For many of us, eating and living consciously is already part of our everyday life; eating clean foods, using clean or homemade beauty and household products, incorporating yoga and meditation. But, beyond an awareness of what we consume, it’s also important that we think of the far reach of our consumption. The results of our actions and our purchases, the energy needed to produce what we consume, our waste and what we are leaving behind.
I personally choose to make as much as I can at home for myself, not only because I prefer to know what exactly is in the foods and products that I consume, but I also love the idea of creating less waste, fewer things to throw away or recycle. As much as I can, I try to remove the worry about packages and boxes, cartons or wrapping. To me, the ripples and reach of my actions carries a heavy weight. Buying one box of almond milk, isn’t just about the actual almond milk inside, it’s the carton, the plastic top, the energy needed to produce and of course, all of the unnecessary ingredients being added.
I started making my own nut milks several years ago, it’s a super simple process and it’s now become part of every week for me. Not only can I be sure there are no strange ingredients added, I can also control if and how much it is sweetened, I can add flavors like raw cacao or chai spices. Most especially I love how there is no waste. No packages to eventually be thrown away.
Today, not only am I sharing my recipe for my favorite Vanilla Bean Almond Milk, but I actually created a fun and simple recipe for no-bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls with which to use the leftover almond pulp. So there is nothing to throw away, we are using every last bit!
Vanilla Bean Almond Milk
Makes 1 quart
1 cup raw almonds, soaked for 8 to 10 hours
1 vanilla bean, soaked with almonds
4 cups filtered water
Pinch pink Himalayan sea salt
Optional: Sweetener of your choice (raw honey, maple syrup, Medjool dates)
Drain the soaking liquid from the almonds and vanilla bean and rinse. Add the soaked almonds and vanilla bean to your high speed blender. Add the water, sea salt and sweetener if using. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Pour into your nut milk bag and squeeze. Separating the pulp from the milk.
Set the pulp aside and pour the milk into a glass bottle, jar or container with a cover. Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Separation is totally natural with homemade nut milks, just be sure to shake it up just before serving.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls
Makes 24 cookie balls
1 firmly packed cup nut milk pulp (all liquid pressed out)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted or softened at least
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of pink Himalayan sea salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Coconut flour, optional
In a medium bowl, stir all ingredients together. If the mixture feels a bit too damp, you can add a small amount of coconut flour, which will help absorb some of the liquid
Use your hands to roll batter into balls about ¾”- 1″ thick.
Place cookies on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and let harden in freezer for about 30 minutes. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
NOTES: It’s important that you squeeze as much of the liquid out of the nut pulp out as you can.
+ In honor of Earth Month, try replacing one packaged item that you typically buy at the store with a homemade version – and be sure to let us know if you do!
For more of Beth’s recipes visit her blog Tasty Yummies.
More healthy recipes from the BLDG 25 Blog.