ALMOND MILK: check out the “shakes” tab above to reference the home-made process at any time.
For this drink I blended 1 cup of almonds (which were soaked in water for 8 hours prior) with 5 cups of water in a nutribullet (given the volume restrictions with the Nutribullet containers I did the process in two rounds and mixed both batches together during the next phase). After blending both ingredients I applied a cheesecloth over a bowl that would hold the large amount of liquid – I began straining the mixture through the cloth. Once the almond milk began to hit the cheesecloth I picked it up by the edges and wrapped it tightly around the almond meal. I began squeezing the excess milk out of the cloth (as pictured above) and once completely rung-out I was left with a batch of almond meal. I stored this byproduct in the Nutribullet container in the refrigerator for future use in other recipes. I added one date (pit removed and fruit sliced) and a splash of vanilla extract. Then, I poured the almond milk through a funnel into an air tight glass container (this bottle is from IKEA – another fab find!).
Another recipe I worked on today was some peppermint bark – this was always a favorite treat of mine during the holiday season.
My apologizes for the poor slicing skills. I found it very difficult to cut this bark into pieces, my husband assisted, but literally the chocolate was rock solid. We used many different knives & kitchen tools, but this is what we were left with. My husband had a great idea – let the chocolate sit out for a little bit to soften before slicing it into portions. To make this treat I melted 1/2 cup of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips in the microwave – I would remove the bowl every 15 seconds and stir the chips for a total of approximately 2 minutes. I then lined the bottom of a small Ziploc container with parchment paper, and poured the chocolate into the bottom of the container. I placed this into the refrigerator to allow the chocolate to solidify. While this was setting I prepared the next layer. I combined approximately 1/3 cup coconut butter (melted in microwave at 15 second increments for no more than 1.5-2 minutes), 1/2 tbsp honey (if that, this makes the mixture “doughy like” and easy to mold), 1/2 tbsp peppermint extract (or more to taste to your liking) and a dash of vanilla extract. Once the proceeding ingredients are mixed I added two drops of food coloring – to keep paleo you could add a few drops of beet juice (I didn’t have any beets on hand today). I gently kneaded the mixture to give the white “dough” more of a a peppermint appearance – don’t completely mix the food coloring or else you will end up with pink bark!!! After this step, remove the chocolate from the refrigerator, once it is solid, and even out the peppermint layer on top of the chocolate layer. Place the entire bark in the refrigerator until both layers are solid, remove and chop into pieces to serve to guests… that’s if you don’t eat it all before it makes it to their mouth.
Finally, the last thing I have to offer for my baking skills this evening are Pumpkin Pie Muffins from Elana’s Pantry. These muffins are heavenly – they are moist, mooshy inside, firm outside and taste like a piece of pie. They are satisfying enough as a dessert or an afternoon snack.
***Don’t forget to exercise to keep sane during the cold months!!***
…and as always: peace. love. paleo.