DIY: Almond Milk

Something I really love about cooking is that it’s such a do-it-yourself activity.  Where I may not be able to repair a gas leak in my house, I can cook which somehow makes me feel like a competent human in the face of sometimes overwhelming circumstances.  I know I could buy a lot of take-out or live on someone else’s cooking, but I also know that I can do it myself.  That’s not the case with gas leaks which require knowing more than I do about plumbing or pipes.  It’s also great to know that I don’t have to rely on grocery store brands of almond milk to have a nice nut milk to drink.  They oftentimes are full of additives anyhow, and if that is professional cooking, well, then I’ll take my chances in my own kitchen.  Thanks.

Here is how I make my own milk:

1.  I buy raw almonds in bulk through Amazon.com  Raw almonds, unlike their roasted counterparts, have enzymes which aid in digestion.

2. I gather my ingredients.  I’ll need:

1 cup of raw almonds

water

1 bowl

3.  Place the almonds in the bowl, and add water to about one inch above the almonds.  Soak overnight.

4. Next day: drain and rinse the almonds.  Then you will need:

your blender

3-4 cups filtered water

soaked almonds

5. Place the almonds and water into your blender and start your blender.

6. Then place a nut bag into a bowl to strain the mixture:

7.  Pour the mixture into the bag, and squeeze the bag to get the excess.

8. Pour into a container to keep in your refrigerator.  You can now add maple syrup, honey, and/or vanilla to flavor your milk.

9. Enjoy in smoothies, tea, or by itself!!  Be creative.

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Additives in Almond Milk

NOT all almond milk is created equal.  Nope.  After examining a few labels and drinking some brands, I thought I’d share the best and worst of Almond Milks with you.  Silk’s Almond Milk looks thick and creamy when you pour it, but look at the ingredient list:

There are so many additives in this product.  When I make my almond milk at home, I use, at max, three ingredients.

Next up to bat is Pacific’s Almond Milk which has less additives:

Pacific’s brand not only has less additives, it tastes better too.  After drinking Pacific’s and my own almond milk, I think the gummy consistency and overall flavor of Silk’s Almond Milk is, well, gross.  There are also additives in Coconut, soy, and other nut milks that interfere with the health benefits as well as the taste.  I’ve found that I much prefer the quality of my own nut milks, and if I’m short on time, Pacific’s Almond Milk is a great substitute.

Sinus Comfort and Probiotics

My husband and I have sinus issues.  His are much, much worse than mine, and I’m constantly searching for relief or methods to cope with sloppy sinuses.  Everyone in our house has a neti pot.  My husband has a genie-in-the-magic-lamp looking neti pot from the Himalayan Institute.  When I first brought it home, and he started using it, he would actually sing songs praising his neti pot.  It helped him that much! 🙂  I am not as faithful as my dear husband at using my neti pot, and so my sinuses are not nearly as happy as they could be.  This summer my sinuses have been more irritated than usual, and so ever on the quest for sinus comfort, I found out about Olba Sticks and, to me the most surprising of all, probiotics in your neti pot.  I use the PB 8 capsules (http://www.amazon.com/Nutrition-Now-Veg-veggie-caps/dp/B00014JWLS), and when I add my salt, I open the capsule to add the probiotics.  I like it, but my husband is still skeptical.  He may eventually try it too; I haven’t given up hope!  At the moment, I use this method once, sometimes twice, a day.  I also use my Olba Stick (http://www.olbas.com/olbasinhaler.htm) after I use my neti pot which helps move things along.

Ouch! Heartburn!!

I don’t usually struggle with heartburn. When I was pregnant, I had horrible heartburn where I really thought my chest and throat would burn away. Apples did the trick then, but I just read a little tip I wanted to pass along to you, my dear reader. 🙂 Do a little preemptive preparation, says Teiraona Low Dog, MD. Add Swedish, Angosture Bitters, or Urban Moonshine’s Yummy Organic Maple Bitters to sparkling water..See the cute bottles here: Yummy Maple Bitters Then drink fifteen  minutes before eating.  Bitters sound awfully old fashioned to me, and if they have stood the test of time, the are worth trying!!

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Is Your Olive Oil Pure?

Perhaps you use olive oil on your salads with a little balsamic vinegar thinking that you have made a wise and healthy choice. Did you know, however, that not all olive oil is bottled in its pure form? You may have picked up a bottle that is diluted. One way to tell if you have real olive oil is to put it in the fridge. If it solidifies, you have real olive oil. Also real olive oil is flammable. I guess you could try this in your kitchen, but I prefer the cold testing method myself. I only use olive oil on salads and use coconut oil in my cooking. Coconut oil has a higher tolerance to heat so the great nutrients in it stay intact, unlike olive oil.

To read more about how companies dilute olive oil, click here:

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/14/news/la-olive-oil-20110414