Making nut and seed milks

Jenni, my customer support lead, is gluten intolerant and taught me how to make coconut milk.

Here’s my video on how to replace dairy milk with yummy and nutritious milks from sesame, almond, cashew, or even your shredded coconut from the group buy.

Jenni makes coconut milk, and then, with the pulp left over in the nut milk bag, she makes coconut macaroons:

Coconut Macaroons

6 egg whites (organic, free range eggs)

¼ tsp. Original Crystal Himalayan Salt

½ cup maple syrup

2 tsp. of no-alcohol vanilla

1 cup coconut pulp (from making coconut milk)

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

Blend egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Fold in vanilla, maple syrup, and coconut with a spoon until just mixed. Drop batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet by rounded tablespoons. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Milk Substitutes?

Hi! my name is Dina, I’m 27 y/o from Tel Aviv, Israel.

I’m new to Robyn’s website and find it a treasure of information.

I guess one could define me as “flexitarian”. My aim is to eventually consist 70% of my diet on raw foods.

The question is: Breakfast! Besides the wonderful smoothies – green, pink or otherwise… What can be substituted for milk?

It would be a simple question had I not discovered I can’t “do” soy milk or tofu. I’ve also tried almond and rice milks (all of them of the boxed varieties), with the same higly  unpleasant results.

So, milk substitutes. I’ve discovered that for cooking, cashew cream works amazingly well instead of dairy (*especially when I want to make meat dishes for guests who keep kosher – they swear it’s the real deal). But what about a cup of hot chocolate or cold milk on cereal? what can be done for that?

I’ll be very glad for your ideas, anyone who  can help. Thanks!

tribute to my “grama”

I am in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Spokane, Washington for the Thanksgiving weekend.   The three of us here are 40, 60, and 80 year old women–me running my five miles each morning, my aunt walking, and my grama lying on the couch recovering from knee replacement.   It’s her third joint replacement, with a fourth scheduled (hips and knees done, shoulder coming up).   Is this an inevitable part of aging?   Is this what I have to look forward to?   As you know, I’m doing what I can to stave aging off.   We staged an intervention this morning to talk about  grama’s unwillingness to use the cane/walker, to consider that driving isn’t such a good idea, and to suggest she stop running for the phone and leaping up off the couch.   She’s already fallen once while we’ve been here, and we’re worried.   It’s hard to see someone you love suffering with arthritis, memory loss,  and many other degenerative conditions.   And this holiday weekend has been a reflective time to think about generations, love, loss, aging, family.

My aunt and grama are  both a little worried that I’m denying my kids the protein they need (my daughters being vegetarian and all of us eating very little animal food).   And they express concern about calcium, since  we don’t get dairy products.   I told them  not to worry because  I’ve never drunk milk and have the bone density of a 20-year old.   They look at me, a little puzzled, confused, and concerned.   From what I see in milk drinkers, both in the literature and in my life (anecdotally), well, let’s just say I’m going to keep going down this path I’m on.

My grama is technically not.   (My  actual grama, I mean.)   She’s my grampa’s fifth wife–my own grandmother died at her own hand at the age of 33.   My aunt I traveled here with was five years old at the time and, in all the chaos with police officers and ambulance EMT’s milling about not paying attention to her, she tragically  walked into the bedroom to see the scene after my grandmother put a bullet in her head.

“Grama” has been in my life since shortly after I was born, so she’s the only grama I’ve ever known.   She’s an amazing lady who is the best caretaker for my grampa I could ever hope for.   He completely lost his memory years ago and is now in a rest home.   I went to see him tonight, where he was preoccupied with touching my hair, and kept telling me it is pretty and gold.   I told him he could touch it all he wanted.   I miss the real him, but his sense of humor is still there even if he asks the same question a dozen times.   And my grama is as patient and loving the 12th time as the 1st.   Her first marriage did not work out–and amazingly, last night, we went to have dinner at the home of the woman who next married her first husband!   That is the kind of woman my grama is.   She’s forgiving and patient.   I want to be like her when I grow up.   (All except for her liberal use of the words “sh*t” and “d*mn,” haha.)

Aging is inevitable.   But I am here watching what hell it is at the end.   And I’m entirely unconvinced that it has to happen as early as it does for most of us.

foods that help digestion . . . part 5

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl:   What are foods that help digestion? Some raw foodists eat raw meat.   Raw meat and milk have enzymes, so aren’t they good foods?

Answer:   We’ll leave the Oxford/Cornell China Project out of this discussion, which shows that animal protein causes many diseases.   (The primary author of that pivotal study, Dr. Campbell, told me he did not study predigested or fermented milk products, such as kefir or yogurt.)   Raw milk has over 35 enzymes.   If you’re going to use dairy products or milk, raw certainly has those many advantages over pasteurized.   One very old study showed the highest morbidity (death) rate in newborns drinking pasteurized cow milk, a much improved rate for those drinking raw milk, and higher still for those who were fortunate to be breastfed by their mothers.

