Almond Milk

Almond Milk

For all of us in the world who cannot tolerate traditional dairy, we must turn to some sort of alternative. I choose to be soy-free, cow-milk-free, and grain-free. The only option left then is nut milk. Once I took my first sip of chocolate almond milk, I was hooked! That stuff is dee-lish! Then I looked at the ingredient list. All that sugar! Ahh! No good for this gal. I had to make my own.

Almond milk is simply almonds and water. You soak the almonds in water and then blend it together.

There is one complication to this simple recipe. Cheesecloth. Who invented such a clumsy kitchen tool? I did my best to separate every last bit of almond meal from the milk, yet there is still a hint of graininess to the texture. Thankfully it doesn’t bother my taste buds. I downed two glasses when I finished this recipe.

Almond Milk

Makes 12 cups.

4 cups raw whole almonds

8 cups water

1 tsp vanilla

cheesecloth

►Soak almonds in hot water for 1 hour. I separate into two bowls, measuring out 2 cups almonds with 1 cup hot water.

►Take one batch of almond and water mixture and process in a blender for three minutes. Making sure the nuts are well ground.

►Process the almonds and water in batches. Place 1 cup almonds and 2 cups of water into blender. Blend. Using a large bowl and cheesecloth, pour the blended mix through the cheesecloth into the bowl. Squeeze out the remaining water from the cheesecloth. You will be left with almond meal in the cheesecloth. Put this into a bowl to use in other recipes. Repeat process until all is processed.

►Add vanilla to the milk, stir and pour into a pitcher. Keep refrigerated and enjoy often.

►Once refrigerated, the milk will begin to separate. Make sure to give it a good stir before serving.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Nutella is too good to be true. Fact.
Perfect straight out of the jar. Fact.
Entire jar does not equal one serving. Fact. (Unfortunately.)
Highly addictive. Fact.

It is for all these reasons that I had to create a healthy version of this delectable treat.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Makes one small jar.

1 cup roasted hazelnuts – thin casing removed.
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/8 tsp Pink Himalayan sea salt
2 tbsp raw honey
Dash of ground cloves (optional)
4 tbsp boiling water
1/2 tsp coconut oil

►Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Evenly spread nuts on a cookie sheet. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until skins crack away from the nuts. Let rest out of the oven for 10 minutes. Place in center of a dish towel, pull the corners to the middle so the nuts are covered. Rub vigorously until the casings are removed.

►Place nuts in food processor and grind for 5-10 minutes. When you have a creamy consistency, add in all other ingredients. Process until well combined. I found just a dash of cloves enhances the flavor of the hazelnuts. This is totally optional though.

►Pour into a glass jar and store for up to two weeks.

Note: Make sure to use high quality raw cacao powder. My favorite is Navitas Naturals. Their cacao is sourced sustainable from Peru and it packs a powerful, rich chocolate flavor.

Strawberry Coconut Butter

Strawberry Coconut Butter

It’s strawberry season! Summer came a bit late to the northeast this year so we are just now enjoying the first crop of sweet strawberries. It is impossible to pass by this fruit without snatching up at least two cartons so I end up with more than my stomach can handle. I raided my kitchen last night to what I could possibly create. And since it was 10pm, I wanted to make something quick. I grabbed the food processor, some coconut flakes, strawberries and sea salt. Five minutes later I had this incredible fruit butter! Sometimes the recipes that take the least amount of time have the greatest reward.

Strawberry Coconut Butter

Makes 1 cup

1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

1/2 cup fresh strawberries

dash of pink Himalayan sea salt

►Pour coconut in a food processor and pulse for five to ten minutes. If you have a Vitamix or other high-powered blender you will only need to process for a minute. The consistency should be creamy.

►Add the strawberries and sea salt then pulse until well combined.

►Voila! Store in a glass jar in the fridge. Use as topping for grain-free pancakes or just enjoy with a spoon right from the jar.