Many people, these days, are realizing how food makes them feel. As a Nutritionist, I applaud this! We should always aim to be mindful about how our food affects us. When something is causing you to feel bloated, tired or constipated, your body is giving you some very loud clues that it just doesn’t agree with you! So listen already!
One of the most common food sensitivities I see in my practice is dairy. Over and over again, it has proven to be a major aggravator of digestive issues and can be connected to bloating, constipation and just general inflammation in the body. So it’s not surprising that many people are switching to non-dairy alternatives. In fact, I recommend them all the time.
If you are someone who is sensitive to dairy and you switch to a non-dairy beverage it will absolutely help your digestive system and relieve many symptoms. However, are those non-dairy alternatives REALLY that much healthier? One of the reasons cow dairy causes so many issues is because it is pasteurized, and all the non-fat versions are highly processed and hard to digest. When something is pasteurized it is exposed to very high heat, and this reduces the nutritional value of the food and kills all the enzymes that help digestion. But the same is true for non-dairy milks that are ALSO pasteurized and sold in tetra packs. PLUS they contain many additives including cheap synthetic vitamins, emulsifiers (such as carrageenan that can cause inflammation and gut irritation), natural sweeteners and flavourings.
So NOW what? The answer is simple and takes less than five minutes! Make your OWN! Don’t tell me you do not have time, just plan and make it a priority.
First thing is first; you have to use organic RAW almonds. Many almonds are labelled “raw”, but be aware that if they come from California, they are actually pasteurized! Yes, no joke! So you need to look for almonds that are truly raw. My favourite brand is “Organic Traditions”. Their almonds are organic non-pasteurized and non-irradiated, imported from Italy. Plus, they are the most cost effective I have found in Toronto. I pay $10.49 for a 454g bag. I can get approximately five litres of almond milk from one bag. So the cost is a little less or relatively the same for a superior product than buying it.
So without further ado, here is the recipe!
Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk
1 cup of raw almonds
6 cups of filtered water
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract
2 medjool dates
Soak 1 cup of almonds in a glass container in the fridge overnight.
*This is an important step because it actually makes the almonds sweeter, more nutritious and easier to digest. By soaking the almonds for 8 hours you are actually sprouting them which activates enzymes in the almonds, specifically lipase, a enzyme used for digesting fat, thereby assisting digestion.
The next morning, rinse the almonds, place them in the blender with water, sea salt, vanilla and dates and blend until frothy and white.
Now all you have to do is either strain the milk through a fine mesh “nut bag”, cheese cloth or fine stainless strainer and pour into a glass mason jar!
It doesn’t get any easier than that!
This is exactly the amount of milk I produce with this recipe!
*You can substitute almonds with hemp hearts or other types of nuts such as brazil nuts or cashews. It is always a good idea to rotate your milk on a regular basis! You can have too much of a good thing.
Give it a try and let me know how you do! Trust me when I say the TASTE will win you over.
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Best in health,