However, you run many bacterial risks with the way milk and meat will be raised, handled, and transported to you.   Meat in particular is troublesome, and I would not recommend eating it raw, even if you go to all the trouble of finding truly range-fed, organic chickens or beef.   The shockingly lax U.S. standards for poultry allow virtually anything to be legally given labels like “natural” and “range fed.”   We can obtain live enzymes through plant food, much more safely.

That said, I believe much evidence shows kefir or yogurt to be an excellent food with its natural probiotics.   If you can find a source you trust of raw milk, and can obtain kefir grains, you can use the raw milk and predigest the casein proteins with the action of the live kefir grains.   Raw goat milk is preferable to cow milk, with its smaller fat molecule that is not mucous forming like cow milk is.   (Vegans can make kefir with coconut liquid.)

I’m visiting my grampa in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, for the rest of the week and may be offline.   (He is in a home, and I am flying out with my aunt.)   After that I’ll talk about what enzymes supplements to take.   Happy Thanksgiving!

Good, Better, Best: what should I put on my cereal?

***Note: I apologize to all those who have sent me unanswered email questions.   I am trying to get to them all.   FYI, I  prioritize what is blogged over what is emailed.   :-)  

Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: What should I put on my cereal?

Most people put fractionated (skim, 1%, or 2%) antibiotic- and steroid- and hormone-treated cow’s milk on their cereal.   Then, they figure out that dairy isn’t good for them and they switch to soy milk, another fractionated/processed, highly  estrogenic and thyroid-suppressing food.   (A great man named Ezra Taft Benson who held the highest agriculture post in the U.S. said, in the 1950’s, way before  research showed this more definitively, that any time we alter our food source, it will be to our detriment.)   I recommend you avoid both of these options altogether.   Even if you’re not a milk drinker, you may wonder what to put on your cereal.

Good: (1) Rice Dream (still a bit processed but made from brown rice and unsweetened) or  almond milk from the health food store, or (2) raw, whole dairy milk

Better: Raw goat’s milk (an especially good option for young children)

Best: Homemade nut “mylk” (put 1 part nuts like cashews, almonds, or pumpkin seeds, soaked overnight and drained, with 4 parts water in your BlendTec and puree until smooth, optionally with a tsp. of vanilla)

Why is raw goat’s milk better for you than dairy?   First, you usually find it directly from the people milking the goats, not huge dairies using many chemicals.   It’s raw, not homogenized or pasteurized, thus retaining its enzymes.   It has a smaller fat molecule than cow’s milk, so it permeates the human semipermeable membranes rather than causing the body to produce mucous to flush it out.   And its enzyme and amino acid profile is more similar to human milk.   Babies weaned onto it do better than with dairy or soy.  

Nut mylk avoids animal proteins altogether, and if you soak the nuts overnight, they are germinated and “live,” containing an abundance of enzymes to add to your breakfast cereal, not to mention good omega 3 fatty acids and a wealth of vitamins, minerals–and  insoluble fiber, if you don’t strain  it (just shake before using).

Parenting Skills for Young Children

My next week of blogging will be about one of my favorite topics, possibly the #1 question I am asked—and the one I care about most.   How do I get my kids to eat right?   That is, parenting skills for young children when it comes to food and nutrition.   These blogs are derived from the introduction of my program 12 Steps to Whole Foods.

Taking on the 12 steps in the program is a worthy goal for anyone, and you can make these changes whether or not you have children, and whether or not they live at home.   But one of my greatest passions in life is to help parents understand the importance of excellent nutrition early in life and implement strategies to achieve it.   So if you have children at home (or are close to people who do), this is for you.

I have found dieticians to be largely useless and sometimes harmful in the way they teach mothers about nutrition.   (I’m sure truth-seeking dieticians do exist, however.)   Keep in mind that these are the folks designing the menus in school and hospital lunchrooms.   (Enough said?)   It’s not their fault: they are taught curricula heavily influenced and even written by the wealthiest industries in America: the dairy and meat conglomerates.

My experience is that dieticians feel their main job is to push milk and dairy products, because they have been taught that these products create strong bones and teeth.   I spoke with a dietician recently who had never heard of the ingredients in my Appendix A (whole-food sweeteners and other nutrition products you can find in health food stores).   She taught in a class I attended that getting your child to drink “flavored” milk is a great idea. By that she means hormone- and antibiotic-contaminated milk with pink chemical dye and plenty of sugar added.   Dieticians also believe that to get protein, you need to eat plenty of animal flesh.

I have looked elsewhere for my own nutrition education and strongly recommend you do the same, to increase your nutrition-related parenting skills for young children.   I don’t advocate for vegetarianism, but rather for increasing whole plant foods in the diet.   But the most bioavailable sources of calcium for humans are not found in the milk of other animals.   And protein is manufactured and utilized by the human body very well when the range of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) in whole plant foods are supplied as fuel.   We need look no further than our vegetarian cousins, the primates, for evidence of this.

 [more tomorrow]