Saturday, April 14, 2012

Go nuts over NUT milk!!



Nuts have long been considered a therapeutic food. These little goodies have an abundance of nutritional qualities. Nuts are high in protein, fiber, vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, calcium
and potassium, not to mention your essential fatty acids omega 3, 6 & 9. Their nutrient dense properties make nuts beneficial for many conditions such as cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, reproductive conditions such as painful or heavy periods and mood disorders. The protein and fiber content gives you a sense of satiety so you don’t crave high calorie foods as much, so great for the weight conscious individual. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E can have a protective effect on the body. Nut milk is a highly nutritiousand delicious alternative to cow’s milk or soy milk. For those who are intolerant to these milks or would like to be inspired to get creative in the kitchen then please read on!!

Nut milks are totally easy and fun to make but before you get going there are a few ground rules.
Due to the fatty acid content in nuts, they are highly susceptible to rancidity. Rancid nuts can irritate the lining of your digestive tract making digestion and absorption difficult. Rancidity can destroy vitamins such as vitamin A &E. The best way to avoid this is to go organic so that you ensure a clean, nutrient dense food that is fresh. Once opened, store your nuts in an amber jar in the fridge to ensure freshness. Don’t buy nuts in bulk, and take note of where you are buying them from. Are you picking your nuts from a giant tub which is exposed to air, light
and heat? This is setting them up for oxidation and rancidity. Soaking your nuts is also very
important. Nature has set it up so that nuts, seeds and grains can survive until proper growing conditions are present. Nature’s defence mechanisms include nutritional and enzyme inhibitors which are easily removed by wetting the nut, seed or grain. Always soak your nuts for at least 6 hours before making nut milk. An extra little tip for snacking on raw nuts is soaking them
in a little water for 10 minutes and then consuming. That way they are easy on the digestive system.

Nut milk bags are really handy. Once you have blended your nuts you can strain instantly or leave in the nut bag. The longer you leave the milk in the bag the stronger the taste.
Now for the fun part!
ALMOND MILK
Almonds are slightly warming in nature, they lubricate the intestines and from a Chinese Medicine perspective, they relieve stagnant qi . Almond milk is traditionally used for lung conditions including cough and asthma. Almonds are high in potassium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, folate, vitamin E.

Soak 1 cup of raw organic almonds over night
Remove the skin (this will be very easy to do)
Place in a blender with 2 cups of fresh water
Optional: 1 date chopped finely or a hint of vanilla extract for flavour.
Once blended, pour in a nut milk bag and strain into a glass jar.

WALNUT MILK
The omega3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Walnuts nourish the kidney/adrenals and brain. They contain phytosterols which are shown to reduce LDL (low density lipoprotein: the bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol. Omega 3 fatty acids may reduce high blood pressure and therefore protect against cardiovascular disease. Walnuts contain bio-available melatonin and may therefore regulate sleep. Perhaps a nice glass of walnut milk before bed for those inclined to sleep deprivation!

Soak 1 cup of walnuts for 6 hours or overnight
Rinse really well and peel skin. You can leave the skin on however it will be a little bitter
Place in a blender with 3 cups of fresh water
1 teaspoon agave nectar, hint of vanilla extract or 1 date for sweetness
Place in nut milk bag and strain

HAZELNUT MILK
Hazelnuts are high in vitamin E making them a strong antioxidant. Folic acid is also found to be high, as well as B group vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids, making these nuts beneficial in
neurological conditions, mood disorders and preconception care.

Soak 1 cup hazelnuts overnight
Peel the skin and place in blender with 3.5 cups fresh water
Add 1 date, 1 tsp agave syrup or hint of vanilla extract for sweetness
Blend in a food processor
Place in nut milk bag and strain
It can be incredibly rewarding to create something from scratch and reap the benefits. Nut Milk Bags retail for $16.50. Pop in to Evelyn Faye and pick one up today.

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