ThriftyNut

Survival Tips for One-Income Households

DIY Almond Milk

I can honestly say, I have never tried almond milk from the store…  I decided to try this recipe for 2 reasons.  It looked fun and I just know how unbelievably expensive alternative milks are.  Of course, my inspiration came straight from Jillee!  LOVE HER, by the way.

Vegetarians in Paradise has a ton of information on Almonds and it’s benefits.  Almonds are high in protein, calcium, fiber, vitamin E and magnesium.  It’s powerful antioxidants are considered high in cancer fighting properties.  Most of the fat in almonds is mono-unsaturated and considered beneficial fat.  They also contain potassium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and trace amounts of the B vitamins, thiamin and riboflavin.

Good thing I looked up this information!  That gives this project the added nudge to do it again and again!

I will have to say though… Feedback from the kids and husband was NOT good.  I heard a lot of “What is that??” and gagging and “don’t ever give that to me again” from the husband who I caught off guard when I said “Try this”!!!

Well, I still think that you should try it in some smoothies or green drinks where you can still get the benefits of all the nutrients but not taste it.  Personally, it was not that bad for my taste because I made it myself and knew (kind of) what to expect.

Here is what I did!  Easy Peasy!  (what does that even mean? lol)

Take 1 cup of almonds and soak overnight in a bowl.  I put them on a shelf in a cupboard to keep my crazy home full of kids, husband and animals out of it.  🙂
 

Then they will be plump in the morning!  See?  Just dump out the water, it will be gross looking.

I rinsed them at this point because I like to be sure they are clean.  Put them in a blender with 3-4 cups clean purified water.

See how dirty the water is still?  Probably could have rinsed them longer, but oh well!  Blend on HIGH until it looks like it is pretty smooth.  You will still see little specks in the milk.

Now for straining… I went out to buy potato sack bags in the kitchen section for the next batch which I can’t wait to make!   I tried using a strainer and it was so thick that it did not drain that fast… See first photo…  So, I tried a coffee filter… lol  DID NOT WORK.   NO NEED FOR A PHOTO!!!!  I only had a really really tiny cotton cloth that I used in the 2nd photo… It worked, but it was a struggle to make sure it didn’t pour out the sides.  I wish I had a bigger piece of linen to squeeze more at one time.  The 3rd photo shows the almond meal… Save that, I will tell you what to do with it at the end.

When you are done squeezing the milk out.  Taste the milk and don’t gag because this stuff is like gold.  To help the taste, add a pinch of Salt, and 2 tsp of Honey… I would add more honey, for sure.

You could add this in your coffee (not sure I would because I am particular to my creamer).  You could add chocolate (that just might do the trick!) or add to your smoothies!

NOW for the Almond Meal… Here is what 1 cup of almonds made…

Just preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Put in in for 15  min and then mix, break down chunks and check every 5 min after that, for crispiness.  You will see it brown on the sides.  I took my slotted spatula and swished it side to side to break up the chunks.  It did a great job.  You will feel how tacky (damp) it is still… just put it in a while longer.

I used mine to top my salads with… You could also throw it in your smoothies, add it to yogurt… The possibilities are endless.  I LOVE it on my salads.  Freeze any leftovers.

That’s it for now!  I hope you liked this post!  It was fun and now that I have my potato sack bags, I am even more excited to try this again!!!!

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DIY Coconut Milk, DOES IT WORK???

Mmmmm, Coconut Milk, just sounds refreshing!  And when I saw this post from one of my favorite bloggers, “One Good Thing” by Jillee, I had to put it to the test!  She is crazy nuts about the same things I am!  I look forward to every post!  She posts things I can’t wait to try making myself!

Coconut Milk… So what is it?  What is it good for?  Fresh, homemade coconut milk is far richer in vitamins, food enzymes and nutrients than coconut milk from a can or box.  Fresh coconut milk contains three times as much vitamin C as canned coconut milk and is richer in thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B6.  Cutting your own coconut open is hard to do, so this recipe is definitely the easier route to get most of the same nutrients from shaved coconut.

Real coconut spoils rather quickly, so unless you live in a Tropical paradise, you probably will receive a coconut that has been treated to slow down the molding process.  With that said, the best coconut milk is one that you can make yourself.  www.freecoconutrecipes.com is packed full of information on coconuts and recipes and how to make coconut milk yourself.

Here was how I did it… I really was just trying this recipe out just to see if I could make milk out of coconut flakes and didn’t go out and buy the REAL organic coconut like I should have.  I thought just the regular coconut tasted just fine until I did my research on it.  Coconut flakes need to be organic and you need to look for a bag that is not treated with sulfites and is not sweetened.  I did not know that!  The original recipe wasn’t specific about these details, and for my purpose of just trying the recipe out, I didn’t really care this time around… But now that I know it worked even with the generic coconut flakes and I did my research and discovered how bad these coconut flakes are for you, you betcha I will go back and find the organic unsweetened unsulfited (made that word up, lol) coconut flakes to try this recipe again…

So here is the recipe for coconut milk.

