Recipe Marathon: Day 2.
Why make your own vegan “milks” when you can buy them?
1. We don’t particularly like soy-based milks for various reasons – they’re genetically modified, chemically processed and not the great superfoods they are touted to be (Link) . In Asia it is used mostly as a condiment and frequently in fermented form.
2. Most vegan “milks” sold in the market have carageenan, oils and lots of sugar.
1. SPROUT OR SOAK
Put whole unpeeled nuts, seeds, legumes, grains in filtered water overnight, then drain and leave for a day or so until the tiniest hint of a sprout emerges. HOW TO SPROUT.
Whole grain oats (groats), brown rice, barley, sunflower seeds, almonds, mung beans etc. can be consumed this way. Sprouting makes them easily digestible and increases their nutritional content several times over. BENEFITS OF SPROUTING.
If you don’t want to/can’t sprout them:
If the grain/seed is not whole and doesn’t sprout, we soak it anyway to make it more digestible and taste sweeter. Soaking removes the phytic acid in the bran and the enzyme inhibitors, to convert the seed/nut/grain into a living food. (Link) Discard the soaking water.
Most of the phytic acid is removed during the cooking process, so soaking is not necessary if you are going to cook the grain/legume/seed. However, if you going to consume it raw (as in “milk” form), soaking is recommended.
Note: California almonds are no longer available raw because growers are required to treat them chemically or with steam to pasteurise them to prevent salmonella contamination.
Pasteurization of raw almonds can destroy active enzymes and diminish the vitamin content of food. Under the ruling, almond farmers will be required to treat raw almonds with propylene oxide or steam them to over 200 degrees before they can be sold to American consumers. (Source)
That means you’ve either got to buy imported raw almonds, or just not sprout them. We soak them anyway and discard the water.
If you don’t even want to soak them:
If you have leftover cooked brown rice or grain, just puree with water and flavourings (1 part rice to 4 parts water) to make “milk”.
Use a food processor and make a fine blend. We use 1 cup of nuts/seeds/grains with 4 to 5 cups filtered water depending on how creamy we want it.
Soaked Almonds and Vanilla Bean
Add flavourings of choice – vanilla bean or pure vanilla extract, saffron, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cocoa powder, coffee, rose water, orange flower water, lavender, chamomile – the possibilities are endless.
We don’t peel the nuts. You can either keep the nut/seed/grain milk to settle and strain it out or simply shake it up and use it it. Don’t throw the residue away. Oats, nut residue, etc. can be used as thickeners for cooking or mixed into porridge for breakfast.
For richer creamier “milk”: Add a few soaked cashews.
For lower-fat “milks”: Blend your soaked/sprouted nuts/seeds with soaked/sprouted grains or legumes like rice, oats, barley, mung beans, etc.
For maximum benefits: Consume the “milk” raw.