole week. Perfect to go with your cereal and coffee!

Ingredients:

1 bag (8 oz.) of shredded coconut, (about 3 cups)

8 cups of filtered water

Supplies:

Blender

Nut-Milk Bag

Large bowl

Pitcher to store your milk

Preparation:

First, place the shredded coconut in a large bowl and add 6 cups of cold water and 2 cups of boiling water. Mix with a spoon and blend in a regular blender for about 3 minutes. If you have a small blender, you will need to do it in two batches. Then add the mixture into the nut-milk bag and squeeze the milk directly into your pitcher or bowl. You can either compost the remaining coconut pulp or make macaroons. Refrigerate your milk and enjoy! From personal experience, my milk keeps fresh in the fridge for at least 1 week.

Important: A little secret so your milk doesn’t separate is to let it reach room temperature before refrigerating it. Also stir it with a spoon a couple of times before refrigerating it. If it still separates, simply blend it again and refrigerate.