Trending in 2015: Almond Milk

almonds

The health benefits of almonds are numerous and well documented in the health an foodie literature. For the most part,  they are high in protein, vitamin E, fiber, and minerals such as magnesium, selenium, manganese, zinc, potassium, iron, phosphorus and calcium (commercial almond milks are often fortified with extra calcium). There is even some medical evidence that almond milk helps to lower LDL cholesterol and protect against heart disease. It is relatively low in calories and has zero saturated fats, making it a good choice for maintaining a healthy weight. Almond milk is also great in place of dairy milk in French toast, bread pudding, mashed potatoes, creamy bisques or curries, ice cream (churned), baked goods and, of course, smoothies and “milk shakes”.

Almond milk  tastes great and adds richness to all sorts of  dishes, from the sweet to the savory.  On the sweet side, you can find recipes for dairy-free Banana-Almond Milk “Soft Serve” ice cream, using almond milk, frozen bananas, honey and crystallized ginger, all pureed in a food processor.  Almond milk can also replace cow milk dishes like rice pudding Desserts such as Almond Rice Pudding, where  sushi-rice was cooked risotto-style using almond milk and a bit of sugar. Almonds and cherries are a classic pairing, and topping this recipe pudding with sweet-tart cherry preserves will make you crave it even more.

On the savory side, this recipe, Spicy Cauliflower Puree, a vegan dish  that is just as good as any mashed potato  and will fewer calories, utilizes the  simmering of cauliflower in almond milk until soft, then drained and pureed it for a thick, silky mash. This recipe technique so simmering cauliflower also makes a lovely soup if it is s blended with all of the almond milk. Another savory recipe, Almond-Milk Creamed Spinach,the  béchamel sauce can be made with almond milk, and folded into the wilted spinach and grated Parmesan  cheese, then topped with panko and marcona almonds and baked it until it was bubbling and golden.

These are just a few interesting ways to make almond milk a part of your cooking routine.  Make sure you check out the post about making home made almond milk. It will be worth you while an a fun project the the kid chef’s in the family.

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