Chat
4

Almond Milk Excitement

It doesn’t take much to get me excited.  I remind myself most of a puppy, a slightly overeager, joyful, curious, really loving puppy.  And when I discover something new that I love, I just can’t wait to share it with everyone.  This blog is in no small part my outlet for sparing my family and close friends from my nonstop effusive rants doing just that.

While doing the sugar detox last week, I had a follow up doctors appointment to review the results of some blood work I had done last month.  As it turns out, I have quite a few things going on, among which Lyme disease is back in force with some Bartonella, Babesiosis, and walking pneumonia thrown in.  All of which has triggered some high Epstein Barr results. It is nice to have an explanation for my fatigue and is reassuring that the doctor had a treatment protocol that combines traditional, homeopathic and herbal medicines at the ready.   To support myself during treatment I will be continuing with a no sugar, no dairy, no grain lifestyle.  Thankfully I was feeling so great from my week long sugar detox that that felt like a super easy decision.

Now, none of this news is very exciting, however what IS exciting is figuring out how I am going to have fun with  this new regimen.  For instance, I’d like to be able to treat myself with a cup of coffee once in a while, and I enjoy my coffee with skim milk.  One friend suggested that I adjust to having my occasional cup of coffee black, which I think I will try.  However, I wanted options, so I thought I would try my hand at making almond milk.  The almond milk that I have seen on the shelves didn’t taste that great to me, and had way more ingredients then seemed necessary.

I had a recipe that a friend had recently emailed me, all of the ingredients in the house, and some time between things on Saturday to give it a whirl.  What I didn’t have was a nut milk bag, but once I had decided I wanted to make almond milk, I was determined.  I couldn’t think of a local friend that might have a nut milk bag just hanging around to be borrowed (Note to local friends – I have ordered one, so I’m the person you can call from now on if you’re in this predicament).  I did have some cheesecloth, so I decided that I would make it work.

The basic recipe is super simple and super delicious, plus the whole experience was very satisfying.

Insanely Delicious Almond Milk

almond milk

  • 2 cups almonds (soaked for 3-5 hours)
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 dates (pit removed)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 drop of almond extract

Put all of the above in your Vitamix and blend on high for 2 minutes.  Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Strain.

For those of you who, like me, are completely new to this rodeo, here are some additional bits of information from my experience this weekend.  This recipe completely fills a Vitamix, so if you’re using a different high powered blender, consider halving the recipe or making it in two batches.  I strained small amounts at a time.  The blended mixture is a thick liquid, so to extract most of the liquid through the cheesecloth I squeezed and twisted the cheesecloth.  Twisting the cheesecloth was a mistake, as it tore and much like a pastry bag began to extrude the almond pulp/paste.  The squeezing was the most fun part, because the milk smelled delicious and it was amazing how much milk there was even when the pulp looked dry.  Plan ahead and have something you want to eat your almond milk with ready to go as soon as you’re done, as well as something to store your almond milk in the refrigerator.

I had so much fun making the almond milk that the fact that it was absolutely delicious was an added bonus.  I decided to have dessert for dinner and made myself a huge bowl with what I had on hand, which was chopped mango and strawberry, walnuts, soaked Mila, bee pollen and cinnamon all drenched in almond milk.  It was completely insanely delicious.  I wasn’t patient enough to style the bowl before I took the picture, so this messy picture is a sign of a delicious meal :-)

mana bowl

Ever since, when people ask what’s new I have been replying with “I made almond milk, it is super crazy delicious.” And sometimes even when people simply make eye contact say hi I have the same response, because I’m excitable.  And it’s way more interesting than talking about the latest blood test results.

