Almond milk is a very tasty and healthy substitute of dairy milk. You can add the flavors and sweetener of your choice and drink it, and it is very handy for making yummy desserts too. The drinks I like (rather my kid likes) are Saffron-cardamom milk and the famous Thandai. Sometimes I also make Vanilla milk, whenever I get organic vanilla pods (which is not very easily available here). I will post the recipes of flavored drinks later, with pictures. I also use this almond milk for making Kheer and Halwa, the recipes of which are coming up soon!
So, here’s the basic Almond milk recipe (ridiculously easy…..)…….
Organic Almonds – 1 cup (Soaked overnight in drinking water)
Drinking water – 3 cups (at room temperature)
- A High speed blender
- A large bowl
- A clean Muslin cloth for straining (wash with drinking water and squeeze. This makes the straining easier.
- A spoon
- A clean glass container with lid for storing the almond milk.
- Add soaked and drained almonds and water to the blender and blend for 3-4 minutes.
- Pour the contents into the bowl lined with muslin cloth.
- Stir with the spoon till most of the milk is drained into the bowl.
- Gather the muslin cloth and squeeze out the remaining milk as far as possible.
- Transfer this milk into the glass container, put the lid and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
And….what do you do with the Almond meal that is left over? I generally use it for grain free casseroles and as a filler for grain free veggie cutlets, meatloaf, etc.
I sometimes sneak in a few Cashew nuts, while soaking the Almonds. This ensures good thickening of milk while heating and is especially suited for making desserts.
Coming up is one of the desserts, made of Almond milk and a vegetable, which I make once in a while, when my kiddo craves for sweets.
When my kiddo went casein free, I kept wondering how to replace his yogurt which he is so fond of. I looked up on the net for various forms of vegan yogurts and did my own experiments to finally arrive at this delicious yogurt recipe. I use store bought coconut milk, because I have got best results with that. The Dabur coconut milk which we get in India has some additives. It does contain emulsifier (INS 433) and Cellulose (INS 460), but there are no preservatives/flavor enhancers. I use freshly made coconut milk for smoothies, gravies etc, but for yogurt and sweet treats, I like this packaged milk for a good consistency!! You can choose to use home made coconut milk instead, if you are not comfortable with the idea of using the packaged one!!
For fermenting, I use a high potency probiotic, which I was already giving my kiddo at a regular basis. It is called Theralac, each capsule of which has: Lactobacillus acidophilus 10 million CFU, Bifidobacterium Lactis 10 million CFU, and some other strains. I generally avoid any Strep strains in the probiotics I use for my kid as he has PANDAS and for such kids it is advisable to keep away from Strep in any form!!!
So, here comes my recipe of coconut milk yogurt……
Coconut milk – 2 cups
Agar agar powder – 2 tsp (you may use powdered gelatin instead if you are not vegan)
High Potency Probiotic Capsules – 2
- Divide the coconut milk, sprinkle agar agar on 1/2 a cup of coconut milk and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.
- Stir vigorously and bring it to boil till the powder dissolves completely.
- Strain and mix with the remaining coconut milk and warm the mixture to body temperature ( 97 deg F; it should feel little warm if you dip your finger)
- Open up the probiotic capsules and mix with this warm coconut milk mixture.
- Cover and keep at a warm place for fermenting for at least 8 hours, or till you get the desired sourness.
- Transfer to the refrigerator and cool for at least 4 hours.
- The yogurt will be perfectly set and ready to eat.
You can whip this yogurt with any fruit of your choice for a yummy dessert, use for Indian curries calling for Curds/yogurt or even eat it just like that with Parathas or steamed rice, as we eat our dairy yogurt!!