Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Banana Honey Almond Smoothie - guilt free and good for you. How to make Almond milk

Banana and Honey Almond Smoothie
3/4 cup prepared almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract 
I whole egg
1 ripe banana
1 tsp cinnamon
freshly grated nutmeg from the nut to garnish.
Blend together and sprinkle the nutmeg on top.... So delicious you will want to have another

Guilt free Banana Smoothie with Almond Milk
 The Almond milk was a great success. No cholesterol, No lactose, and no cow' s milk stomach cramps.
Almonds and almond oils have many nutritional and theraupeutic benefits.
Wiki tells us:
The sweet almond contains about 26% carbohydrates (12% dietary fiber, 6.3% sugars, 0.7% starch and the rest miscellaneous carbohydrates), and may therefore be made into flour for cakes and cookies (biscuits) for low-carbohydrate diets or for patients suffering from diabetes mellitus or any other form of glycosuria

Almond flour is gluten-free and therefore a popular ingredient in place of wheat flour for gluten-sensitive people and people with wheat allergies and coeliac disease. A standard serving of almond flour, 1 cup, contains 20 grams of carbohydrates, of which 10 g is dietary fibre, for a net of 10 g of carbohydrate per cup. This makes almond flour very desirable for use in cake and bread recipes by people on carbohydrate-restricted diets.
Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, containing 24 mg per 100 g.[19] They are also rich in monounsaturated fat, one of the two "good" fats responsible for lowering LDL cholesterol.
Claimed health benefits of almonds include improved complexion, improved movement of food through the colon (feces) and the prevention of cancer
Further information about the health benefits from
is precised here:
"In addition to healthy fats and vitamin E, a quarter-cup of almonds contains almost 99 mg of magnesiumpotassium. (that's 24.7% of the daily value for this important mineral), plus 257 mg of
Magnesium is Nature's own calcium channel blocker. When there is enough magnesium around, veins and arteries breathe a sigh of relief and relax, which lessens resistance and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Studies show that a deficiency of magnesium is not only associated with heart attack but that immediately following a heart attack, lack of sufficient magnesium promotes free radical injury to the heart.
Potassium, an important electrolyte involved in nerve transmission and the contraction of all muscles including the heart, is another mineral that is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Almonds promote your cardiovascular health by providing 257 mg of potassium and only 0.3 mg of sodium, making almonds an especially good choice to in protecting against high blood pressure and atherosclerosis"

To make Almond milk:
1. You need a bag of organic almonds, add water to cover and soak for at least 8 hours. **Do not use bitter almonds as the milk could, like apple seeds contain cyanide!!***

2. Drain and rinse the almonds till water runs clear. Then add the soaked almonds to a blender or food processer, with water to cover. You may like to adjust the volume of water added for personal taste. If you use a blender you add water to the maximum level.

This link below has some handy information on how long to process/blend the almonds and water.
 "It may take a bit of trial and error to gauge how smooth the pulp should be. If the almonds process for too long, the pulp will be superfine and require more time and effort to strain. However, if the almonds don’t process long enough, the milk could end up watery instead of creamy. After you’ve made almond milk a few times, you’ll get the hang of it."

3. I use a teatowel to strain the milk from the pulp, but if you wish, you can buy a commercial nut milk bag to separate or strain the pulverised almond and water solution. A teatowel or pair of nylon stockings will work just fine. the milke should be mildly sweet unless you have added too much water in the first place of the nuts have not soaked for long enough.
4. You can sweeten the milk by adding Vanilla essence, dates, or bananas, but I tend to do this at a later stage when preparing a drink/smoothie.

Once again the link above gives us some useful information at this stage of the process

 [Add] "1 very large date (or 2 medium "dates), pitted. One very large date is equal to about one tablespoon, as are two medium dates.If your dates are not soft and pliable, you can soak them in a small amount fresh water, just enough to cover the dates, for fifteen minutes or longer until they plump up enough for ease in blending. If you store your dates in the refrigerator, they will become stiff from the cold but will usually soften up somewhat after being left out at room temperature for a while. If they still seem hard, then definitely utilize the soak method.

You may notice the nut fat and water separate. That is completely normal. Just give the almond milk a gentle shake before you use it. No worries.
The leftover almond milk pulp can be either used immediately or reserved for later. If you are not able to utilize the almond milk pulp right away, you have a few choices as to how to store it for future use. It can be stored in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator for one to two days, or it can be kept in the freezer and thawed when needed. For long-term storage, it can be dehydrated until completely dry, ground into a fine flour, stored in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator.
Use the left over almond milk pulp for making breads, crackers, cakes, cookies, burgers, wrap fillings, salad croutons, cereal, and just about anything else you can imagine. Using the pulp instead of ground whole nuts gives a wonderfully light texture to your creations."

I will add a couple of recipes in the next few days in which I use almond meal. ( nice desserts)
But now, for the smoothie...

A guilt free smoothie is something to ponder about....

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