Boy! We got hit with a major snow storm yesterday. I felt like I was in a snow globe as I walked around NYC–snow up to my ankles, and falling against my face.
When I got home last night, the first thing I did was make myself a magical cup of hot chocolate . This time of year I can’t survive without hot drinks like hot cocoa, tea and turmeric “lattes”. Like hearty soups, these liquid goodies have the power to both warm and sooth me to the core. Another thing I love about hot drinks is that they can be super healthy if you let them 🙂
As a kid I remember loving Swiss Miss hot cocoa from the little packet. I’d mix it with water, and delight in it’s artificial and sugary goodness. Then I grew more sophisticated. While studying in Madrid in college, I fell head over heels in love with rich and decadent liquid chocolate. I also fell in love with a boy, and maybe that’s why the chocolate was so scrumptious, but that’s another story…
Anyway, years later hot chocolate still brings me joy, yet the hot chocolate I drink these days is quite different. Instead of water or dairy milk/cream I’m into using a certain non-dairy milk–almond milk. And when it comes to almond milk, there’s nothing better than the homemade variety. Yes, homemade almond milk. It’s not as difficult as it may sound to make milk from a nut. And to prove to you that it’s easy as vegan pie, I’ve made a VIDEO!!!
Homemade almond milk is healthier than store bought milk because it 1.) doesn’t contain stabilizers or preservatives. And, 2.) hasn’t been heat pasteurized; a process of killing any pathogens, bacteria (good or bad) and enzymes. Pasteurized beverages are void of the health supporting enzymes and vitamins that are in the raw version.With DIY nutmilk you control what goes in to the final product! Plus, homemade almond milk tastes totally different than store-bought stuff. It tastes like real, fresh almonds.
This homemade almond milk is PERFECT for warm winter drinks like hot chocolate, chai, turmeric lattes, and even coffee. I dare you to give it a try, and let yourself bliss out this winter on something exciting and new : )
For this recipe you’ll need a jelly bag or a cheese cloth, as well as a good blender.
I prefer to keep my almond milk plain, just almonds and water. However, there are many fun things you can add to the milk to make it more fun. Suggestions in the recipe below. Also, almonds aren’t the only nut that makes a great non-dairy milk. Try Brazil nuts for a healthy dose of creaminess and Selenium (antioxidant mineral), or cashews for silky goodness. I like almonds because of their high vitamin E and biotin content (aka healthy skin and hair) Tip for using the leftover pulp below…
1 cup almonds, soaked overnight with purified or
4 cups purified or spring water for blending
extra fun additions: dates, maple syrup, coconut nectar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, vanilla extract, carob powder, cacao/cocoa powder.
Place soaked almonds in a high speed blender, and add the 4 cups of water. Replace the lid and blend until smooth. Set the cheesecloth or jelly bag over a large bowl or wide mouth jar, and use your clean hands to squeeze the liquid through the bag/cloth. Do this until only dried almond pulp. Bottle the almond milk and use within 4-5 days.
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 or 3 Medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cardamom, or 2 cardamom pods (just seeds)
Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste, and add another date if necessary. Heat in a pot on the stove, then enjoy with a sprinkle of cayenne and cinnamon.
– Stir it into morning porridges
– Add to pancakes
– Add to any baked goods
– Make crackers with it
– Dry it and use it as almond flour
– Makes a great facial exfoliator : )
My favorite ways to use almond milk:
– Chocolate Banana Smoothie
– Hot Chocolate
– Turmeric “Latte”
– In baking, instead of dairy milk
– In cereal and porridge/oatmeal