Friday, August 24, 2018

Extra Creamy Homemade Almond Coconut Milk (or Cashew)

Extra Creamy Homemade Almond Coconut Milk
Sometimes having the right tools in your kitchen make all the difference between whether you buy premade, processed food or make it yourself at home. A fine example is today’s recipe of homemade almond coconut milk (or cashew). I find that store bought nut milks are fine to use in cooking, but are otherwise undrinkable. Using a high-speed blender or a nut milk maker machine (such as the SoyaPower G4 pictured above) allows me to create my own organic, additive and preservative-free nut milks in a few minutes! Last Christmas I received this nut milk maker machine, which I love and have been using consistently every week. The resulting almond coconut milk (or cashew) is naturally creamy, extremely low carb and more delicious than any store bought I’ve ever tried. Although my recipe contains heavy cream, it is virtually lactose and casein free. (Of course, you could leave out the cream if you wish, but it adds a richness to the milk that I highly recommend without adding any carbs.) The only thing that takes prior planning and time is soaking the nuts beforehand, but that’s easily done overnight while I sleep. Take it from me, homemade almond milk is worth the effort!  

Extra Creamy Homemade Almond Coconut Milk (or Cashew)
Makes about 5 cups

1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked in water for 12 hours
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
4-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup organic heavy whipping cream (can omit, if desired)
1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan or sea salt
5 drops stevia or LaKanto Monkfruit extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Presoak your almonds for 12 hours prior to making your nut milk (if using cashews, soak for 4-8 hours). Drain and rinse the soaked almonds. Place them into your high-speed blender or nut milk maker machine. Add the unsweetened shredded coconut and water. If using a blender, blend on high for 4 minutes. If using a nut milk maker machine, add enough water to reach the specified line in your pitcher. Turn the machine on and select raw/juice and press start (see your instruction manual for the correct procedure for making nut milk). The machine will turn off automatically when the milk is done.

2. Using a very fine mesh strainer or a nut milk bag, strain the solids out of the blended milk and discard. Add the whipping cream, salt, sweetener and vanilla to the strained milk and stir. Pour into a glass container and place in the refrigerator to cool completely before drinking or it can be used right away for cooking. The milk can be stored in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Nutritional Information per 1 cup almond coconut milk: 117 calories, 1.3 g carbohydrate (0.7 g dietary fiber, 0.3 g sugars), 12.8 g total fat (7.1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 32 mg cholesterol, 37 mg sodium, 8.5 mg calcium, 25 mg potassium, 316 mg Vit A, 0.9 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 0.6 grams.

Nutritional Information per 1 cup cashew coconut milk: 169 calories, 4.4 g carbohydrate (1.8 g dietary fiber, 1.1 g sugars), 16 g total fat (10.8 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 32 mg cholesterol, 137 mg sodium, 6.2 mg calcium, 46 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 316 mg Vit A, 1.6 g protein. Net carbs per serving: 2.6 grams

Recipe and photo by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2018
All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sugar Free Gelatin Cups

Sugar Free Gelatin Cups
When I was a kid, Jello was a staple at our house, often served with fruit cocktail mixed in. I loved the variety of flavors but, believe me, my siblings and I didn’t need the sugar or dyes because we were active enough! The company came out out with sugar free Jello long ago, but the powdered mix contains aspartame artificial sweetener known to be problematic for many people and maltodextrin, which will raise blood sugar and insulin considerably. (Sadly, many diabetics don’t know that maltodextrin, which is a type of sugar derived from corn, will raise blood sugar as high or higher than regular sugar!) I have recently discovered Bai, a beverage that is sweetened with only stevia and erythritol. It comes in a wide variety of delicious flavors. I like to put a splash into my drinking water to flavor it, but it also makes the best sugar free gelatin that doesn’t raise blood sugar and has a minimal effect on insulin (studies show that stevia does cause a small rise in insulin when consumed). I always have a variety of this sugar free gelatin in my fridge when I want a little something between meals or as a dessert. A serving of my gelatin has only 1g carb and 1.5g protein, so consider it a FREE FOOD to be enjoyed anytime! I serve mine topped with whipped cream to make it an extra special treat.

Ingredients for Sugar Free Gelatin Cups
Sugar Free Gelatin Cups
Makes 4 servings (1/2 cup each)

1-1/2 cup Bai sugar free beverage, in any flavor of choice
1/2 cup cold water
4 drops of LaKanto Monkfruit extract or stevia drops
1 tablespoon dry gelatin powder

1. Place the Bai beverage into a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, measure the cold water into a 2-cup glass measuring cup (or small mixing bowl). Sprinkle the dry gelatin powder over the top of the cold water and allow it to “bloom” (be absorbed) while the Bai is coming to a boil.

3. Pour the boiling Bai beverage into the cold water/gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved (this may take a minute or two). Add the monkfruit or stevia drops to taste.

4. Divide the mixture evenly between 4 small jars, ramekins or custard cups. Place into the refrigerator for at least several hours until set. If desired, top with whipped cream and enjoy!

Nutritional Information per serving (1/2 cup): 7 calories, 1 g carbohydrate (0 g dietary fiber, 0.2 g sugars, 1.2 g sugar alcohols), 0 g total fat, 5 mg sodium, 1.5 g protein.

Photos and recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2018
All Rights Reserved. Please do not duplicate without the author’s permission.