Stretching Good Ingredients for Plant Based Recipes

Hi all,

        I apologize for having not posted since February.  In February, I was offered to take over a teaching position in the middle of the semester and work took over.  I have enjoyed teaching at this wonderful school over the summer and I am finally off for a couple of weeks before I get back into gear to teach again.  But, it is my priority to update and post to this blog regularly so that you can be inspired to live a rich, healthy and sustainable life simply and frugally.  

        Today, I would like to share a couple of pictures of my latest creation: Hazelnut Milk.

hazelnutmilk1

 Here is why I was inspired: 

       I was at a vegetarian festival last week and I overheard a speaker in a tent say that almond milk from the store didn’t taste good and that she has been making almond milk for a long time.  The phrases that stuck with me “soak almonds” “add water” “add a date”.  So, after the festival, I was on a mission to make my own nut milk and keep the pulp for another purpose.  Here is the pulp: 

         hazelnutpulp

 I want to use the pulp to make something savory like a nut pate or a cheese spread that I can just spread onto some toast for a light meal.  If I like what I make, I can remember to make it for gatherings and other events!  

True, I paid around four dollars for the hazelnuts from the bulk bin and I put in the elbow grease and time with the cheesecloth and blender AND I have dishes to do. But, not only did I make some creamy and delicious nut milk, I was also able to use it as creamer for my coffee and I have this beautiful pulp leftover to make one or two savory creations.  

Here is a picture of my hazel nut dandelion “coffee” (no caffeine).  Move over Dunkin’ Donuts! 

hazelnutmilkcoffee

 

I apologize for the lack of recipe and DIY photos, as I don’t have anybody to take pictures of me making the milk.  I learned how to make this fabulous nut milk after watching a show on organic living on an educational channel here near Chicago. I will try to explain this as clearly as I can. Also, I DON’T measure – you have been forewarned 😉 

1) Soak raw nuts in filtered water for at least 6 hours.  Overnight is best. If you want to add some sweetness, soak a date the night before too. 

2) After the nuts have been soaked, strain them in a colander and put them in a blender. 

3) Add around two cups of filtered water (and the date, if using), or more if you don’t want your milk to be very creamy. 

4) Blend until the nuts have been pulverized. 

5) Take a cheesecloth and pour the nutty goodness into it. Make sure you have a container with a wide enough mouth for you to squeeze out the milk.  

6) Squeeze out the milk and make sure you hold the cheesecloth like you would a bag of coins with your other hand, or have a partner do it for you while you squeeze. 

7) Repeat the process of filling up the cheesecloth and squeezing as much as possible.  

8) Set aside the pulp for another use.  

If the milk is still too “creamy” like half and half, you may add more water to it.  But I find that it is better to err on the side of adding too little water as opposed to diluting the flavor by adding too much water.  

Have a wonderful day and I hope to return soon with a pate recipe!