Thursday, June 18, 2009

Faux Milk "Naturally" Delicious

Almond "Milk" Mmmmm, Mmmmm, good :)

Actually the label on this antique milk bottle is a little deceptive when it comes to people who are milk intolerant like me. It really should say "Be Wise, DO NOT drink cows milk." I use to drink lots of milk in my teenage years and into my early twenties. I was having a lot of pain in my stomach and intestines, but did not associate it with drinking milk. After all, milk is a bodies best friend, right???

Finally I went to see a specialist who quickly determined that I was highly allergic to milk and milk products. Sigh !!! I was also an ice cream fanatic what was I to do now? Well, I promptly quit drinking milk, I was amazed that all the pain I had had for years disappeared in about a weeks time.

During that time Tony came across a book called Fit for Life (recipe is also in The American Vegetarian Cookbook--See side bar). In it I found a recipe for something called Almond Milk, it seemed completely foreign to me at the time. I decided to try it. Well needless to say I am still making it twenty-three years later. I love it. And the picture below shows everything you need to make it.

  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 4 cups of water (I use RO water or alkaline water)
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup (optional)(I never add the maple syrup)
  • a simple blender or Vita-Mix
  • one medium-size fine strainer
  • cheesecloth to line the strainer (optional)
  • a large bowl
  • a container with lid, for storage
Blanch 1 cup of raw almonds by placing them in 1 cup boiling water. Allow them to stand until the water has cooled slightly, and then peel off skins, or prepare milk with unblanched almonds. (Milk from blanched almonds will be slightly whiter in color and smoother in consistency with no difference in flavor.)

Dry almonds well.

Place almonds in blender and grind to a fine powder. Add sweetener (if using) and 3 cups of water. Blend again for 1 to 2 minutes to form a smooth cream.

With blender running on high, add remaining cup of water slowly through opening of blender lid. Blend 2 minutes. (I'm showing off here by taking the lid off to take the picture).

Place the strainer over a large bowl; to ensure a smooth milk, line the strainer with cheesecloth. (If you do not have cheesecloth, you can simply strain your milk twice, using an even finer strainer the second time.) Pour almond milk slowly into strainer and allow to filter through. Add liquid to strainer in increments and just let it drain naturally, or stir the milk in the strainer with a spoon to encourage it to pass through more rapidly.
When all the milk has passed through the strainer, there will be approximately 1/2 cup of almond fiber accumulated. If you have used a cheesecloth liner, you can pull the edges together and gently squeeze the remaining milk out of the fiber, or use a spoon to gently press the remaining milk through the strainer.

The fiber can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days and used as a moisturizing body scrub when you shower.

And there you have it, a "naturally good for you milk" :0)

And one last note.

All I do is periodically purchase (when the price is good) a bunch of almonds from the health food store, (last time 50 lbs.) I put them in gallon size freezer bags and pop them in the freezer. They keep that way for a long time. I put a small amount in an old glass milk bottle in my refrigerator and as I use them I just re-fill the bottle from the bags in the freezer.

Almonds are such a versatile nut they can be used for many purposes.
1. Just snack on them plain
2. Put them in a trail mix
3. Make candy with them
4. Make Almond milk, which then can be used to pour over cereals, and to make almond "shakes" in many flavors, or almond flavored "milks".
4. Sprinkle them over green beans, or use in chinese meals etc.
5. I make soups with it.
6. Smoothies
7. Use it in baking.

It is so easy to make and soooo, good for you too!

I'll be back soon {:~)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shakespeare, To Ruff Or Not To Ruff---That Is The Question...

Here is our loyal family dog Indy, modeling a Shakespearean Ruff collar that I made.
Do you really think he was sitting there so nicely for the picture--no way!

What you don't see is that I am holding up a piece of chicken lunch meat above the camera to help encourage him to let me take the picture. He was so excited to get the meat that he kept doing flips and rollovers constantly, it really took some effort to calm him down and have him sit still.

It was really fun to make these, and here is a quick description of how it was accomplished.

1. I first measured Tony's and then Morgy Man's and then Penny's, necks, and added about 1 inch to that measurement or less.
2. I then used 4 inch wired ribbon (from my craft storage for Tony and Morgy). Penny bought the ribbon you see on Indy, from Michaels.
3. It took approximately 4 to 6 yards of ribbon per Ruff Collar.
4. I used a ruler to measure how wide I wanted each pleat (between 1 inch and 1 1/2 inches ).
5. I than pleated the whole length of ribbon .
6. I then took needle and thread and "sewed" through each pleat at the side that would be around the neck, to draw the ribbon tight to form a circle.
7. I then attached ribbon at each end opening, so it can be tied around the neck.
8. Voila!!! All done, what fun!!!

I have now made two of these in different ribbons. When I have made enough of them I will have a Shakespeare party and everyone attending will be encouraged to wear one.
I can't wait!!!

Bye for now`:~)