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Almond Milk

Almond milk is made from almond nuts.  The almond tree reaches a height of 3-7 M (9-22 ft) and has beautiful pink or white flowers that bloom in spring. The dry, leathery almond fruit surrounds the almond nut which is harvested when the fruit dries and splits open.

Milk made from almonds has a delicious light nutty flavor, and it makes a refreshing drink straight from the fridge.  It can be used just like regular milk, or as a ‘non-dairy milk’ in just about any recipe. 

Almonds without their shells can be stored for up to 1 month if kept airtight in a cool dark dry place, or up to a maximum of 12 months in the refrigerator if kept air tight.  Almonds can be frozen for 2-3 years depending on temperature.

Almonds are particularly nutritious in protein, iron, vitamin E, zinc, and vitamin B2.  They also have valuable amounts of magnesium, potassium, and folate (folic acid).  Among the nut family, almonds provide the richest source of calcium.

Almonds contain more magnesium than oatmeal or even spinach, making a valuable contribution to good health: magnesium is needed for healthy bones, and for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.  Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, and is involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.  One ounce (about 23 almonds) provides more than a quarter of your daily needs for magnesium.

For weight-conscious people, almond milk is low-fat and low-carbohydrate, and is therefore ideal as part of any weight loss plan.  A study carried out by Dr. Gary Fraser (City of Hope Medical Center and Loma Linda University in California) found that eating  a modest quantity of almonds daily (approximately 2 ounces or 40 almonds) resulted in increased unsaturated fats intake with no significant changes in body weight

Making almond milk is quick and easy. It is best to soak the almonds overnight in purified or boiled water (the water must be cold when used for making milk).  Then strain, dab nuts dry and freeze.  The almonds nuts are then ready for making milk whenever you like.  Using soaked/frozen nuts provides a much creamier and more nutritious milk than using dried nuts without first soaking.

To make milk, blend one part of nuts to five parts water.  Always use the purest drinking water for making milk; otherwise the milk will spoil quickly.  Add a teaspoon of sugar for taste.  Better still add a teaspoon of Xylitol (a natural sweetener that protects your teeth and gums).  Never use warm or hot water when making milk as this will greatly reduce the shelf life of the milk in the fridge.

Blend the milk for 1 – 2 minutes.  There is no need to strain the milk after blending; just store in an airtight container in the fridge and use like regular milk.  It will typically stay fresh for 4-5 days just like regular milk.

For more super delicious and nutritious milk-making recipes see The Foolproof Diet.

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The Best Alternative To Dairy Milk

Coconut Milk Powder can be purchased in supermarkets for making milk at home. However, this is not recommended because it usually contains whey or some other dairy milk product. Whey and cow milk products contain IGF-1 hormones which are known to bad for health and will not be suitable for anybody wanting to avoid dairy milk.

For general every day milk consumption coconut milk powder is best avoided, except for very occasional use.  It is manufactured through a spray drying process of raw unsweetened coconut cream.  This is very different from the more widely available and coarser desiccated coconut which is made by machines that merely grate the white coconut meat.

The process of spray drying has the effect of mixing oxygen (from the air) into the powder, under very hot drying conditions.  As a result, coconut milk powder is “oxidized” and will go rancid quite quickly if not refrigerated and consumed within one or two days.  This process also has the effect of increasing nitrate levels in powdered milk, whether dairy or coconut.  High levels of nitrates can increase the risk of cancer.

Many people would like to have a good alternative to dairy milk.  At the very least, most people would like to have more of a choice when it comes to milk.  Dairy milk is known to be fattening and for some people lactose intolerance is a real issue.  You can, of course, buy soy milk but this also has its drawbacks.
Soy milk is generally more expensive than dairy milk and may not be so widely available.  Furthermore, soy milk can also be quite fattening if you opt for the sweetened variety.  If you opt for the unsweetened variety, most people dislike the taste.  The biggest problem with soy milk is that it contains genistein, a harmful hormone that is causing increasing concern among scientists.

Genistein can increase the risk of cancer in a person who regularly consumes soy milk.  Genistein does this by making body cells divide and multiply.  The U.S National Cancer Institute says that genistein “disrupts signal transduction between cells and induces cell differentiation (i.e. cell multiplication)”. 
Unfortunately the National Cancer Institute makes no reference to soy milk in it’s fact sheets.  But there are several studies showing that soy milk consumption is increasingly being linked with cancer.  To see some of this research simply do an internet search for “soy milk cancer” (without the quotation marks).

So what kind of milk is good to consume?  Simply switch to coconut milk. The latest scientific research shows that coconuts are in fact not fattening! The molecular structure of coconut fat is different – it gets stored as energy instead of as body fat. This gives you energy and helps you lose weight and stay slim.

Coconut milk is very nutritious and absolutely delicious. Do not confuse canned “coconut milk” as sold in supermarkets with “home-made coconut milk”. The former is a condiment, the latter is a genuine dairy milk substitute. You would use canned coconut milk as part of a recipe to make home-made coconut milk.  It can be made quickly and easily in just a minute or so, and then be stored in the fridge just like regular milk.

Home-made coconut milk is non-fattening, nutritious, and absolutely delicious. Best of all it is far, far superior in quality compared to any kind of commercial milk, whether dairy or non-dairy. Up until now, making coconut milk at home has been a complicated and time-consuming affair. But now at last you can make coconut milk at home quickly and easily, saving time and money.
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