A good collection of nuts and seeds has always been an essential part of my kitchen pantry.Whether toasted or soaked or even eaten raw straight from the jar. I see them as a great addition to my meals and the more I read about how nutritious they are, the more I fall in love with them.
I get too excited when I walk into the health food store to stock up on my nuts and seeds, almost every time I go there my eyes fall on something new and interesting,(like this coconut amino sauce I saw the other day, a soy sauce substitute made out of coconut?! ok, sold!). To be honest the variety they have there overwhelms me sometimes, so a list of the things ‘I need’ beforehand always saves me from breaking the budget.
I have also been adding new seeds to my pantry collection lately, a new one that I’ve been using for a few weeks now and I’m loving is ‘Hemp seed’ never heard of it before right? I never did too. It’s a seed rich in digestible proteins and really good for the immune system, especially for those who are struggling or recovering from a nasty disease. You don’t need to soak or toast this seed before eating. It has a creamy texture and a mild grassy flavour and goes with both sweet and savoury dishes.. I personally prefer to add it to my salads..
ok .. now back to my post topic! NUT MILKS
My recent obsession with nuts is turning them into a beautiful silky milk, and adding their goodness to my breakfast porridges and puddings. It all started when I decided on decreasing my dairy intake. I always felt bloated after drinking cow’s milk, and also my dermatologist asked me to do so for my skin. So, I started by buying the organic store-bought nut milks from the health section in my local supermarket- not a bad start– I thought they tasted okay. But Just okay!
I always thought that making my own nut milk wasn’t a convenient thing for me with all the things I have on my plate already. But since I wasn’t extremely satisfied with drinking milk from a carton that has a shelf-life of at least 3 months, I started considering making my own nut milk at home. The only thing I needed to make it really was a nut milk bag or a cheese cloth.
The first time I made it, I used my favourite nut which is ‘Almond’. I Soaked some in a glass jar at night and went to sleep. The following morning and only in 10 mins I was pouring freshly made almond milk on my porridge and thinking ‘ how easy was that!! I’m never buying these ready ones ever again ‘. The difference in taste was massive people!!! it was so creamy and natural, I could really taste nothing but almonds and the spices I added. Home made from now on. That’s for sure!
Soaking for 8 to 12 hours (overnight)
drain and rinse then place in a blender, add filtered water and a pinch of salt, cover well and blend
Pour almond milk through a sieve lined with a nut milk bag or several layers of muslin (cheese cloth)
Squeeze out the nut milk
Add vanilla, spices and maple syrup, stir then transfer to a clean and dry glass bottle
- 1 cup (about 150 g) whole raw almonds( or any other favourite nut)
- 4 cups of filtered water for blending, plus few more cups for soaking over night.
- pinch of sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 vanilla pod split in half lengthwise (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- place almonds (or any other favourite nut) in a glass jar or a glass bowl.
- add 2-3 cups of filtered water and soak for 8-12 hours, easiest if you just leave it over night.
- drain and rinse the nuts (they should be bigger in size by now).
- place nuts in a blender with adding 4 cups of filtered water and the pinch of salt, cover tightly with the lid and blend on high speed for about a minute, then add a few pulses until it's completely smooth and frothy.
- line a large fine sieve with a clean nut milk bag or you can use a couple of layers of muslin cloth.
- place the sieve over a glass bowl.
- pour the nut milk through the lined sieve gradually, it will start dripping into the bowl.
- now, grab the edges of the cloth or nut milk bag and start squeezing out the milk.
- get as much milk out as possible.
- Discard the left over nut pulp inside the bag, or freeze it to use later as almond meal.
- separate the vanilla seeds from the split vanilla pod using the edge of a sharp knife.
- add the seeds and split pod to almond milk.(the pod for flavour but don't eat)
- add cardamom and maple syrup and stir well until combined.
- pour the flavoured milk into a clean glass bottle with a lid. use immediately or store in the fridge. will keep for 3 days.
- shake before use.
- ** you can swap cardamom with cinnamon or add both for extra flavour.