How to make your own almond milk – recipe!

how to make your own almond milk! homemade almond milk is an easy peasy way to enjoy a plant-based milk without buying excess packaging/plastic👍🌏

I love using this homemade almond milk in my morning smoothies 💛

 

Creamy, delicious, homemade almond milk recipe coming your way!

Tools you need:

  • High powered blender/ food processor (I used a thermomix) – if you don’t have a high powered blender, you could try making almond milk with nut butter and water – blend 1/2 cup nut butter with 3 cups water and some maple syrup!
  • Nut milk bag or cloth mesh bag

Making your own plant milk is also an easy way to reduce your waste if you scoop and buy your almonds plus dates from a bulk food store in a jar/container from home. Not only is this a great option for a milk to reduce your waste for this but it is also an option where no animals are harmed in the process.

You can also replace the almonds with other types of nuts –  such as cashews, macadamias or hazelnuts for a different flavour.

Making your own plant milk can also be great fun! You can experiment with flavours by adding things like cocoa powder for a chocolate flavour, or some frozen or fresh strawberries, or some vanilla paste/essence for vanilla. I like to add a touch of turmeric, some cinnamon, and cardamon when I warm up the milk for a delicious wintery drink.

Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 3.14.21 pm

RECIPE:

serves about 1-3 people. keeps for 3-4 days when refrigerated and stored in an airtight container.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 2 dates that have been soaked in hot water (optional) (can subsitute for 2 TBSP maple syrup)
  • a pinch of salt

Steps:

  1. Soak the almonds in just enough water to cover them all for 24-48 hours.
  2. Drain the almonds and rinse them with water.
  3. Blend the almonds with 3 cups of filtered water, the dates, and salt in a high powered food processor/blender (I used a thermomix).
  4. Strain the mixture through a nut milk bag or a cloth mesh bag. Don’t throw away the pulp! You can use the pulp in baking, bliss balls, and for raw desserts 🙂
  5. Store the almond milk in the fridge in an air-tight glass bottle or container for up to 3 days.

Easy peasy. You can adjust the sweetness and saltiness to your preference!

Let me know how you go making this recipe in the comments down below ❤

xx

Neli

See how you can make your own gluten-free bread here!

The Planet-Friendly Series: Why quit plastic?

I recently watched the documentary ‘A Plastic Ocean’ (a must watch by the way) and also attended a beach clean-up at my local beach. Though I have been consciously aware of the harmful effects of plastic, it really hit home the other week. I was inspired to research and find out more about plastics, and more about plastic-free living – so that’s what I have been doing, and I want to share it all with you. I hope that this series will provide you with simple solutions to help you quit plastics so that you can live a happier, healthier, and more planet-friendly life 🙂 

So.. firstly, let’s talk about why quitting plastic is so important… 

I recently watched the documentary ‘A Plastic Ocean’ (a must watch by the way) and also attended a beach clean-up at my local beach. Though I have been consciously aware of the harmful effects of plastic, it really hit home the other week. I was inspired to research and find out more about plastics, and more about plastic-free living – so that’s what I have been doing, and I want to share it all with you. I hope that this series will provide you with simple solutions to help you quit plastics so that you can live a happier, healthier, and more planet-friendly life 🙂

So.. firstly, let’s talk about why quitting plastic is so important…

Currently, we produce 300 billion kilograms of plastic in the world every year. In the last ten years, we have produced MORE plastic than the whole of the last century. More than 8 billion kilograms of this plastic ends up in our oceans and it is predicted that in 32 years, in 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than there is ocean life.

I went through my whole childhood not even blinking an eye at the thought of food wrapped in plastic, or when using plastic cups, bags, straws, cutlery, bottles, etc.

 

 

Plastic is such a widely used material because it is very durable – but because it is so good at being durable, it is also indestructible. This means that it will never biodegrade; never break down. It will only ever break apart into smaller and smaller and smaller pieces until they are about only a one-one thousandth of a one-one thousandth of a millimeter. Scary, huh? What is even scarier, is that all these pieces of plastic we use need to go somewhere – putting them in the trash, unfortunately, doesn’t make them magically disappear.

So, how can we call plastic items ‘disposable’ when they never go away? Where do they go? …

The answer is into the ocean. Washing up on small islands – destroying the health of communities and villages. Into the stomachs of sea animals, which leads to many diseases and death as a result. And finally… plastic ends up in the stomachs of us, humans.

