The other night, I had a craving for something sweet, so I decided to make my favorite baked oatmeal recipe.
I started mixing the oats, spices, and other dry ingredients in one bowl. In a second bowl, I cracked the eggs, added the maple syrup... and then I opened the fridge for the almond milk - I needed 1 cup - only to discover I had none!
It was 9pm, and I was already in my quitters (sweats, glasses, you get the picture). I rummaged through the pantry - no almonds either. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't make a quick batch of homemade almond milk.
And the thing about making your almond milk is, you really need to soak the almonds for at least 8 hours.
Then you have to blend it and strain it through a cheesecloth - and it's actually not hard at all but you have to have some forethought, and remember, it was 9pm at night.
So anyway, I was about to mope on into the living room and make my hubby feel bad enough for me to run out to the store (even though I don't love commercial almond milk), when I remembered a trick I read somewhere, but never tried.
You can make almond milk from almond butter!
I quickly did a little google search, and sure enough, it was out on the interwebs so it must be a viable option.
So, I put three scoopfuls of almond butter (3 T.) in the blender with 2 c. of water and a drizzle of honey and blended away!
The result - amazing, delicious almond milk! I happily added it to the wet ingredients and my Baked Oatmeal turned out wonderfully.
Side note - if you ever have a sweet craving, I highly reccommend baked oatmeal with fruit and yogurt. It's weirdly one of my favorite late night treats.
The milk was a little frothy. So it's probably not the kind of milk you want to chug, and if you store it in the fridge, you will need to shake it up again before using it. But, I've since used this in smoothies, Nutty Oat Pancakes, Quinoa Mac, chia pudding - you name it.
Almond Butter - Almond Milk
Whatever type of milk you choose to consume (if any at all), keep one thing in mind - the less processed the better.
When it became known that 65% of the human population has trouble digesting lactose, we all raced to milk alternatives like soy, then rice, then almond, coconut, hemp, ect. But those alternatives came with their own host of issues, as any industrially-processed food product does. Namely, crazy additives and thickeners that may or may not have a negative impact on our health.
So what is a dairy avoiding, nut milk loving girl or guy to do? Make your own, by soaking the nuts, blending, then straining OR by using almond butter, which is a super awesome shortcut.
We soak the almonds before eating or blending them, in order to activate them (more on that here). But almond butter is already activated and ready to go!
Almond butter is an excellent source of protein that helps with tissue regeneration and repair, and are loaded with healthy fats that help prevent heart disease, boost brain health, mood, and energy. This would also make an awesome post workout drink!
3 T. - almond butter
2 c. - water
1 t. - honey or maple syrup
Place in a blender and combine, at high speed, for 1 minute. Enjoy!
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Eating well is easy if you are prepared. All it takes is having a plan - going to the grocery store with a list, and having all the ingredients in your kitchen.