Tag Archives: almond milk

BC o’D

My alarm went off at 2:45am this morning.

I do believe that is what is referred to as the “butt crack of dawn.”

I have it all worked out: If I set the alarm for 2:45, I actually get up at 3. I throw on clothes, then change and feed my boy if I can stir him enough to nurse (a lot of this depends on him…if he wakes at 1 or 2 and eats then, the whole plan is shot.) Then, I try to pump a bottle before heading off to work with both of my boys snuggled in their beds. This way, I can get almost a full day in at work and they hardly know I’m gone. They get to spend the morning together, and I’m home by 1 or 2pm, ready for a fun Saturday. (What I really mean is nearly comatose, halllucinating and dying for a nap, but whatever.)

Do I have a choice? Yes, but I think it’s best this way. There will come a day when my child has no interest in spending the day with his Mom. I’m gonna take it while the gettin’ is good. 

Breakfast? Doughnuts! ….just kidding. What I meant to say was: Mammoth Oats!

No, there is no actual mammoth in my oats. I’m not a big breakfast-meat eater. Just a mammoth portion of oats, almond milk, PB, raw almonds, cranberries, cinnamon and a fat nanner. (Has anyone posted the Doughnut Oats recipe yet? Come on, people. I know it’s out there.)

It isn’t actually all that big a portion…it’s just in a flat, thin container. :) A little over 1/2 cup of oats with a bunch of junk on top should keep my tank full for a while.

And it’d better, because these are just a few of the choices at the Cafe de la Office Caf:

-Double Pork Chop Sandwich

-BBQ Rib Flavored Potato Chips

-”Big Az” fried fish sandwich

-Every king size candy bar known to man

-Fruit parfaits! Made with pie filling, cake and pudding.

…and there’s a machine that will actually cook and bun up a cheddarwurst or hot dog for you. :| It’s magical.

To their credit, there is a wellness program that points out healthy choices with a lovely, very healthy-looking, little green leaf. Where might one find this leaf, you ask? Why, next to the Lean Cuisine, Twizzlers (!), SnackWells cookies (?) and a lone container of 8 baby carrots for $1.75, of course. Ack!

Pass, please.

So, after a morning in editor mode, I’m ready to switch back to the more comfy and oh-so-much-more-cuddly-and-yummy mommy mode.

On the radar for today: shopping for diapers (we’re making the switch to cloth!), some garden fun, and whatever other adventures that happen to divert our attention (which, at some point, will mean food!! Gotta love Saturday food.)

I’ll fill you in on all the haps, right after I wake up.

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What is the lunch atmosphere like at your office/workplace? Are healthy options offered? Does anyone want them?

What’s the best food day of the week (for you)?

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food, The Everyday

Almond Date Cream: Take 2

As mentioned in a previous post, I love almonds and I love dates, so I had to try the Almond Date Cream recipe in my new Vegan Planet Cookbook. (I think the book calls it Almond Butter Cream, but that didn’t seem an accurate description to me.)

The first time around, I couldn’t resist modifying the recipe to include the almond butter I already had. I loved the results, but decided to play by the rules this time and do things by the book…

I wasn’t sure if there would be a big difference in the results.

There was!

I combined 1 cup of almonds, 5 dates, and 1/2 cup of hot water in my little puree machine and let it all soak for about 2 hours.

It took a lot of effort on the machine’s part, but it handled the job. The almonds jammed up a little, so I did have to add a bit of almond milk to help it all blend and achieve a nice texture.

This wasn’t nearly as sweet as my first attempt, and the texture was thick, creamy and a bit grainy. I wasn’t sure about the mouthfeel at first, but I reserved judgement until I added it to my morning oats. 

I dropped a tablespoon of my new creation in with my slightly heated oats, almond milk, and some dried cranberries. I gave it a little swirl and…POOF!…it disappeared! 
8O

I like to keep my ingredients a bit separated in the bowl so I can choose what I’d like to have in each bite. Luckily, I didn’t really blend  the cream in all the way. Just  a little swirl. I was disappointed that I couldn’t really see it, but it made each bite taste a little different. Fun!

One warning: Try to pay attention to where this is in your bowl! The cream and the oats are so similar in color that you could end up with a mouthful of straight almond cream and then the rest of your oats could end up sad and plain. :(

The flavor was creamy, mellow and barely sweet, and the texture was surprisingly nice. Very subtle, but a lovely addition.

