Saturday, January 26, 2013

Making your own milk from grains and nuts

I thought I had already posted this but went through the whole blog and no sign of alternative milk. 

I recently attended a sprouting class  where frankly I didn't learn anything new except that I should never attend such a class ever again.   Somewhere between wheat sprouts, and juicing them and grinding them into a dough I just couldn't breathe.  I was popping Benadryl  and left before they broke out the loaf of bread with butter to put the sprouts on.  It took me a full week to recover and it's still touch and go.  But I did learn something each and every person who buys milk alternatives should know.  

One of our attendees is a truck driver who hauls milk.  His whole family is allergic to dairy.  One day at the processing plant one of the workers he had gotten to know asked if he had some time.  His friend knew this family bought milk alternatives all the time.  So this regular dairy processing plant at the end of each day flushes out their system and then they run milk alternatives through.  If you buy soy milk, rice milk or almond milk you should take note here!  The first thing they do when making milk alternatives is they start with 50% of High Fructose Corn Syrup and they don't even have to tell you about it.  He said the brands they showed him were the exact brands his wife buys at our local stores all the time.  

Well, I tired all these and reacted so badly to them and settled on using coconut milk instead.  It's harder to find and it's more expensive but it runs on one line that only does organic coconut milk in Eugene, Oregon.     The other milks are so very easy to make yourself.  So today I am going to give each of you recipes to make your own milk alternatives.  

Soy Milk 

I haven't made this one as I am very allergic to soy but will give you the directions in case you use soy milk.

Use 1 cup of soy beans, well rinsed and soaked overnight.  Beans will double in size.  Rinse again.

Place 1 cup of your soaked beans and 2 cups of water in a blender and blend until smooth.

use cheese cloth to do the following:
Double fold and use it to strain your soy milk.  Squeeze until all milk is extracted.  You can also single fold the cheese cloth and after all the milk passes through rinse the cheese cloth very well and runt he soy milk through it again.  This 2 step process actually goes faster.

To get more milk out of the mash, add a little more water and squeeze out the remaining milk.

Pour the milk into a saucepan.
Add 1/4 cup sugar or sugar to taste
1 tsp. salt


Cook the milk on low to medium heat until it boils.  
As soon as it boils, turn heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring constantly at the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula to keep it from burning.
Remove from the heat and let it cool completely.

After it is chilled, it is ready to be used for drinking, cooking, baking or in drinks.

You can make anything you would normally make using regular milk with soy milk.  Even cheese, yogurt, sour cream and tofu.

Barley Milk

Ok, another one I've never tried because barley has gluten which I can't have.

This is a natural milk that can be used for drinking, cooking and baking.  Barley is high in calcium, iron and protein.  It is good for nerves, muscles, spleen and pancreas.

Use 1/2 cup soybeans
1 Tablespoon of dry barley

Soak beans and barley overnight.  Rinse and drain well. 

Process using the same instructions as the soy milk listed above.  The barley will settle to the bottom so make sure you shake or stir before using each time.

Rice Milk     

1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 cups water
2 tsp honey or 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Blend all in a blender for 2 to 3 minutes.  Strain in cheesecloth.  Chill and stir well when serving.

Almond Milk         
 This is one I make up quite a bit. 
1 cup raw almonds
4 cups filtered water
a pinch of sea salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons honey

Soak the nuts overnight.  Drain and rinse and drain again.

Put the almonds in a blender with the 4 cups of filtered water.  Process until broken up but don't let the blender heat the mixture.

Strain through nut bag or cheese cloth.

Put into container and add the salt, honey and vanilla or if you need plain milk to cook with just add the salt.  
Refrigerate and shake well before each use.

** I save the pulp from the almond milk and dehydrate it to use in place of wheat germ in my granola mix or use for almond flour in other recipes.

