Archive for March, 2009

Homemade Almond Milk

img_3276

For those of us avoiding dairy, finding a good milk substitute is imperative. I prefer almond milk of all of the choices. Not only does it have the best taste, but almonds have a bit of calcium in them, making almond milk a better calcium-rich choice than soy, rice or oat milk . Of course there is a commercial brand of almond milk out there, but making it at home is easier than you think. You will need the following tools: blender, measuring spoon or scale, and a jug for storing the milk. The ingredients are simple, as well. You will need 1 cup (or 5 oz) of blanched almonds, 4 cups purified water, dash salt.

Step 1: Blend 1 cup (or 5 oz) of blanched almonds on high speed until powdery. You may need to scrape the sides of the blender down.

img_3245

Step 2: Add a dash of salt and 4 cups of purified water to the blender. Blend for about 1 minute. The mixture should look cloudy and resemble cow’s milk.

img_3255

Step 3: Pour into container for storing in the fridge and keep chilled for up to 4 days.

Notes:

* If you desire a smoother consistency, strain the milk through a 2 layer cheesecloth. Cheesecloth can be found at art and craft supply stores such as Michael’s of Jo-Ann Fabrics.

* Some people like to add a teaspoon of vanilla to the mixture. I prefer mine plain, but add at will.

* There are other ways to make almond milk. One is using raw almonds and soaking them overnight. Check out this recipe.

* We recently did a cost analysis on homemade versus commerical almond milk. When Almond Breeze is on sale for $1.99, it is cheaper to buy it than to make our own. Almonds are pretty expensive, even when we get them from NutsOnline. So, homemade almond milk is not something that I make all the time simply because it does not always work out to be cheaper.

Advertisements

Comments (2)

Dairy-free & Gluten-free Spaghetti and Meatballs

img_32331serves 4-5

1 spaghetti squash
2 T. oil
1 bunch asparagus, chopped
1/2 c. shredded carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jar marinara sauce
1 pkg. Aidells Chipotle meatballs
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried basil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. nutritional yeast*

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and pulp and discard. Bake covered with tin foil for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand.

In a large non-stick pan, heat oil. Once oil is warmed, saute asparagus on medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Add carrots and garlic and saute until all vegetables are cooked. Set aside. Add meatballs to the non-stick pan, turning frequently until heated through — about 8 minutes. Remove meatballs from the pan and lay out on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to soak up any grease. Wipe out the pan and combine the asparagus mixture with the marinara sauce, oregano, basil, and salt over low heat to warm. Separate the strands of the spaghetti squash by running a fork through it from “stem to stern.” Serve by putting the spaghetti squash on the bottom, then sauce, then meatballs. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast. Enjoy!

* Nutritional Yeast is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium. It has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy. It can be purchased at most natural food stores.

Leave a Comment

Yeast Diaper Rash

Oh my. Oh my. We’re cloth diapering and our son got a yeast diaper rash. I learned a lot through this whole experience, much of it with the help Karen (who sews our cloth diaper covers); the rest of it from internet research. Here’s what I learned. product_diaper_rash_relief

1. Only certain diaper rash creams should be used on babies wearing cloth diapers. Most commercial creams create a barrier on the inner material and cause the diaper to repel instead of absorb moisture. Others contain cod liver oil, such as A&D Ointment, and there’s nothing worse than fishy diapers.

2. Only certain detergents should be used on cloth diapers. Check out the list here.

3.  The yeast on the cloth diapers needs to be killed or the rash will continue to come back. I added a tablespoon or so of bleach to every hot water cycle, then added vinegar to the rinse cycle, and finally ran an extra cold water rinse with nothing in it until the rash was gone.

4. Some disposable wipe solutions will feed the yeast. So, I continued to use my cloth wipes and a homemade wipe solution. For the solution I mixed 2 t. vegetable oil, 1/8 t. Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild liquid soap, and 1 c. water.

5. There are natural ways to treat a yeast diaper rash on a cloth diapered baby. We laid our baby out to air dry during the day. I rubbed virgin coconut oil (it has anti-fungal properties) on him and hoped he didn’t get too cold (since it’s in the 20s outside). He had to be in a diaper for naps though, so we used MotherLove cream since it is safe for cloth diapers and fights yeast. I also gave him acidophilus powder to suck off my finger since it is known to stop the growth of yeast.

Our babe is now better, but I am going to run one more cycle of bleach and vinegar in his diapers to make sure the yeast is long gone! Phew!

Comments (10)

Dairy-free living

It has been 3 months now since I’ve been dairy-free. My infant son has a cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) and because I am committed to nursing him, I have cut all dairy out of my diet. It was hard at first, but I can say that my cravings have significantly subsided now. That’s pretty amazing since I was a huge dairy consumer — milk, cottage cheese, cream cheese, yogurt, and hard cheeses. Yes, cheese has been the most difficult item to go without. There’s just no substitute close to smoked gouda. Mmm. At any rate, I wanted to share some dairy-free resource for anyone else who might be in the same boat. I hope you find them useful. I also plagodairyfreen to share dairy-free recipes this month. Stay tuned.

Informative Websites
Go Dairy Free
No Milk
Whole Foods Market

Blogs
The Spunky Coconut
Avoiding Milk Protein
The Milk Free Life
Ashley’s Dairy-free cooking

Books
Go Dairy Free
The Milk-Free Kitchen: Living Well Without Dairy Products
Levana Cooks Dairy-Free

Comments (6)