Monday, June 17, 2013

Nut and Seed Milk: No Dairy Needed!

Almond and other nut and seed milks are great substitutes for dairy milks.  They can be used anywhere you would use a dairy milk.  I love having vanilla hempmilk over granola or in my oatmeal.  They are tasty in tea or coffee and can be used in baking.  Almond milk is really easy to make and the recipe translates for pretty much any seed or nut you choose.  My two favorites are almond and hemp.

Almonds are full of "good" fats an minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.  They are also high in fiber and have some protein.  They should however be soaked and preferably sprouted before using them to make nut milk, as nuts and seed can be hard on the digestion.

Use raw, whole, unpeeled almonds. I start soaking either in the morning, or the night before. Check the almonds and discard any that are broken, save for another use.
Combine 1 cup almonds and 3 cups filtered water in a wide mouth glass jar or ceramic container.
Place somewhere away from direct sunlight.  Almonds don't need light to sprout, but don't want to be too cold or too hot. Soak for about 10 - 12 hours or overnight. Rinse the almonds after they have soaked for several hours, then cover again with fresh water and continue soaking.
After soaking for 10-12 hours, or overnight, pour the water off and rinse the almonds with cold water, then drain. The water will be brown from the skins.  At this point you can move forward with making almond milk but I like to take a step further and sprout them for optimal nutrition and digestibility.
Place the almonds back in the glass jar and cover. Leave for another 10-12 hours or overnight, rinsing occasionally.

Your almonds are now prepped to make almond milk.  With any seed or nut you will want to soak them before making milk.  Quantities will be the same.

Place the almonds in a food processor and add 2 cups filtered water and 2-3 dates.  You can also add 1 tsp vanilla extract but it is not necessary.  Whir them around until the almonds are reduced to mere bits.  Pour everything off into a strainer lined with cheese cloth or into a nut milk bag.  Strain into a glass container and refrigerate.  You can then add the almond bits back into the processor and add another cup of water to strain out.  At this point you can thinly spread the leftover almonds onto a baking sheet and allow to dry in a low oven, 175 degrees for 4-5 hrs (keep an eye) or on a dehydrator overnight.  Pack this meal up in a glass jar and use to sprinkle over yogurt and fruit, or crust a chicken breast or piece of fish with it.  It's quite tasty and still very nutritious!  As I have said, this process can be duplicated for any nut or seed you like.  I like to make hempmilk because of the high content of omega-3 and it has a rich, nutty flavor.

Almond Meal Crusted Fish with Creamy Greens

2 filets of your favorite fish.  Tilapia, salmon, or swordfish are mine
3-4 Tbsp Almond meal (leftover from making Almond milk)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Ghee or melted butter
Lemon Wedges
Salt and Pepper

1 Bunch of your favorite greens. Kale, beet, or mustard are mine
Ghee or butter
1/2 Onion sliced
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped large
1/4 cup Almond milk
1 tsp Arrowroot (cornstarch will work but you should invest in arrowroot as it is not GMO)
Salt and Pepper

Combine Almond meal, garlic, ghee, and a little salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Mix with your fingers until the ghee has soaked into the almonds and becomes a crumb.  Rub the fish with a little ghee and sprinkle the almond crumb over the fish and bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes per inch of thickness of fish.

Meanwhile, Wash and chop your greens.  Heat a large skillet, with a lid, over medium high heat.  Add about a Tbsp of ghee and your onions.  Saute the onions until they are wilted and begin to caramelize.  Before they get too brown, add your greens and tomatoes, tossing to incorporate the into the onions.  Cover and turn down the heat.  Cook for about five minutes.  You want the greens to wilt and become soft but not cook down to nothing.  Combine the arrowroot and the almond milk, whisk to combine.  Turn heat back up to medium and pour almond milk mixture over your greens.  Cook until thickened, taste and adjust seasoning.

Pile half the greens on a plate and place 1 piece of fish over top.  Serve with lemon wedges.  Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment