Some of the recipes I have posted here already require almond milk, such as my gluten-free bread recipe, and my dairy-free sorbet. You can easily buy almond milk in a major supermarket, but it is hard to find an almond milk that has a minimal amount of additives. Particularly, people who want to go on an entirely, or mostly, salt-free diet are limited in almond milk options. In addition, if you are on a clean-eating diet it is important to avoid processed foods as much as possible, and really anything that has to have a certain shelf life will be processed to a certain degree and have additives. Almond milk is, although really not a ‘bad’ processed food, still affected by this to a certain degree. Today I realized it shouldn’t be too complicated to make your own almond milk at home. Here is the recipe I used, and the end result was fantastic!
1 cup of raw almonds
4 cups of water
Agave nectar (optional)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
Cover almonds in water and soak overnight.
Put the soaked almonds in a blender, and add 4 cups of water.
Blend on a high setting.
Add 1 tbsp of vanilla extract, and/or some agave nectar to sweeten it to taste.
Blend a few minutes on highest setting until completely smooth.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve or cheesecloth.
Squeeze as much milk as you can from the almonds. To do this, using a cheese cloth is probably better than a sieve, but whatever you have available or prefer working with will work fine to extract the almond milk from the mixture.
Pour the fresh almond milk in a glass container and refrigerate. The almond milk can be kept in the fridge for up to 5-6 days.
Tip: the left over almond pulp can be used to make cookies, cake, bread, or added to sauces!
After switching to a completely dairy free lifestyle, I was a little dissapointed by not being able to eat ice cream. Although of course it is very easy to find dairy free sorbet at places like Whole Foods, they are pretty expensive. Particurly because I am also eating sugar-free. Now, it has always boggled my mind why there is a need to add so much sugar to something like fruit sorbet. Presumably, fruit is already pretty sweet, so adding sugar really doesn’t seem that necessary to me.
Last week, I did find a fantastic orange mango sorbet at my local Whole Foods. At $6.40 for about half a litre (and it lasted me only one day), it does get a little expensive. The other added inconvenience is that Whole Foods is a good 5km hike from my home, so it’s not a place I can easily go to to pick up a tub of ice cream on a whim.
Here is my dairy-free, gluten-free, and sugar-free recipe for homemade fruit sorbet:
1/2 box of strawberries (about 15 medium sized strawberries)
1 cup of almond milk (or rice milk)
Combine strawberries and almond milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Set up the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions (the Cuisinart has to sit in your freezer for at least 12 hours prior to using it, so plan accordingly!). Turn the ice cream maker on, and pour the strawberry mixture into the machine. Add agave nectar to taste (about 1-2 tbsp).
You can get creative and add other things to this recipe as well. Cut up some strawberries into pieces and add them in while the ice cream maker is turned on to mix them in properly. Or add in gummy bears for a fun chewy taste.
Yesterday I went to a salsa club that offers a wednesday night special on mojitos. Given my new commitment to a (refined) sugar-free lifestyle I wasn’t sure I’d be able to enjoy my usual mojito. I wasn’t really in the mood to pay double for a glass of wine, and at the last minute I came up with an interesting alternative solution to the usual sugar added to mojitos. I asked the waiter to make me a mojito without any sugar, and instead sweetened with maple syrup. I’m not kidding when I say my Canuckito (Canadian mojito) was even tastier than the usual sugary version.
Here’s how you can make your very own Canadian Mojito!
1 tsp maple syrup
2 ounces white rum
2 ounces club soda
1 sprig of mint (garnish)
Put the mint leaves in a glass and squeeze the lime over them. Add the maple syrup, then muddle the mint, lime juice, and maple syrup together. Add the crushed ice. Now, stir in the rum and top off with club soda. Garnish your Canadian-style mojito with a mint sprig. Enjoy!