Saturday, April 6, 2013

Almond Milk

It's Saturday night. I am:

A) Making almond milk
B) Drying a set of homemade wool dryer balls
C) Religiously checking on my chickens
D) all of the above

Yes, yes, and yes. The answer is D, all of the above. And clearly I am neither ashamed nor embarrassed about my nightlife as I am also E) blogging about it to my dear 18 followers, which doesn't include my dedicated blog-reading grandmothers (Hi Grandma and Bubbe!).

The thing about my brain that I've learned is that, upon seeing something, the first thought shoots through and says "I like that/I'm intrigued" or "I don't like that/I'm not interested". The "I like that" response is immediately followed by a response that says "How can I make that?". Household items, food, accessories - it doesn't matter what category it falls into. I just like to make things. It's actually not only a "like to". It's a "have to". Being productive and creative gives me a sense of peace - it uses energy that I happen to have in abundance, it is fulfilling, it allows me focused "me time", and it gives my world a sense of balance. I recently read a book entitled The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule (you can also follow her blog here):
I highly recommend this book - it is an easy read with a lot of "oh, yeah!" kind of ideas or statements. She also talks about, after becoming a wife and a mother, how important it became for her to find creative outlets. Oh, yeah. Doing, making, crafting, creating, cooking, baking, planting, building - something every. single. day - bonds me to my family and my family  to me while simultaneously making me a better, more balanced wife and mother. Oh yeah.

Almond milk. "Mmmmm... I like that". "Hmmm.... How can I make that?". And now we have come full-circle back to my brain and the Saturday night almond milk making. I have switched over to using almond milk entirely as the liquid for our daily smoothies.  I've also baked with it and used it in tea and coffee drinks, instead of cow's milk. (And yes, I've wondered about fresh milk - a goat seems like a better option and I do like goat's milk... chickens first.). Making almond milk is insanely simple and the girls and I all agree that the homemade version is the way to go.

Homemade Almond Milk
courtesy of The Detoxinista
  • 1 C organic raw almonds
  • Water
  • Organic real maple syrup
  • Organic vanilla extract
    • Soak almonds for 4-6 hours (I use a glass canning/mason jar which you can purchase at Hobby Lobby for next to nothing; I use these glass containers for everything)
    • Drain almonds and discard water
    • I have a regular Oster brand blender - many recipes use something high-powered like a Vitamix. Since mine isn't of the insane-blending capabilities, after soaking the almonds, I do pop them all out of their skins. It only takes a few minutes and they slip right out.
    • Place skin-less almonds in blender; add:
      • 4 C water
      • 1 T vanilla extract (optional, and can do more/less depending on preference)
      • 1-2 T maple syrup (optional...)
    • Blend on high for 1-2 minutes
    • I haven't purchased a nut milk bag yet, so I line a large strainer with a coffee filter and run the mixture through - it takes several filters; I only fill it about halfway, let it drain, then squeeze the remaining liquid out of the filter. Once I've squeezed it out, with only almond pulp remaining, I just put in a new filter, fill halfway, squeeze, repeat...

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