So, milk! It seems to be the love of a lot of lives out there! I, fortunately, never got too attached to it- probably because my brother would get to the carton before any else and eat his serving plus the whole households in cereal. Needless to say, I haven’t ever relied on milk in my everyday life. However, milk is like sugar, it is in everything! Just because I didn’t have a glass of milk every morning doesn’t mean I didn’t consume milk in more obscure ways. Soups, dressings, smoothies, yogurt, sauces- to name a few.
Enter soy milk! The soy craze was a big one and to some, it still is. I jumped onto the soy train- mostly because that was when I was starting at University of British Columbia and Starbucks Chai tea latte’s were a must (this was before I got hooked on the black coffee train). Soy started showing up in everything- soy was becoming the new sugar (in the fashionable food world).
So, is soy good for you? This a tough one. Soy is similar to corn in it’s nutritional discussion. The issues with soy now a days is it is one of the main GMO crops, and therefore it is really difficult to find/purchase a soy product that isn’t GMO, highly refined and processed. Soy is still a great source of protein and phytonutrients, however it is just important to be careful in reading your labels, source your food and really, to just be conscious of what you’re eating and where it is coming from.
And then there was almond milk! Yay! It was a pretty exciting day when I found out about nut milks. Especially when I learnt that you could make your own, at home. The wonderful thing about nut milks is that nuts, like almonds, are already well-equipped with so many vitamins and nutrients, so it really is the perfect to make at home! Also, like soy, rice and hemp milk- it is lactose free so those with lactose intolerance or dairy sensitivities can enjoy it worry-free!
Some things I try to keep in mind with almond milk:
- If I decide to purchase it: I try to buy the most reputable brand with the least amount of ingredients
- When I make it at home I focus on buying the whole, organic, raw almonds because these are going to be the highest in quality and haven’t been exposed to heat, light or oxidation (after all, almonds are fats and are therefore very sensitive to these 3 factors). The same goes for the honey as a sweetener, I use a raw, unpasteurized form- to ensure that I am getting all the wonderful live enzymes and nutrients that are available in honey.
- 1 cup of almonds
- Water to soak, drain
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp of honey or 2 medjool dates, pitted
- optional: sprinkle some himalayan salt
- Soak the almonds so that they are covered in water overnight in a glass jar or bowl (10-12 hours).
- Drain the almonds and peel their skins off (some will be easier to squeeze the skin off than others, you will get the hang of it overtime. It is time consuming but with skins on, the milk will have a different texture and won’t resemble conventional milk (so nay-sayers may have a negative reaction towards it)
- Once peeled, add the almonds, 4 cups of water, vanilla and honey or soaked dates into a food blender (vitamix or whatever you have handy) and blend for around 2 minutes. The consistency will be smooth, creamy and fluffy.
- Almond milk is perfect for chia pudding, as a drink, to make soups, add to smoothies, make pancakes! The options are endless and exciting!