Sesame seed Milk

 1/2  cup roasted sesame seeds (roast them in 300 oven for 20 minutes)
1/2  cup raw sesame seeds
2 cups water
1 tsp brown sugar or honey

Process all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Strain through cheese cloth squeezing to get all the milk out.

Chill and shake to serve.

Now a couple blended milks:

Almond Honey Rice Milk
This is a delicious milk for cooking creamed desserts with.  it is also good for cooking, baking and drinking.

1/2 almonds soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup brown rice flour soaked overnight in 1/4 water
 2 Tbsp. honey
2 cups water

Blend all in a blender until really smooth.

You can filter if using to drink or just chill unfiltered and mix well before using.

Almond and Oats Milk

1/2 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup oat groats  (warning most oat groats have gluten!)
1 Tbsp. honey or brown sugar
2 Cups cold water

Soak almonds and oat groats overnight.  Rinse and drain. 

Process the same as Almond Honey Rice Milk above.

If you try this and say it doesn't taste like the Almond Milk I get at the store, remember they use 50% High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Add more sweetener if you need to.  It'll be healthier than what you are buying! 



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Are you bogged down?

As most of you know I am cleaning up and organizing our big basement store room this year.  So far 80% of the stuff is going straight to the trash.  Boxes and boxes of the kids stuff they packed up several years ago when they really were kids and we've all had a laugh over some of the stuff I have found.

But how much stuff do we hang onto in our life because it has sentimental value to us.  It's stuff, junk and we haul it around forever like it's chained to us.  If you can keep it down to a very small box worth then that's okay to keep.  But if you have tons of this stuff then maybe you need to start clearing the mess up.

If you are having a hard time, put each item on display and take a picture of it.  It's often not the item that's of value but our memory of what happened with the item.   A picture will be enough to keep that memory alive.  Now get rid of it.  Is it a useful item?  Maybe you can sell it or donate it for a tax write off.  But clear all that stuff out!

There are things you should hang onto.  Food storage and emergency prep items.  Family pictures IF they are organized into a system where everyone knows who, where and what was going on.  Take them all and scan them into digital copies and burn them onto CD's and give them to family members.  Now everyone has them and if you lose your photo's you can get them again from a family member. 

Stuff is a great burden on us.  You have to clean them and haul them around.  Free your self for whats really important in life.  Get rid of all that junk! 

 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matt. 6:21


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Living on food storage

"By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail."

~ Ben Franklin ~
We've been living on our food storage for longer than I can remember.  We do grow a garden and put up as much as we can and I never refuse anything free given me if I can at all help it.  2 bushels of peaches were offered me 6 hours before we departed to California for our son's wedding and as much as it pained me I had to say no.  I am capable of using some common sense when needed.

Anyway it's been so long that some things are beginning to run out.  Daily dinner plans are getting more creative.  Today we are having White Chili.  I still have some chicken and can get more by butchering when my family is gone for the day.  And we still have plenty of beans for the most part.

White Chili

1 pint (1 Lb.) of canned chicken
 1 medium onion, finely chopped, and browned in butter
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 pints or cans of great northern beans
1 pint or can chicken broth
1 can chopped green chilies (4 0z.)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper

Mix together and bring to boil and then turn to a simmer and let simmer 30 minutes.  Or you can cook it in a crockpot on low all day.   When ready to serve you can mix in Sour Cream if you have any to add.

So many of us have gotten use to running to the store whenever we need to.  But in the past our ancestor's always planned ahead and stored what they needed.  Their very lives depended on it.  A crop failing could make them face death during the coming winter.  They grew all they could in hopes to have enough in case something didn't make it.  Being prepared is even more important today than it was back then.  All our stores operate on an instant delivery system now.  They don't store extra in the back.  Any time there is a big storm the shelves empty off very quickly.  There is no reason for us to be running to the store when a storm is looming.  We should already have what we need. 

I can up just about every food item we need.  But if you don't can or don't want to can you can buy everything already canned.  There is canned fruits and vegetables, canned meats, canned water and juices.  You can buy what you need ahead of time and never have to bother canning stuff up. 