1/2 cup unsweetened organic coconut flakes with no sulfites

4 cups HOT water not boiling.

THAT’S IT!!!!

Really?  It is that simple?  Oh my gosh… Now you know why I was obsessed to run to my cabinet for my already sweetened crappy coconut and test it out as fast as I could.  Part of my creative addiction.  Trial and error is a must in my life.  I really should do more research on what I do before I do it, but WHAT FUN IS THAT???  lol

So here is how you do it…
 

Take 1/2 cup coconut flakes and pour it into your blender or your Magic Bullet… BUT MAKE SURE IT HAS A TIGHT SEAL!!!!  I did not know that my NEW Magic Bullet (the blender attachment) had no seal… Then you take hot water and push down on the FAST blender?  Let’s just say that I will NEVER use the blender attachment again.  What fun would it be if this didn’t happen to me?  lol  OUCH!!

So, I decided to still use the Magic Bullet, but use the smaller attachments that I knew had a seal.  I wasn’t about to give up even though I had coconut on my walls and cupboard doors and on the floor.  lol  (TRUST ME, this was my first experience with a blender explosion…now I can say that has happened to me, lol)

Let’s try this again… Take 1/2 cup organic unsweetened unsulfited coconut flakes, and 1 cup of hot water… I just set my teapot on the stove to almost boiling and then I knew it was hot enough.
Isn’t my teapot cute?  Though unfortunately it does not whistle…  😦

Blend for 20 pulses (I didn’t take a photo of the blending process, sorry)… Probably because I was still in pain from the hot water hitting me.  lol

Strain out the coconut and press down on it to really squeeze out the milk.  I would use something else rather than your hand to push down on it… he he   I got these strainers together at the dollar store!  They worked great, but I still used a spoon on top of them to push down the milk.

I found THIS on another blog from Crunchy Betty (don’t you just love her title?).  It was a comment from one of the readers which actually made sense and really would be something I would like to try.  The first squeeze is called “Kakang Gata” (meaning thick coconut milk).  The thickness of the milk will dictate its use.  So, for each time that you squeeze the milk out, it has varying potencies and will be used for certain things.  See her full comment posted at the end.  I didn’t see her comment until I did more research to blog about my findings after I already made the milk.  So I mixed mine back and forth because I knew the last cup of milk made would be way less potent.

I like that she commented on this post.  Coming from someone who uses and can share her experiences on this way of making coconut milk.  That means more than research and hard testing in a lab sometimes for me.

The second squeeze is just “Gata”. Take the strained coconut from the first squeeze and throw it back in the blender with another 1 cup of HOT water.  Blend for 20 pulses again and squeeze the milk out again the same way (now put this one in a different container).  You could label it #2 so you don’t forget what Gata and Kakang Gata means, lol…

Do this 2 more times for a total of 4 cups of yummy coconut milk.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE!!!

Here is what it made…

Keep in mind that this will not keep in your refrigerator longer than 1 week.  So, if you plan to use the milk, plan a week where you can actually get to your recipes to make them.

Here is the post from the reader on Crunchy Betty’s blog.

Fidelle Collapse

Hi! I’m from the Philippines and we love our coconut. We call it the Tree of Life. And it’s just so awesome that we have been blessed with many coconut trees. Here you can ask the ‘niyog’ vendor to grate the fresh white stuff for you. We soak the shavings in warm water. We squeeze the milk out with our own (clean) hands. The first squeeze is called “Kakang Gata” (meaning thick coconut milk). We rehydrate the shavings and the second squeeze is just “Gata”. The thickness of the milk will dictate its use.

We many uses for coconut milk. I use it as an all-around moisturizer. My mother uses it for cooking. We use it to polish the floor and the furniture.

I use Gata on my hair and face overnight then I wash it off in the morning. The reason is that it tends to react with the tropical heat and pollution, leaving a sticky mess. The milk leaves my skin glowing and pimple-free. I learned this from my mom. She is nearing 50 (ssshh!) but does not look a day older than 30! My hair suffered due to coloring and I brought it back to its former shiny, bouncy, wavy self with Gata.

We use Kakang Gata on curries and fish dishes. It’s great on vegetable stew. We also use Kakang Gata to top desserts or even make rice pudding. Yum yum yum!

Any left-over gata is stored in the ref to make Virgin Coconut Oil. A little goes a long way. VCO is my all-over body oil and hair shine serum. It reminds my bf of his favorite rice pudding *wink* I also use it to remove makeup. I mix it with honey and brown sugar for my face-n’-body-scrub.

I also take 2 spoonfuls of VCO or Kakang Gata everyday as a gentle laxative. It helped me loose weight. Mixed with honey, it also helps with my problem with acid reflux.

Nature has provided us with this great gift. And I intend to use it!

Yeah, I’m making y’all jealous on purpose. Har har har! *evil laugh*

What a great post!  I loved it!  I hope you did too!  There are all sorts of recipes on the Internet that include this awesome coconut milk.  I would love to hear your findings on them!

Until next creative inspiration hits me… lol

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