”For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.” – Pythagoras
Since I was young I have abhorred the thought of any animal suffering and although I was born into a family of avid meat eaters, by the time I was 15 I had sworn off meat for good. Ten years down the line and I am still eating cheese, drinking milk and indulging in the occasional egg. Last week something shifted, for no apparent reason the thought of a cup of tea or a cheese sandwich would bring me to tears and I realised that now was the time for change. I’m not the most self-controlled person but after recently quitting smoking cigarettes and giving up sugar, I knew that if I made gradual changes over time I would get there in due time while keeping myself emotionally healthy.
Step one was the question of what I could put in my tea and coffee that I would actually enjoy. I had tried the store bought soy milk, rice milk and almond milk and I can’t say any of them were capable of making a decent cup of tea. This was most likely all for the best because it forced me to be self sufficient and take matters into my own hands.
Now I was convinced that this was going to be a difficult task, but goodness was I wrong. 3 ingredients! That’s all it took: water, almonds and a pinch of salt.
Soaking the nuts is vitally important to make the other steps work and it is the main reason that almond milk is so good for you. When the nuts are dry, they are in a dormant state because there isn’t enough water for them to germinate into plants and unfortunately in order for the seed to stay dormant, it contains some chemicals that aren’t great for your health. These include enzyme inhibitors, tannins and phytic acid. Enzyme inhibitors can mess with your digestive system if you eat too many nuts and phytic acid can inhibit the absorption of minerals in the gut. By soaking the nuts first we not only make it easier to blend them up into milk but also cause the nut to release all its “unhealthy chemicals” into the water so we don’t ingest it.
- Place 1 cup of raw almonds into a jar/bowl of warm water along with a splash of lemon juice.
- Cover jar/ bowl with a breathable cloth and leave to soak for 12 hours.
- Once 12 hours has elapsed, remove any floaters (rancid nuts) and rinse the nuts thoroughly.
- Simply put the nuts into a blender with three cups of distilled water and a pinch of sea salt, then blitz for 30 – 60 seconds.
- Strain through cheesecloth (optional: for a smooth milk). I turned my leftover pulp into muffins!
- Throw the milk back into the rinsed blender, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil then blast until smooth and creamy (optional).
- Will keep for 2 – 3 days in a sealed container in the fridge.
To my surprise as I later sipped on a rather dark looking cup of tea, it was delicious! I can now drink my morning tea without bursting into tears, which today seems like a win.
Love and light, Jen