Beach clean up rubbish.jpg

Did you know that there are toxic chemicals in microplastics associated with serious health conditions such as cancer? And when fish or mammals consume these microplastics, the toxins release into their fatty tissues?

Toxic chemicals. Yikes.

Micro-plastics have been found in many of the sea animals that humans consume, and so humans basically consume the toxins that have dissolved into the fatty tissues of these sea animals.

Meaning, if you eat seafood, there is a definite chance you’re also eating harmful chemicals from plastics.

While there is evidence that seafood is not necessary for a healthy diet [15], there is not yet enough evidence to show the exact long-term effects that plastics are having on our bodies, as it is still considered an emerging factor of concern.

We do, however, have some research showing the current health implications that the use of plastics has on our health, including associations with:

  • Cardiovascular, liver, urologic, genital and endocrine (hormone-related) diseases [14] :
    • Endocrine disruption and Infertility in humans, from the chemical BPA, found in plastics [1]
    • Lower quality of sperm in males [4,6]
    • Increased risk of diabetes, obesity, and liver dysfunction in humans [2]
    • Cardiovascular disease and hypertension [3]
    • Developmental and reproductive toxic effects [12]
  • Genital, prostatic, endometrial, ovarian and breast diseases from affected biochemical and toxicogenomic mechanisms [13]
  • Affects childhood behavioural outcomes [5]
  • Development of the brain [7]
  • Asthma and allergies [8, 9, 10, 11]

And lots, lots more…. but I think you get the point.

It is not only eating seafood that puts us at risk of getting toxic chemicals in our systems. Other ways that these chemicals from plastics transport into our body include from:

  • Plastic food containers
  • Food wrapped in plastic
  • Cosmetics and personal care products
  • Flooring and wall coverings
  • Medical devices (tubing and blood gags)
  • Varnishes
( [1] and more info can be found on http://www.plasticoceans.org website )

For all these reasons, it is urgently important that we reduce our plastic use – or better yet eliminate it. On the next couple of posts, I will be doing a Planet-Friendly series; all about simple ways that you can reduce your plastic use and waste in your daily life.

Join me in saying no to plastic! Together we can make a difference to our oceans, our health, our planet – and most importantly our home, and the home of our future generations.

xx

Neli

beach clean up 1

The research papers + references:

  1. Rochester, J.R. (2013). Bisphenol A and human health: a review of the literature. Reproductive Toxicology 42132-55.
  2. Ropero, A.B., Alonso-Magdalena, P., García-García, E., Ripoll, C., Fuentes, E., Nadal, A. (2008). Bisphenol-A disruption of the endocrine pancreas and blood glucose homeostasis. International Journal. Androl. 31, 194-9.
  3. Shankar, A., S. Teppala, C. Sabanayagam. (2012). Bisphenol A and Peripheral Arterial Disease: Results from the NHANES. Environmental Health Perspectives 120 pp: 1297-1300.
  4. Meeker, J.D., S. Ehrlich, T.L. Toth, D.L. Wright, A.M. Calafat, A.T. Trisini, Ye, R. Hauser. (2010). Semen quality and sperm DNA damage in relation to urinary bisphenol A among men from an infertility clinic. Reprod. Toxicology 30 532–539.
  5. Braun, J. M., K. Yolton, K.N. Dietrich, R.Hornung, X. Ye, A.M. Calafat, B.P. Lanphear.(2009). Prenatal bisphenol A exposure and early childhood behaviour. Environmental Health Perspective, 117, 1945-1952.
  6. Rozati, R., P.P. Reddy, P Reddanna, R. Mujtaba. (2002). Role of environmental estrogens in the deterioration of male factor fertility Fertility and Sterility 78 Pages: 1187-1194. 
  7. Miodovnik A, A. Edwards, D.C. Bellinger, R Hauser. (2014). Developmental neurotoxicity of ortho-phthalate diesters: Review of human and experimental evidence. Neurotoxicology 41 112-122.  
  8. Bornehag, C.G., J. Sundell, C.J. Weschler, T. Sigsgaard, B. Lundgren, M. Hasselgren, L. Hägerhed-Engman. (2004). The Association between Asthma and Allergic Symptoms in Children and Phthalates in House Dust: A Nested Case-Control Study. Environmental Health Perspectives. 112 1393–1397.
  9. Jaakkola, JJK; Verkasalo, PK; Jaakkola, N. (2000). Plastic wall materials in the home and respiratory health in young children 90 pp: 797-799.
  10. Kimber, I., Dearman, R.J. (2010). An assessment of the ability of phthalates to influence immune and allergic responses. Toxicology 271, 73–82.
  11. Tsai, M. J. P. L. Kuo, and Y.C. Ko. (2012). The association between phthalate exposure and asthma. Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences 52 528-536.
  12. Skakkebaek NE, Rajpert-De Meyts E, Main KM. (2001). Testicular dysgenesis syndrome: an increasingly common developmental disorder with environmental aspects. Human Reproduction 16 972–978.
  13. Singh, S. and S.S.L Li .(2011). Bisphenol A and phthalates exhibit similar toxicogenomics and health effects. Gene 494 85-9.
  14. Singh, S. and S.S.L. Li (2010) Phthalates: Toxicogenomics and inferred human diseases Genomics 97 148-157.
  15. Nutritionfacts.org (2015, August 13). Food as medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Common Diseases with Diet [Video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0IhZ-R1O8g