Of the two versions, I think I’d have to pick this one as my favorite because the ingredients were completely whole. The almonds are less expensive than the almond butter, too. 

A winner!

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Not Milk?

So, in my quest to make every day’s food choices just a little bit healthier for me and, in turn, my boy, I have removed nearly all dairy from my life.

Some parts of it haven’t been so difficult. I’ve never been one to sit down and drink a big glass of milk. In fact, the thought makes me feel a little nauseated. I’ve always viewed milk as more of a food than a drink, so drinking food on top of eating food never appealed to me.

Many of the things I do miss are easily replaced, albeit with more expensive choices. But I’ve pretty much come to expect that. I’d rather pay a little more and eat smaller portions (that goes for organics, too.)

I used to eat a lof of Greek yogurt, which I’ve replaced with So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt. Coupled with Dorset Cereal Berries & Cherries for breakfast, it’s enough to make me forget about the snooze bar in the morning! It has a bit more fat, but I don’t freak out over fat in moderation.

For cereal, granola, oatmeal, etc., I find that almond milk is my favorite with rice milk a close second. I don’t opt for a lot of soy in my diet, so I tend to steer clear of soy milk except for the occasional latte or Amy’s Enchilada (YUM!)

As for ice cream, I think that problem is easily handled. Between soy and rice options, there are many out there from which to choose, and ice cream really shouldn’t be an everyday staple anyway, right? When the urge strikes, Rice Dream is phenomenal, or you could just go with frozen fruit. If you really have time on your hands, you could puree it and make some homemade sorbet. Incorporate a little wine and you’re really talkin’…perhaps that could be the focus of a future blog post….

Cheese is the biggest problem for me. I like a good slice of delicate deli Swiss, and a sprinkle (handful?) of freshly grated Parmesan on almost anything. And don’t even mention giving up pizza…

I have yet to find a cheese substitute that has quite the same meltiness and mouthfeel as the real thing, but I’m open to suggestions. This is why I said “nearly” all dairy…there is still a chunk of Parm in my fridge.

Now for the real question: If dairy is so healthy, why cut it from my diet?

Well, we’re told that it’s healthy, but I’m not buyin’ it. I don’t believe that dairy is good for us, our bones, our overall health, our athletic prowess, whatever… and I sure don’t believe we need three whole servings a day in a country where obesity is rampant. The vast majorities of other countries don’t consume nearly the dairy we do, if any at all

I’m not the only one. A simple Google search will yield more information than you’d probably want on the subject. It is theorized that all kinds of medical issues are caused or worsened by dairy, and that a diagnosis of “lactose intolerance” implies a defect when spoken within our country, when, if viewed through a less American-centric lens, the more appropriate term would be “lactose tolerant” for those few folks throughout the world who can actually digest lactose. (I’ve even read one person’s statement that the term “lactose intolerant” is racist. Food for thought…) It is also proposed that in areas of the world where dairy is not consumed regularly, osteoporosis is not an issue like it is in the US. But I am neither a doctor nor a scientist, so a lot of what’s out there is a little over my head.

What I do know is this:

1. Much like my milk is designed to be the perfect food for my son, cow’s milk is specifically formulated to be the perfect food for baby cows. Duh.

2. Cows are absolutely, without a doubt, NOT supposed to produce the amount of milk we take from them. The toll it takes on their bodies is not pretty.


3. We are the only animal that drinks the milk of another animal, and the only one that drinks milk at all past a few years of age.

4. The resources needed to feed the cows to make the milk greatly outweigh the so-called benefits of the milk itself. Nutshell: it’s simply inefficient and bad for the environment. 

5. The dairy industry has a sh*t ton of money (and if milk is that great, why do I have to be pursuaded by celebrities and athletes with milk mustaches? Am I supposed to be that shallow?)

6. I’m seeing more and more dairy-free options out there every time I shop, so there is a market out there.

And, finally, since I’ve cut out the fairly small amount of dairy I did eat/drink, I’ve noticed a marked difference in my baby’s digestion. Gas is a non-issue now. Whether the two are related, I don’t know for sure, but I do know what my gut tells me.

There is a lot of other disturbing and just plain yucky information about milk out there is you want to find it.

As for me, I’ll pass on the moo juice.
  



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