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SarahLawrenceCHHC

Ditch and Switch! DIY Non-Dairy Yum!

Have you ditched dairy and joined the alternative milk tribe?  If you have then you know that there are some crazy cool milks  on the market shelves these days!  Gone are the days of sickeningly sweet soy milk as the only sad option... the dairy free can now choose from Almond, Amaranth, Cashew, Coconut, Hemp, Rice, and Soy! Oh, My!  

While choices are great, when was the last time you took a look at the ingredients on the back of your favorite alternative carton?  It's surprising how much EXTRA junk goes into these bevvies and it's not good. What is good is that making your own alternative milk is as easy as 1-2-3.  Stick with me and try it for yourself.  You'll never believe how easy it is!  


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Homemade Nut Milk

1 cup raw almonds or cashews, soaked overnight in 2-3 cups of clean water, then drained
4 to 5 cups of water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 dates, soaked for 20 minutes or use stevia or honey

Directions:
  1. Place the nuts in your blender with about 4 to 5 cups of water. A Vitamix makes quick work of this task, but any high speed blender or food processor will do the job. Blend on high for 45-60 seconds until smooth.

  2. Strain the nut milk through a nut bag. Almonds will leave behind quite a bit of pulp that can be dehydrated or dried and added to your baking.  

  3. Add the milk back to your blender and process again with vanilla and dates if you are going for a sweetened and flavored milk.  Pour into a clean glass jar or pitcher and store in the fridge.  Best to use within a week.


Homemade Oat Milk

1 cup gluten-free oats, soaked overnight in 2-3 cups of clean water, then drained
3 cups of water

Directions:
  1. Place the oats and water in your blender.  Blend on high for 30-45 seconds until smooth.

  2. Strain the oat milk through a fine mesh colander or strainer. The oat pulp can also be saved and added back into a bowl of oatmeal, used as an addition to baking or can be added to smoothies to help yield a creamier texture.

  3. Oat milk is thinner than nut milk, but naturally sweeter.  You can sweeten and flavor just like you would nut milk.

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Sarah Lawrence

Warming Chai, DIY Warming Balm AND a chance to win!

Wow, is it chilly here in New England this morning! I'm pulling out a mug of cinnamonny chai and rubbing some warming balm into the soles of my feet... and I'm keeping on my fuzzy socks until the sun comes out!  {{don't judge!}}  It is June, right?! Anyway, if you're game to try, I've posted my recipes for my favorite Coconut Chai and Warming Balm below!  I'm also including a blurb about the bennies of Coconut Milk (which apply to Coconut Oil too).  I alternate dairy free milks depending on my mood and on what I have in the pantry... coconut, hemp, almond and cashew are easy to store and easy to blend into your perfect milk! (I'm hooking you up with my DIY Coconut Milk Recipe too... :)  ) I want to hear from YOU!  What do you do when you are chilly?  What is your go-to, warm-me-up, comfort-in-a-cup drink?  What other tricks do you have up your sleeve?  Share...  I'll be picking ONE or TWO people to send a tin of my gorgeous Warming Balm or a Chai Lip Balm... I'll let you choose.  But, you can't win if you don't share!  Get to it!    ********************************************************************* coconut-729059_1280
5 Health Benefits of Coconut Milk
  1. Calcium and Magnesium powerhouse ~ Coconut milk is higher in calcium than regular milk and almond milk! It is also rich in magnesium which can help relieve and ease sore muscles and promote a sense of calmness for relaxation and sleep.
  2. Nutrients galore ~ Coconut milk contains iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, as well as vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6.
  3. Immune System Booster ~ Coconut milk and coconut oil contain lauric acid, which is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It’s a great tool to support a healthy immune system.
  4. Weight Management ~ The body uses the short and medium-chain fatty acids in coconut for energy. The fiber in coconut milk is also great for helping you feel full and satisfied AND it’s great for your colon!
  5. Dairy Free, Nut Free and Vegan ~ allergy friendly for those who need to be dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free and gluten-free.
DIY Coconut Milk
  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 4 cups water
What you will do:
  1. Soak coconut in the water for an hour
  2. In your vitamix or high speed blender blitz everything – the coconut and the soaking water. You want to blend on the highest speed for about a minute. You’ll see that the solids will dissipate and the whole mess will get insanely creamy --- watch the sides of your pitcher for the change!
  3. If your blender doesn’t get the mixture completely smooth, go ahead and strain everything through a clean nutmilk bag or clean coffee filter.
NOTE:  you can add a little vanilla extract and a few drops of liquid stevia if you want to change the flavor.  Also, for DIY Coconut Cream, reduce the amount of water to 2 cups.  You may need to add a little water as you blend, depending on the moisture content of the coconut that you start with! Warming Coconut Chai What you will need:
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp clove or 2 whole cloves
  • ½ tsp cardamom or 1 cardamom pod
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or about 1 inch of cinnamon bark
  • ½ inch fresh ginger, skin removed and minced
  • black tea – 2-4 teabags, depending on how strong you like your chai
  • raw honey, stevia, or coconut sugar (usually a tsp or two will do if you need it sweet)
What you will do:
  1. Crush any whole spices (not the ginger) in motor and pestle or put them in a baggie and gently bash them with a rolling pin; a clean coffee grinder also works as does a quick spin in your high speed blender with the coconut milk. Whatever your method, grind the spices and combine with the coconut milk.
  2. Heat coconut milk, ground spices and ginger to a simmer.
  3. Add tea bags and simmer for about 5 minutes, then shut off the heat and cover; the longer you let this steep, the deeper the spiced flavor will be – 10-15 minutes.
  4. Taste the mixture. Does it need sweetener or is the cinnamon enough?
  5. Strain your concentrate through a sieve or tea strainer.
  6. Reheat the concentrate and add some water to thin it if you like.
Whipped Chai Balm

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