Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Special Day and Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe

Today is a special day for me...

It is exactly one year since Adam and I decided to choose compassion.

It's our 1 year "vegiversary".

I remember it vividly.  I was browsing through Netflix and came across the documentary Vegucated.  I'd been a vegetarian on and off all through college and beyond, so the title caught my attention.  I asked Adam if he'd watch it with me and he agreed.  I don't remember how many times throughout the film I cried, but I knew within the first 15 minutes that this was an industry that I could no longer support.  We cleaned out our fridge and our pantry of anything and everything that was "unclean".  We made a late night shopping trip to stock up on new essentials.  From that day on, we were vegheads.

I remember how after a couple of weeks I instantly felt cleaner, lighter and more energized.  I experimented with new foods and recipes that I hadn't tried before.  I read every blog, article and website that I could find for support.  People thought we were crazy and asked how long this "fad" would last.  What they didn't understand was that it was so much deeper than that. One year later, I know that it was one of the best decisions of my life.


Adam and I with Stanley, the pig that we sponsor at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary

I'll admit, it's been a journey over the past year.  We've had our battles with temptation.  But what I've learned is that you don't have to be perfect.  Every time you choose compassion is another life saved.  I'm so proud of what we've accomplished over the past year and I can't wait to see what the next year has to offer!

One of the greatest things that I've learned to make through this experience is homemade milks - almond, oat, rice and my all time favorite...coconut!  




It's incredibly silky and light, but the flavor will blow your mind! Dates and vanilla give it a slight sweetness while some added cinnamon adds some spice.  



This milk is so simple too, there is no soaking (like with almonds or other nuts) or boiling (like with rice).  You just throw everything in the blender and let the magic happen!



Adam claims that this is the best non-dairy milk I've ever made - those are some big claims around here!



It's great in coffee, but I prefer it straight out of the fridge in a glass with a chocolate chip cookie or a cupcake :D



Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe
Makes approximately 4 cups

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3 1/2 cups filtered water
2-3 pitted Medjool dates
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon or to taste

In a high speed blender combine coconut, water, dates and vanilla.  Blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes until everything looks very well combined.  

Place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and slowly pour the milk into the bag. Now it's time to squeeze!  Try to get out as much of the liquid as you can, leaving a coconut pulp in the bag.

Return the milk to the blender and add cinnamon if desired.  Blend for 30 seconds and pour into an air tight jar.  

This milk will last in the fridge for about 4-5 days, but it never seems to make it that long in our house!

Notes:
*If you don't have a nut milk bag, a cheese cloth will work just fine (unless you're like me and you are inept when it comes to trying to strain through a cheese cloth...).  However, if you plan on making non-dairy milks often I would highly recommend investing in one!  You can get them on Amazon for about $10, well worth it!
*Don't throw out that pulp!  It's so great for throwing in cereal or oatmeal or to make granola!
*If you're not a fan of coconut, try something different!  You could use almonds, hazlenuts, oats, cooked rice...whatever you prefer!