Tuesdays are to me what Saturdays are to the rest of the world with normal jobs. I love my day off, and while it’s usually spent lounging around or moseying around town lazily with friends, I decided that today had to be a productive Tuesday. I woke up with a mission, and I could almost hear my kitchen’s sharp, anticipatory inhalation as I entered, like it knew it was going to get quite the work out!
To go into detail about every little treat my kitchen spouted out today would take far too much time than I have to document, but in a nutshell, I made almond milk, almond meal crackers, zucchini hummus, vegetable stock, raw avocado soup, and, of course, a big jar of green juice! Yeah, I wasn’t kidding when I said my kitchen got a workout. I’m sure my Ninja doesn’t want to hear from me for the next week, and my oven is very thankful to finally get a little rest.
If you don’t already know how, you can read how to make vegetable stock here. It’s one of those foods that is a totally evolving organism, looking different every time. I know the recipe I originally posted shows pictures of a deeper colored, reddish concoction, but due to a variation of vegetables (I used pulp from a GREEN juice), this batch came out looking mean and green! I also threw some more herbs from my garden into it, making my kitchen smell absolutely heavenly.
Now, the soup and the crackers were tasty, but that’s not what I want to focus on. What I want to do here today is tell you about this discovery I happened upon in my research that I can’t get enough of! Have you ever made your own almond milk? It’s super easy. ANYONE can do it, I promise! It tastes way better than the store-bought stuff, too!
Almond milk is becoming more and more popular as our population continues to pursue alternatives to dairy milk. It has entered almost every grocery store you can think of, and is absolutely delicious! The problem? Store-bought products like almond milk have additives like refined sugars, preservatives, and other icky stuff that I just can’t deal with while on my Clean Eating Cleanse. I LOVE almond milk, though, and need it for many of my recipes. What’s a girl to do? Make her own, that’s what! Only 2 ingredients and you’ll be good to go. Not bad, huh?
Start with a cup of almonds. Soak them overnight so they get nice and soft and fleshy.
Add the almonds to your Ninja (or VitaMix or whatever!) and pour 4 cups of water in.
Blend that sucker for about a minute. In the end, it should look like this:
Yum. Frothy goodness. Side bar: I know my photos show 2 sizes of blenders, but that’s just because I thought the little one would be big enough; it’s SO not! Use the bigger container if possible, so you don’t have an almond explosion on your hands. That’s one mess you don’t want to clean up! (well, are there any messes you really want to clean up? Probably not.)
Now comes the tricky part. If you have cheesecloth, it’s not so tricky. If you’re a broke mother trucker like myself, you’ll have to find a (CLEAN!) cotton t-shirt you’re willing to part with in order to strain out the almond pulp. I used an old cotton dress:
Line a bowl with your cheesecloth (or t-shirt, or dress!) and pour the mixture in! squeeze the fabric to get all the water into the bowl. Voila! Houston, we have almond milk! Some people choose to add a bit of honey to their milk, but I’m a “less is more” kind of lady, so I keep it as is. Make sure to store in an airtight container and use within the week! Save the almond pulp. There are so many awesome recipes that call for it, and it’s really expensive in stores!
Now, in true “juice junky” fashion, let’s talk about my morning juice! Today I juiced cucumber, celery, grapefruit, ginger, kale, and leftovers. What are leftovers, you ask? Well, I had vegetable soup last night, and I saved the ends of the carrots I chopped, the base of the celery stalk, even the top of the onions and green peppers I chopped. I don’t believe in waste, so I threw it all into a Tupperware container until this morning, when it all went into my tasty breakfast! It turned out pretty great!
Have you been cooking from scratch lately? What other kitchen staples would you like to learn to make at home? I’d love to do some more experimenting!