For more research papers check out:

https://www.plasticoceans.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Plastic-Oceans-High-Level-Science-Summary-Version-4.pdf

https://www.plasticoceans.org

https://nutritionfacts.org

Top 7 Gluten-free & Vegan eats in Sydney

Check out my Top 7 gluten-free and vegan places you HAVE to try when you are traveling in Sydney!

My Top 7 gluten-free & vegan eats in Sydney. Make sure to scribble these down in your journal for when you are ever traveling there!

Tip: If you are new to the gluten-free life make sure you always ask about the gluten-free options at restaurants, and when you place your order, always say you want it to be gluten-free. Some items on the menu have gluten-free symbols and sometimes they just mean there is a gluten-free option, so it is always safest (for your tummy) to just ask for the meal to be made gluten-free.

Golden Lotus (lunch, dinner)

Golden Lotus spread

We ate here about three times because it was so delicious. Golden Lotus has both fresh healthy dishes and the more indulgent style dishes. My favourite was the tofu coconut curry (bottom dish in the photo).

Soul Burger (lunch, dinner)

Soul Burger Spread

Ever since having to cut gluten out of my life, I have been craving a burger that wasn’t going to crumble into tiny pieces before my first bite – and Soul burger definitely satisfied that craving. Just be aware that Soul burger notes on their menu that they cannot guarantee a gluten-free environment, and I did feel slight gluten pains in my stomach after eating here, but luckily it was bearable and well worth it!

However, if you are really really sensitive to gluten, I would recommend you get a bun-less burger or maybe don’t eat here as there would most probably be some cross contamination happening.

Gathered (breakfast, lunch)

3FD920AE-A0C0-45DD-9F74-F8005DD8412A

Gathered toast

Gathered is a beautiful little place to have breakfast or lunch (or brunch). They have a few gluten-free options and those waffles in the first pic were delish! If you are not gluten-free, they also do vegan croissants (which looked so yum).

Bodhi (lunch, early dinner)

Bodhi spread

Vegan Yum Cha! They have heaps of gluten-free options, just ask for the gluten-free menu and see for yourself. My personal favourite was the green-tea dumplings.

Earth to table (breakfast, lunch)

Earth to table spreadEarth to table BLT

You can relax here because everything on this menu is gluten-free and plant-based. A local told me that this was Sydney’s best raw-vegan restaurant. They have plenty of delicious raw vegan dishes, my personal favourite was the BLT sandwich. My boyfriend even said it was the best sandwich he had ever had.

Gigi’s Pizzeria (dinner)

Gigi’s Pizzeria

Unfortunately, Gigi’s don’t do gluten-free bases for their pizzas, but they do however do plenty of gluten-free antipasti dishes. Make sure to ask about their gluten-free options when you go as they sometimes have a gluten-free special which is not noted on the menu. I had the Parmigiana Di melanzane special, which was kind of like an eggplant parmigiana.  My personal favourite antipasti is their Crocchette di patate (a.k.a almond-crusted potatoes that taste like garlic bread) – you HAVE to get this when you go.

If you are traveling with gluten eating pals then they have got to check out Gigi’s, it is the best pizza place in Sydney, and all vegan.

Nutié Donuts (treats!)

Nutie Donuts

Nothing that some tasty gluten-free vegan donuts can’t fix. These were super sweet and super tasty. My personal favourites were the cookie monster and the blueberry flavoured donuts (top two in the photo above). I would recommend having them with a glass of plant-based mylk nearby – only so you can refresh your palate and eat more of course.

Let me know if you have tried any of these in the comments below, I would love to know your thoughts.

xx

Neli

Check out my granola recipe here!