lah Posts

Almond Milk (and some fun variations)

fresh pressed almond milk

fresh pressed almond milk

Almond Milk (& some fun variations if you like a kick)

The milk is delicious on its own or with cereal.
Use it in any recipe where milk is called for.   The added bonus for you DIY folk is the leftover almond meal after the milk has been strained. Dry it and it can be used in baking to replace flour or mix with yogurt and honey for a facial scrub. For an Ayurvedic side-note see below.*

What You Will Need:   1 cup almonds, Nut Milk Bag or strainer, water.

 Ingredients (Makes about 1 quart)

1 cup whole, raw almonds,. Soak overnight and remove skins.

4 cups water (fresh spring or filtered)
How To:
Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with enough filtered water to reach 1-2 inches above the surface of the almonds. Soak the almonds for 6 hours (I always do it overnight) and drain. Blend Almonds and water on high for about 1-2 minutes. Use a Nut Milk Bag (or fine mesh strainer lined with cheese-cloth) over a large glass jar or bowl. Pour the blended almond milk into the strainer to remove the pulp. (The nut-Milk Bags are easier, and can be re-used.) Store in fridge in container with lid (I like a beautiful carafe like this one: ) Milk will last 3-4 days.
The pulp can be turned into almond meal by drying it out in the oven. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting (approx. 200 degrees). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the pulp evenly to bake until it dries out completely which may take an hour or two and must be watched so it does not burn.easy to forget you have it in there so set a timer.. A food dehydrator is a nifty and fast way to accomplish this.
ADD-ONS: Coconut, Vanilla, dates, honey
Coconut: Add 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut remove 1/4 cup almonds.
Vanilla: Scrape the contents of 1 vanilla bean into the almonds.
Dates: add 1/4 cup chopped dates for sweetness and nutrition
Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom are tasty and potentially therapeutic (see Ojas Building Milk)
Sweeter: try honey, maple syrup or agave.

* Ayurvedic Note: almonds alone can aggravate Pitta dosha which means they can aggravate heating conditions in the body/mind so you might make coconut milk instead or add coconut to the almond recipe…

 

Granola – Just Right

granolaGranola – just right – is easier than you may think.  Here is the perfect Sunday afternoon activity that takes very little mental energy and is a delicious-nutritious treat pretty much right away.  I am a sucker for instant cooking gratification and my friends love getting a jar (or so they tell me – lol.)

 

The main thing is to stick with the basic recipe.

So here is my favorite simple, easy recipe that gives me just the right energy paired with Almond Milk or Sesame milk.

Mix it up by adding the stray “fad” food like a small handful of Goji berries for added anti-oxidant oomph, or , Maca powder for energy like a mayan or experiment between honey and Maple syrup.

Enjoy!

Granola – Just Right

granola fixingsMakes one large container of granola
- 2 1/2 cups of oats
- 1 cup of pecans
- 1/2 cup of almonds
1/2 cup of flax seeds
1/2 chia seeds
- 1 cup of pumpkin seeds
-2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 cup of sunflower seeds
- 1 cup of raisins and/or dried tart cherries chopped
- 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons of Maple syrup or Honey
- 3 teaspoons of cinnamon
Place the pecans and almonds in a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds so that they are partially crushed. Then add to a large mixing bowl with all the other dry ingredients, except raisins and cinnamon, and stir.
Melt coconut oil with maple syrup (honey) and cinnamon on the stove, once it has dissolved into a sweet liquid add it to the dry bowl and mix well. This should form a delicious oaty nutty bowl, which is slightly sticky.
Place mixture into a baking tray and bake for about 30-40 minutes at 350F, until crunchy. During this time stir to ensure that every bit of granola gets nicely toasted and the top doesn’t burn. Once done and cool stir in the raisins and store.

60 seconds to a Quiet Mind

Now this guy really knows how to do it!

Now this guy really knows how to do it!

The antidote to frenzied, harried nervous response to life is 60 Seconds to a Quiet Mind.

Try this quiet mind practice anytime and anywhere. Here’s how:

Breath Work is classically called “pranayama”.  It has to do with gaining control over one of our most basic and unconscious but essential energizing functions – breathing.  There are many practices for getting in touch with the life force ranging from forceful, heating practices to alternate nostril breathing to the cooling breath practices. These techniques are best learned and practiced with a skilled teacher for optimal effect and are an integral part of gaining a quiet mind abad the ability to get yourself into a state of clarity on your very own.  Book a Session if you want to learn more about  benefits and practices.

In the meantime:

The 60 Second Technique:  one minute to a quiet mind.

This practice pumps oxygen into your brain.  It makes space for your heart to be in the driver’s seat for a minute instead of the noisy, cluttered, controlling mind.  (give the Captain who is locked below decks to come up and get some air, stretch his legs!)

The Technique

The technique is simple:  pump oxygen into the brain and nervous system using a “ bellows breath,”  and end with  deep gentle breathing which cultivates calm, clarity and settles the mind.

3 simple steps:   

1.  Sit comfortably, sit up straight on a chair, or the ground.   

2.   Breathe deeply in and out through the nose using the lungs like enormous bellows.  This breathe can be noisy.   Slightly forceful, very deep.  In and Out, In and Out. Long and Deep breathing for 30 seconds. (Note:  Our upper lungs have stress receptors that get activated when our breath is shallow, which is how most of us breath throughout the day.  When we use our lower lungs, like in bhastrika, we activate calm receptors that soothe our nervous system.  The belly will pouch out and contract with the breath.)

3.  Follow with 30 seconds of tranquil breathing as softly as you can, so no-one could tell you were breathing at all.  Still deep but quiet and gentle.  Quiet, peaceful in and out deeply, softly, quietly.

 

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