Almond Milk Smoothies


Much simpler and less costly to make than regular almond milk because instead of using a cup of almonds and then straining the pulp through muslin cloth, you are using only a small handful of almonds and keeping the pulp, creating a nutritious drink with more texture. This healthy power drink has its origins in ancient Ayurvedic medicine. It is also a great base for heartier smoothies like the Apple-Oatmeal breakfast smoothie.

20 almonds
2 cups water
½ cup dry fruit: 2 figs & 3 dates or other dried pitted fruit like raisins, apricots, prunes, etc.
1 Tbsp pistachio nuts - pistachios are terrific but dried coconut or sesame seeds are interesting too (optional)
½ tsp cardamom or nutmeg or cinnamon powder or vanilla or maple or rose extract

The night before, soak the almonds in room temperature water (later discard this water, which has absorbed the least digestible compounds from the nuts). Soak the dried fruit and pistachios/coconut/seeds in hot water to cover in another bowl (we’ll use this water in the drink). In the morning add the nuts and 1 cup water; blend on high 60 sec. Add all the other ingredients with 1 more cup water and continue blending till smooth; sweeten with honey or syrup if you have a sweet tooth, but generally the dried fruit provides enough sweetness. Some people also like adding a pinch of salt.
Makes 2-3 servings.

Note: if all you want is pure almond milk, simply blend 8 soaked almonds per 1 cup water. For example, to make a liter of almond milk you'll need to soak 1/4 cup (fits about 35-45 nuts) dry almonds.

Apple-Oatmeal Smoothie

Starts with the same basic ingredients and method as Easy Almond drink above, but heartier due to added grain (or sprouts!) and fresh fruit. By the way, this is a perfect way of eating raw sprouts, whether you love sprouts or are still on the fence about them.

20 soaked almonds or 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 cups water
½ cup soaked dry fruit: 2 figs & 3 dates or other dried pitted fruit like raisins, apricots, prunes, etc. OR 2/3 cup fresh sweet fruit
1 chopped apple or a cup of other fruit or berries (no need to peel) or even a leafy green like kale
½ cup sprouts or soaked rolled oats or cooked barley or 4 Tbsp chia seeds (soak seeds or oats for 10 min in ½ cup hot water)
1-2 Tbsp brown rice syrup/molasses/maple syrup/honey
1-2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
Optional: flavorings of choice – cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, etc.
Optional: 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds (flax seeds have a lot of health benefits, but may be difficult to digest; a few drops of lecithin in the smoothie helps to break down the flax oil into tiny droplets making it more digestible)

Variation 1: Instead of almonds and grain, use 1 cup “live” oat groats, buckwheat groats or wheat berries! You can either use those soaked overnight in warm water or those a day or two into the process of sprouting. The soaking water, if your grain is organic, is good for using in the shake as it contains lots of nutrients. When blended you will get a smooth, slightly sweet “milk” that is extremely nutritious. Sprouting note: unlike wheat berries and most other seeds, oat and buckwheat groats should not be soaked for more than 30 minutes for sprouting or they’ll become waterlogged.

Variation 2: If you’re in a real hurry and do not have any soaked almonds, almond milk, or oat groats on hand, use 1.5 cups yogurt instead of blended nuts/water. It’s also not imperative to soak the dry fruit overnight; 10 minutes in hot water is fine. The sweetness and smoothness of the soaked dry fruit can be augmented or substituted with a small ripe banana. 

Images: https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5030/5565260923_e49620419e_z.jpg
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8111/8529454590_1951d49f7a_z.jpg

1 comments:

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The goal of this blog is to celebrate delicious food that's also practical. Contrary to certain foodie trends, we believe there is no reason for amazing food to be expensive or complicated or time consuming.

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