Saturday, December 5, 2009

Giveaway Winners!

Thank you to all that provided feedback on my "Go Healthy" tutorial - I'm so glad that it sparked some interest in a few of you! We did the draw for the winner at midnight last night and the winner is...

*drumroll pls*

All of you! You can thank my little girl who has put my in a very festive mood with all her excitement lately around Santa, snow and reindeer. A mom can't resist! So instead of just one winner, a FREE pair of Abbey Lane's Holiday Candy Swirl Hair Clips will go to all my commentators on the Go Healthy post. Congratulations everyone!!

Please send me an email through my store or DM on twitter @abbeylane to provide me with your full name and shipping details.

Happy Holidays!

Abbey Lane Baby Boutique

Friday, December 4, 2009

Go Healthy: Making Your Own Almond Milk

I'm sure you have heard the rumblings around how processed our food has become, how the industrialization of food now lends to it having more chemicals than beneficial nutrients, etc. I'm not a vegetarian, I'm not a vegan, I'm not a health nut, and I don't only eat raw foods. I'm your average gal who works everyday and comes home to a lovely husband and cute little toddler. That said, I haven't ignored the research out there and continue to read on the latest findings, thinking, etc. around our food and our food consumption. This has led me to try small changes that hopefully enhance the well being of myself and my family. That, and it is kind of fun to explore new things. I'll save my awesome recipe for juicing a REAL V8, and the photos of a gorgeous shot of wheat grass and all it's benefits for later. For now, many of you on twitter have asked me to post how I made my almond milk, so here it is.

Go to the bulk barn or grocery store and buy organic raw almonds. You want the almond in its rawest form and nothing with it being roasted, salted, flavored, etc.


Give those babies a good overnight soak. Soak them in purified water (I used Brita water) to keep the milk as 'clean' as possible. Let them soak for 24 to 48 hours. I am pretty impatient so I let my sit for about 24 hours and it worked fine. The purpose of soaking them for this long is to release all the starches from the almonds.

Drain the almonds and then give one last rinse to get rid of any remaining starch residue. Put the almonds into a blender and add purified water. The amount of water is dependent on how thick you want your milk to be. My rule of thumb is to basically add enough water that covers twice the amount of almonds. So if you had a half cup of almonds, I would add in 1 cup of water. Give the blender a whiz until all the almonds are broken down into tiny, tiny pieces.

Grab your nut bag (yes, I said nut bag) which is available at any health food store. It basically functions much like a cheese cloth so you could try using that too. The nut bag I am using is 100% organic hemp which was about $7 US. Put the bag over a wide mouthed vessel and then pour the liquid from the blender into the nut bag and draw the string shut. You will now "milk" the bag to squeeze out the liquid.

Once you squeeze all the liquid out, you will be left with only the crumbled almonds in the bag. TIP: Don't throw this out!! This makes for an awesome add-in to any baking and it smells sooo good in it's raw form. Look how beautiful those below photos are!

The Finished Product - Raw, Natural Almond Milk

My package of almonds yielded me 4 cups of almond milk. They say it lasts generally for up to 4 weeks. It does naturally separate in the fridge after a day or two but much like soy milk, you just give it a shake and it's fine - this does not mean it has gone bad. Give it a try - it's super easy and fun when you can make your own end products out of raw, natural foods! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and always welcome feedback! Follow me on Twitter as well @abbeylane
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