As anxious as I was to begin discovering the vendors' offerings at last Saturday's farmer's market in Winter Garden, Florida, I, first, had one stop to make two blocks away at "The Juice Bar of Winter Garden." Having contacted the business in advance, they had prepared eighteen bottles of raw organic cold-pressed juices for me... enough for a three-day cleanse that I began the morning of the farmer's market. (For a similar experience in Minnesota, try TRUCE in Minneapolis. Their website states that "TRUCE is Minnesota's first and only organic fresh-pressed juice shop.")
Six bottles each day consisting of 3-16 0unce veggie and fruit blends for the day's main meals, 2-16 0unce "intermediary" fruit blends for mid-morning and afternoon, and 1-8 ounce nut milk before bedtime with plenty of water and caffeine-free herbal tea throughout the cleanse. Each blend was perfectly orchestrated to deliver necessary nutrients and taste amazing, too. One that contained apple, kale, spinach, and lemon was named "Shamalama Ding Dong." I have been playing the song over and over since. The soothing bedtime almond milk inspired me to begin making almond milk after my cleanse was over. The process is ridiculously simple.
1)At bedtime, put 1 cup raw almonds in a glass bowl or canning jar. Cover with 2 cups warm, distilled or filtered water (not city water treated with chlorine) and 1 tsp sea salt. "Salt in soaking water activates enzymes that neutralize enzyme inhibitors making the nuts easier to digest and their nutrients more readily available." Fallon, Sally. Nourishing Traditions. Washington, DC: NewTrends Publishing, 2001. 512. Also, soaking makes nuts easier to pulverize. 2)After soaking 8-12 hours, drain the almonds and rinse well. 3)Fill blender container with 3-4 cups distilled or filtered water. Add plumped, soaked almonds. Blend until creamy. 4)Pour milk through a nut milk bag, or do what I did. I cut a 20" square of unbleached 100% cotton Osnaburg fabric. Perfect. Squeeze to extract as much milk as possible. Save the pulp to use in recipes. (1 cup almonds produces 1/2 cup packed, or 1 cup loosely scooped, moist almond pulp.) 5)It's amazing plain, but, if desired, pour the milk back into blender container and optionally add 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean seeds, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, or sweeteners such as 2 large or 4 small dates soaked in water for a little while to soften, maple syrup, raw honey, or coconut sugar. For richer, creamier "homogenized" milk, add 1 tsp-1 tbsp sunflower lecithin. Lecithin is a fat emulsifier that keeps fats (in the nuts) and liquids (water) from separating.
For other kinds of nut, seed, and grain milk, the process is the same. The only difference is the soaking times. From a Vegetarian Times soaking and sprouting reference chart, this'll get you started... Almonds 8-12 hours. Brazil Nuts 3 hours. Cashews 2-4 hours. Flaxseed 1/2 hour. Hazelnuts 8-12 hours. Macadamias 2 hours. Millet 5 hours. Oat Groats 6 hours. Pecans 6 hours. Pumpkin Seeds 8 hours. Sesame Seeds 8 hours. Sunflower Seeds 8 hours. Walnuts 4 hours. Wild rice 9 hours. Try these, then branch out. There are so many possibilities.