Monday, March 8, 2010

Exciting New Discovery- Almond Milk (plus 2 recipes)

As you can see I changed things up a little here- again!  Maybe it is the Spring fever in me, but the other layout , although I liked it very much, was just too dark for me.  I wanted something a little brighter, fresher and showed off the pictures of food a little better.  So I thought I would try this one on for size for a little while.  We'll see if it sticks.  Still deciding on it....  


I have been on a Almond Milk kick lately.  Have you tried this stuff yet?  I have a sometimes-love-hate relationship with dairy. I used to be Lactose Intolerant, and thankfully I'm not really anymore, but every now and then rich foods or too much milk will send my stomach in knots.  I have tried out all those other non-dairy substitutes and not many of them thrill me too much.  I find Soy milk a bit too chalky, rice milk is all carbs and honestly I don't need more help in that field, and Lactaide= yuck.  Thanks to Hungry Girl's newsletter I discovered the joy of Almond Milk.  It is low fat (same as 1% milk), but there is also no dairy, lactose, cholesterol, peanuts, casein, gluten, eggs or MSG in it.  It only has 2 grams of carbs (yippee!) It is 100% vegan, contains no saturated fat, and can be used cup for cup when cooking or baking to replace cows milk.  You can buy the unsweetened original, unsweetened vanilla or unsweetened chocolate or there is also the Original, which has just a slight faint hint of sweetness, Vanilla and Chocolate.  The first time I bought it I purchased the Original, I wanted to start there and see what I thought before playing around with their other stuff.  Scott was out of town and I thought for sure he would be like "What in the heck is this?!" when he got home.  But guess what, he really liked it!  I was sort of surprised just because he likes his coffee with 2% milk, and isn't always so thrilled when I buy 1%.  And NO sugar or any sweetener of any kind.  I'm not a sugar in my coffee kind of girl either, and this stuff is yummy!  Not sweet, but with wonderful flavor.  It makes your coffee nice and frothy, which I also love.  I know I probably sound like they are paying me to rave about them, but alas that is not the case.  I just love this stuff and feel everyone should know about it!!  It is like on the best hidden secrets out there!  

I have been doing some cooking with it and so far everything has turned out really great.  For dinner tonight I wanted something relatively easy.  Scott was buying our new family car and wouldn't be home until a bit later then usual.  I had some refrigerated Buitoni Pasta in the fridge, Whole Wheat Chicken and Prosciutto filled Ravioli's to be exact that were screaming for a nice rich cream sauce.  I love the Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce at the Macaroni Grill and I wanted to create something similar.  But no heavy cream in this house, just Almond Milk....guess what, It turned out amazing.  And, I didn't have to feel completely terrible about eating it because it was so much lower in fat.  Now remember, you could totally use regular cows milk, cream or half and half in place of the Almond milk in this recipe.  

Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce

1 whole head of garlic, peeled 
extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, cut in half and then sliced thin
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups of Almond Milk (or any milk product of your choice)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
lots of cracked black pepper
a pinch of nutmeg

When I make roasted garlic, I like to peel an entire head, and place it in an oven proof dish and pour in enough olive oil, just to cover the cloves.  Cover with foil, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Remove cloves and reserve the olive oil for future cooking or for dipping good crusty bread into- do not throw away!  You just made Roasted Garlic Infused Olive Oil at the same time!  Yum!  Mash the garlic up and create a sort of paste.  Set aside. 

Saut√© your onions in one tablespoon olive oil for about 20 minutes on low heat, letting them sweeten and caramelize.  Be sure to add a pinch of salt to the onions, it keeps them from burning.  

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  In a separate bowl, mix the flour and milk together with a whisk being sure to get  rid of any lumps.  Add it to the saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir continuously until the sauce will thicken.  With the almond milk it took a little bit longer then cows milk, about 10 minutes.   Whisk in your cheese and add the roasted garlic, caramelized onions, salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.  Be sure not to leave the nutmeg out.  You wont notice that it is nutmeg you are tasting, but you will notice a wonderful flavor you can't quite pin point.  Nutmeg is a perfect addition to just about any cream-based sauce.  Top onto your favorite pasta and serve.  

This pasta was sooooooo delicious, so creamy and just as I had hoped, worked perfectly with the ravioli.  This will be a definite Do-Again!


I just received a yummy sounding recipe using Almond Milk so I wanted to post it here for easy access.
*Recipe Submission by Tera Pepper


Peanut Butter, Banana and Almond Milk Smoothy
Almond Milk, to taste
1/4 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
1 Banana
2 teaspoons Honey
lot of ice


Combine ingredients in a blender until smooth and enjoy!

8 comments:

  1. Amie! Almond Milk is fabulous! I amke a great smoothie with it. Almond milk, 1/4 C of natural peanut butter, 1 banana, two teaspoondf honey and lots of ice in a blender! Almond Breeze is my fav brand. Even the sugar free kind is good!
    Tera Pepper

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  2. Tera, that sounds fabulous! I love Peanut butter and bananas in smoothies. I am SO making this today! Thanks for the recipe!

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  3. lol...amie...thx for posting...just add the almond breeze to taste. I always add extra honey...enjoy it.
    Tera Pepper

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  4. You're welcome! I need to start drinking more smoothies. They are so delicious and can be so very healthy. I just never think to make them . My sister does all the time though. She will have to give this one a try, now!

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  5. Amie I love the new layout and brighter backround. It is much easier on my old "bifocal required" eyes! Although I have to admit I thought I was on the wrong blog site at first. I never heard of almond milk. You have intrigued me to try it. First in my coffee and then maybe a smoothie (is there really 1/4 cup of peanut butter in that recipe?). And then I will try the pasta sauce. It would surely liven up my store bought tortellini. I'll be sure to let you know the results.
    Kathleen

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  6. Thanks Kathleen! I like it too, nice a fresh, although i would really like it to look a bit more kitcheny if you know what I mean. In time! Right now it at least accomplishes my main objective being brighter and easier on the eyes.

    I have been able to find almond milk in all our main grocery stores, some stores it is by all the organic stuff and at some they have it with all the milk. So if you don't find it one spot, look in the other. Let me know what you think!

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  7. This recipe sounds amazing. Being vegan I am always looking for new recipes with the almond milk and I love pasta. Can't wait to try this over potatoe Gnocchi with a little red pepper added.

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  8. I have been gradually buying almond milk (Almond Breeze brand) and incorporating it with my obsession with cereal. I was suprised as well, since I'm not a soy or rice milk fan either. I am a real milk kinda gal, (skim is what I prefer to drink straight up, or using 2% when baking). Stumbled onto your recipe as I want to make a sauce using almond milk. I'm very happy to hear it can be substitued cup for cup with real milk.

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