I have a new favorite thing: almond milk. This comes as quite a surprise. Truth is, I never really believed in nut or seed milks. They all appeared a little too contrived or high maintenance to be of interest. Furthermore, I get suspicious of boxed items that are readily available on the shelves of every deli in Manhattan. I can spot stabilizers, fillers, additives, and fads a mile away. Desperation, however, in the form of never before experienced seasonal allergies, can be both a great mind opener and teacher. So I acquiesced and gave some a try. Delicious! Lactose intolerant or not, dairy is hard for almost all of us to digest. Think of it as a fuel that does not burn clean--with the run off bogging down our systems and turning to (in TCM terms) damp and phlegm conditions which may manifest as skin issues, nasal drip, digestive distress--the whole works. The knowledge that I can have almond milk in my tea while on a total dairy hiatus makes things more manageable. If only all of life’s challenges were so easy! Take advantage of the ones that are.
Homemade Almond Milk
1 cup whole raw almonds (organic best)
4 cups cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1 Tbsp of honey or maple syrup (optional)
Soak almonds in enough cold water to cover overnight. Drain and discard soaking liquid. Place almonds in jar of blender and add 4 cups water. Add vanilla and sweetener (if using) and blend until liquid becomes milky and nuts resemble a fine meal.
Line a mixing bowl with several layers of cheesecloth. Carefully pour liquid through cheesecloth, allowing milk to collect in bowl. Wring out the almond meal caught by cheesecloth to attain thick creamy milk. This is fresh so try making a batch every few days. Going to start some right now.
Frances Boswell is a licensed acupuncturist at her practice, Qi Sera Sera Acupuncture, in New York City. She focuses on a lesser-known branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which identifies poor diet as a common cause of disease. Traditional Chinese Medicine understands that the importance of food goes beyond ingredients' vitamins, mineral, nutrient and caloric content—food has its own energetic and spiritual role in our health. Frances' aim is to teach this ancient wisdom, apply it to everyday cooking, and work with patients to modify their diets, in addition to acupuncture, to help them live, eat, and be well. Contact Frances here.