It’s been a little while since I’ve posted but I was so excited to have made this almond milk tonight that I thought I had to share it. Milk has been on my mind a lot lately especially because my little one, Henri, has been nursing less lately and has become an excited and voracious eater. He just wants everything, and LOTS of it. He’s also sleeping more through the night (most of the time) and so I have felt like a little less of a milk factory lately, although a little sad about it too as when he’s fully off the breast it will mean the end of my magical powers of feeding my babies with my body. When Olive was weaned, I tried making her alternative milks but just got overwhelmed with work and cooking and life (and her) and gave up on it, opting instead for a store bought “milk”. This made me sad because before kids, I ran the kitchen of a raw foods café where we made all of our milks in house and I was so proud to have the knowledge and ability to make something so much healthier for my future children and myself than the processed stuff from the store which always has weird stuff added to it.
Normally I would soak the almonds overnight to sprout them which allows an enzyme to be released that helps our bodies better digest nuts. Not planning ahead, I just soaked them for as long as I could until the evening. Lately I had been craving almond ricotta as well, so I first removed about 1 1/2 C soaked almonds and quickly peeled and discarded the skins. This is super easy, they just slide right off after soaking. I then blended them with about 3/4 C filtered water and the contents of one capsule of acidophilus. I also added a pinch or two of salt but this is totally up to you. You just want to continually scrape down the sides of your blender while you are blending this for a minute or two in order to get a nice smooth texture. Finally I transferred the mixture to a nut milk bag (you can use cheese cloth or even an old t-shirt). Set this in a sieve inside a bowl to allow excess liquid to drain and if you have the time let it go overnight at room temp in order for the fermentation to happen. I did not want to wait, so I squeezed the bag a little and used some right away. MMMMM…. This was so delicious on our lentil bolognaise over brown rice pasta tonight. I cant wait to use it on pizza tomorrow in place of goat cheese.(Not the best pic on the pasta but I dug in before I realized I hadn’t taken a pic yet!)
So, back to the milk. I had about 2 cups of soaked almonds left to make milk so to this I blended about 7 cups water and two medjool dates. At first I like to add just enough water to cover, in order to make sure all the almonds get ground up really well and then I add the remaining water and the dates and blend for a couple of minutes on high. Working over a large bowl, pour the liquid into a nut milk bag and then gently squeeze all the liquid out leaving just the pulp in the bag. Et Voila! You have delicious almond milk. Gosh I miss this stuff. Don’t throw out your pulp, you now have the coveted and expensive almond flour! This will be damp so store it in your fridge for a few days or you can freeze it until ready to use. (make sure to freeze it flat in a ziplock bag or you will never get it defrosted.)
I have to admit as someone who used to be a cook, is married to a former chef, who believes it is so important to cook at home, and is in school for nutrition, we sure have been eating out a lot lately. Sometimes I get down about this, but I have to remind myself that I am still figuring out how to do this two kid thing and I can’t always make everything from scratch the way I would like. It’s time consuming! I have found that for me, being out of the house as much as possible is what gets me through the days. Its important to me that the kids spend a lot of time in nature, and its pretty important for me too. A lot of our meals have taken place outside these days and we might as well savor this gorgeous weather before the heat wave hits and we are forced into the a/c. That being said, I have made a vow to be a little more frugal lately and so I need to figure out how to get this stuff done. I’m not sure if I just got lucky today, but both kids were happily distracted while I was blissed out in the kitchen. Of course, there are always sacrifices. This is what my house was looking like:
Normally, when there is just stuff everywhere, and mountains of laundry to fold I get a little bit stressed out, but I was so happy to be making milk, cheese, and a healthy meal for me and my kiddos that today I really didn’t care. I mean, as someone once said “trying to clean the house with children in it is like trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos.” So why even bother until after they’ve gone to bed right?
After dinner we had a beautiful walk to pick some wildflowers in the neighborhood and we also picked some nice ripe apricots from a communal tree that we’ve been waiting to harvest.
This is Henri being really excited about our walk.
Until we gave him his own apricot.
I was so thankful for this beautiful evening with my kiddos. Yesterday I had a mommy meltdown. The kids had both woken me up so many times the night before and everything was just feeling like too much. I’ve been so behind on my studies lately and it seemed like there was just too much to get done. Today I got so much done and I remembered why it’s all worth it.
You never know what the day is going to bring.
Keep on truckin’ mamas!