La Leche...

Is there anything as satisfying as a cold, creamy glass of milk with a sweet treat? My husband would say coffee beats milk each time, but I disagree! Nothing takes me back to childhood faster than a cookie dipped into a tall glass... As an adult, cow's milk just isn't quite as appealing as it once was. Don't get me wrong--I'm not totally anti-dairy! I just try to limit my intake and when I do consume, I prefer it come from happy, healthy heifers who get to roam green pastures and aren't pumped up with hormones and antibiotics. Unfortunately, milk from lady cows who meet the former criteria can be tricky to find, so I did some research on non-dairy alternatives that would taste just as delicious in my iced cafe con leche.

Soy milk was out immediately. The phyto-estrogens alone had me running for the hills! My hormones don't need any boosters like the ones found in soy milk. Canned coconut milk is beyond delicious, but it is pure fat. The texture is very similar to heave whipping cream, so it can be a little heavy for everyday use. The coconut milk found in the refrigerated section looks thick and lustrous, but (to me) tastes like water. Not to mention that just like store-bought almond milk, it contains a carcinogen which has been linked to cancer and is known to cause severe colon inflammation! If you don't believe me--Just check out the ingredient list and look for 'carrageenan' and then check out this link to a Prevention Magazine article which (much more eloquently) outlines reasons to avoid this icky additive!

All this to say, one day I overheard a couple of ladies talking about making their own almond milk. I googled recipes in a flash and realized not only is it ridiculously simple, but with a few tweaks to the standard recipe found through an easy Google search, you can make it creamy and with a touch of sweetness just like in real milk! Please keep in mind that since this is unpasteurized, it goes bad after a few days, so drink up and make lots of small batches! This batch provides about four cups of milk.



2.5 Cups of raw almonds rinsed, then soaked uncovered overnight in filtered water
4 Cups of filtered water
1 Heaping tablespoon of raw honey or B grade maple syrup
1 Tiny pinch of sea salt
1 tsp of good vanilla
1-2 Tbsp of full-fat coconut milk

What you'll need:
Cheesecloth folded in thirds
Fine mesh strainer over a large bowl


Rinse the soaked almonds and pop them into your blender. Add about one cup of the filtered water and blend away--Slowly adding water as needed to make a very fine paste...

Add the remainder of the water, vanilla, salt, and your sweetener. Blend for a few more seconds, then pour over the cheesecloth draped over the mesh strainer, resting over a bowl.

Let it strain for about thirty minutes, then gently gather the edges of the cheesecloth and twist over the bowl to get as much milk out as you can.
The last and simplest step before you bottle your milk is my little trick to make it creamy as can be... Add 1-2 tablespoons of full fat coconut to taste. It gives this milk that little special touch it really needs to go from tasty to utterly divine!




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An American girl living in Spain...
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