Milking an almond teat

I GOT MY NUT BAG!

Oh and Happy New Year!

I had to work all weekend, so R and I had our New Year celebration last night.  I made more Cracklin’ Chicken, kale, and butternut squash and apple soup.  R loves soup.  This was probably one of the first things I learned about him.  We both worked nights ,and he would always tell me that he had some soup from the cafeteria for his dinner.  At first this tripped me out because I was like what is with this guy and soup?  Is he trying to lose weight?  What’s the deal, nobody likes soup this much.  Cut to a couple months later, I went to Portugal with him (where he’s from) and they have soup with like EVERY meal.  Ohhhh.  Soup is their thing.  Who knew?  Now I make soup a lot because it’s actually pretty easy and I know it will always get a thumbs up from my honey.

And today I’m going to get an immersion blender with the stamps I earned from the grocery store.  BOOM.

Anyway, yesterday I went on my grocery shopping sojourn, which was a huge pain in my ass.  There are times when living in this area is the worst.  Shopping at Sprouts and Trader Joes the day after New Year’s when everyone is starting a new diet.  Great.  Crowded.  I bet this is how people feel at the gym after everyone has made the resolution to work out more, and you’ve been there all year keeping it tight and now your gym is super crowded for the month.  Health interlopers.  Haha this makes me sound like such a little snot.  I really don’t feel that way, I’ve been chatting up my diet at work and trying to encourage people to cook more.  It’s just sometimes this area has too many people, and I just wanted to buy some pre-cut butternut squash and Whole 30 bacon in peace.  I was successful in getting my bacon, but Trader Joe’s was way too packed for me to even consider getting my pre-cut veggies.  So I went to my regular grocery and bought a big ole butternut squash.

This was daunting.  I mean have you seen a butternut squash?  It could be a weapon, easily.    Maybe I should carry one in my purse for protection.  It’s hard to get a concealed carry license in this area though.  Huh.  So in the recipe for the soup, it even had a youtube tutorial on how to peel and cut a butternut squash because clearly this is a hangup for people.  Not just me.  The squash it heavy, and it definitely took some heft to cut through it, but if I can do it, I feel like anyone can.  Or seriously, just buy the pre-cut.  Wait in the damn line at Trader Joe’s.

Despite my squash struggle, the rest of the prep for the soup was simple and I used ghee instead of regular butter so that it was Whole 30/Paleo.  Still tasted great and the apple taste really came out, so the soup was a bit sweeter than I expected.

So last night’s dinner I can definitely put in the win column.  I also soaked some almonds over night to make milk this morning.

Who is this person I am becoming?  My main food when I was cooking for myself was grilled cheese.  Sometimes I’d get really fancy and use two different cheeses.  And now I’m MAKING ALMOND MILK?  I seriously don’t know what California as done to me, but I must say, it tastes pretty good.

When R and I did whole 30, it recommends making almost everything from scratch.  Make your own mayo, all your dressings, almond milk, etc.  I totally balked at the idea of my own almond milk.  It’s so much work!  Squeezing almonds into milk through cheese cloth?  No thanks!  Then I started looking at all the labels of almond milk in the store and so many have preservatives and sugar to make it last and taste good.  And the unsweet version literally tastes like water…so it does not help to put it in black coffee to make it dark brown coffee.  But when I was shopping at Sprouts the other day, I found a local brand of almond milk that is totally compliant, they even had chocolate almond milk that was compliant!  but it’s 5 bucks for a tiny bottle.  So I guess the question is, which is more important to me, time or money?  And in this case, I was thinking money.  I had found a easy-looking recipe on my new favorite site, Nom Nom Paleo, so I decided to take the plunge.

I bought a nut bag and a glass bottle to store all my almond milk, and I found a vanilla extract without corn syrup.  Yesterday I put the almonds in a pitcher of water, soaked them over night and this morning I put them in the blender and BOOM.  I squeezed the milk out of the almonds.  It tastes incredible.  R even liked it and he doesn’t really like almond milk.  And all in all I will say, it doesn’t take that much WORK.  It takes time because you have to soak the almonds, but otherwise, you just blend them and then squeeze ’em in your nut bag, and then you drink it.  It’s not nearly as hard as I thought, and this milk totally tastes better than store-bought.  I know to make more next time because this recipe really only makes half a bottle.

Now I’m off to the store to claim my blender and get some zucchinis for the Thai peanut zoodles I’m making tonight!

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