Are you going to make yourself some almond milk?  What has you excited right now that you want to share with everyone?

facebooktwitterpinterestmailby feather
Chat
2

The 7 Day Wheat Grass Plan

wheatshot

How it took me 7 days (well about 6 months plus 7 days) to
make this ridiculous face accomplish something I wanted to do

 

Over the past six months I have become increasingly interested in wheat grass juice.  Every time I turned around it was coming up in one way or another.  Many of the references have been positive, touting the many health benefits, however, I also came across some of the negatives, most often that it just plain doesn’t taste good.  Because I am continuing my healing from tick-borne illness (specifically Lyme and Anaplasmosis) and the extended antibiotic treatment of the illness,  I was especially intrigued by the health benefits.

When it came to the benefits, what I heard and read over and over again was that wheat grass juice is exceptionally nutrient dense, with as much nutritional value in an ounce as 2 and 1/2 pounds of fresh vegetables.  It is also known to be blood cleaning, healing, and an incredibly efficient way of delivering easily digested and easily assimilated nutrition to the body.  I am all for efficiency, so you would think that I would have just bought a shot of wheat grass at one of my local health/natural markets and given it a try, right?

Well, nope. That’s not how it went.  I could never bring myself to do it. I kept waiting for the ‘right’ time.  I had read that wheat grass juice was best assimilated and most impactful on an empty stomach and that it was best not to eat for up to 30 minutes after having the shot.  Well, when I am at the market either my stomach isn’t empty OR if it is, I would very much like to eat ASAP.  I was also pretty scared of drinking the shot and having it come immediately back up right there at the market, which isn’t exactly the public image I’m going for.  (And I had read that it was best juiced immediately after cutting and best consumed immediately after juicing…)  Yes, my obsessive diligent research had gotten me into a bit of a paralysis.

To get myself unstuck, I might have suggested that I grab a buddy, head out to the market and just get it done.  I chose a different strategy – the “7 day wheat grass plan”.  I grew my own wheat grass.

wheatgrowing

From seeds to grass in 7 days

I bought some seeds, some dirt and some trays. Planted the seeds, watered them, marveled at their growth and on the 7th day noted that the grass had reached the recommended height for harvesting and thus I was all out of excuses.  It was morning, my stomach was empty, I was in the privacy of my own home with only my family there to mock support my brave venture, and I had lovingly grown this grass and therefore felt pretty committed to seeing this through.  So I cut the grass, a handful at a time and fed it into the juicer.

wheatjuicing

 Imagine my surprise (and relief) upon harvesting and juicing that my
entire tray of grass yielded just over an ounce of juice.

The hand crank juicer was relatively easy to use, but I lost some juice because there was more dripping then I expected.  The worst part was that the smell as I cranked was pretty awful – my eyes were burning/watering and I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to see this through.  So when I ended up with only an ounce I was pretty happy, even though if you had told me ahead of time that each tray would only yield one shot I might have not been as enthusiastic a gardener.

After collecting my ounce of juice and properly photo documenting the moment, it was time to actually drink the juice.  Like the completely mature adult that I am, I made the scrunched up yuck face and downed the shot.  After months of anticipation with some dread mixed in, it was over in an instant, the taste wasn’t nearly as bad as the smell, and it didn’t have the aftertaste that my research had led me to fear (i.e. tasting “lawn” for an hour afterwards).  For the remainder of the morning, I was actually buoyed by a rush of energy.  The energy and ‘aliveness’  could have been the miracle of wheat grass or a result of the adrenaline rush of accomplishing something that had been months in the making.  Or both.

I’ve already started two more trays of wheat grass.  I don’t see a shot of wheat grass becoming a daily staple in my routine, but I can see it becoming a once or twice a week addition.  And, for now, I’m going to keep growing my own, mostly because I love having the daily excitement of watching it grow.  So few things in life change that quickly.  I think I might breathe through my mouth next time I juice it though :-)

Do you ever get stuck waiting for the “right” time instead of just doing something? How do you “unstick” yourself? What do you think about wheat grass juice – love it, hate it, terrified of it?  Let me know!

Marney

facebooktwitterpinterestmailby feather