How long can you go without going to the store.  You should easily be able to go a month without going to the store other than for fresh milk.   You should make sure you have dried and canned milk on hand if you can't get it at the store.  I would hope you are making sure you can make it 3 month's at least. 

Now is a good time to take an account of exactly what you have and planning on how to use it and deciding how far you think it will go.

I personally think good times are coming our way in a few more years.  Not even Washington's Pig Headed politicians can stop it.  It's called fracking.  It has a bad name but the fact remains by fracking in a few more years the USA will become the #1 oil supplier in the world.  Many are still spreading doom and gloom but from all the reports I get in I know a great big rainbow is coming our way.  Good times are coming but we should still be prepared.  It just makes good sense.



Monday, January 14, 2013

Learn a new skill or try something new.  You never know when you might need a new skill or even a new recipe.  Do you know what to do when you drop your wedding ring down the drain?  Do you know where to turn off the water when a pipe breaks and is flooding the house?  If you suddenly couldn't eat most of what you usually eat would you know how to make the change? 

We all seem to be so busy and get caught up in the day to day survival mode.  It's often easier to just park yourself in front of the TV or go to bed.  But if we think about it we can fit little things into our free time. 

Maybe plan out a once a week skill and do it on the weekend.   Got a gun but never use it?  Maybe you can sign up for classes or join a local gun club so you can learn the proper usage and practice along the way. 
Check out places like Home Depot or Hobby Lobby and see what classes they offer.  Many local communities offer classes also. 

Check out books at the library.  Search online and find things your can try.  You tube has a wealth of videos showing you just about any skill you can imagine.  I learned short cuts to making metered corners to how to make corn tortillas and much more. 

So take some time and learn something new.  You never know when you will need the new skill!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A New Year in always exciting to me!

Just like each new day excites me, so does a new year.  No matter how bad a day goes, I can go to bed and wake up to face a brand new day.  I know I make my day.  I always start with prayer and scriptures to set the tone for my day.  I wear out easily and so I try to get the must do things done early on.  Even making up dinner and putting it in the fridge so I can still handle it in the afternoon.  But some days just don't go as planned.  One phone call can throw everything out of whack.  But I try to make the best of it and I always know the day will end sooner or later and tomorrow is a new day. 

The same applies to the year.  Well 2012 wasn't to bad but it wasn't to good either.  The drought really played havoc with us here. So many others have faced terrible storms and earthquakes.  Our nation's economy is down right frightening.  So many are out of jobs and everything seems to be going down hill.

So a New year is here and I hope and pray it will be a kinder year.  To start off my oldest son who lost his job right after he got married is now working for the state of Kansas.  He's a programmer working for their Education Department.   Of course this meant a move so now we are hoping to get his house fixed up and sold as quickly as possible.  They found a cute apartment in the country to move to and with his increase in pay hopefully they will be able to handle cheap rent and their low house payment along with utilities and gas and of course food too. 

So far we are not seeing in big changes in the drought here.  It has been colder this winter but still warmer than usual.  We've had snow but just very small amounts of it, not our usual deep and buried and stays all winter.  But hopefully we'll get enough for gardens and crops to grow. 

And most of all, I hope and pray Congress will get it's act together and try to get our nation back on a good economic track.  I know with all the oil being fracked out that alone will help our economy in a few more years. 

Each new year I try to instill a new habit.  I've got my daily scripture read down very well so will continue in that and then I'm trying to sort through all our storage stuff and get it cleaned up and organized.  If I can just do the basement storage areas this year then next year I can tackle another area.   A new habit done a little at a time and in a few years maybe I can have that down pat just like my scripture study.

I hope also to get the store room clean up before our growing season gets going so my food storage is organized and I have a better idea of what I need to grow. 

May you have a blessed new year and day also!  Feel free to let me know what you might be tackling this new year!