Homemade Creamy Almond Milk

Creamy Almond Milk Quick and Easy

Creamy Almond Milk

 

My primary reason for learning how to make Creamy Almond Milk is to add flavor to coffee. I really enjoy adding creamer to my coffee. For years, my creamer of choice was half and half. However, in an effort to reduce calories, I decided to try some alternatives. First, I tried soy milk and really enjoy the taste, but became increasingly more concerned about the list of ingredients. Next, I tried Almond Milk. The taste was acceptable, but after a few days I noticed a rash developing. The rash disappeared after I discontinued drinking the almond milk. This was puzzling because, I consume almonds almost daily without any skin issues. After investigating the ingredients, I decided the possible cause was due to the preservatives and other unpronounceable ingredients.

A few days later, a friend mentioned that she makes her own and explained the simple steps to make creamy almond milk. With just a couple of personal tweaks, I decided on this very basic recipe. The difference in flavor is amazing. It gives my coffee a wonderful almond, vanilla flavor. Occasionally, I even use it in place of milk for cereal and oatmeal.

Here are the quick and easy, step-by-step directions for making Creamy Almond Milk.

You will need:

1 cup raw almonds (preferably organic)

3 cups filtered water (plus more for soaking almonds)

1 Tbsp. vanilla (I only use JR Watkins Original Double Strength Vanilla)

1-2 Tbsp. raw honey (completely optional but, really good)

Soak Almonds
Soak Almonds Overnight using filtered water.

 

 

Cover the Almonds in filtered water and soak for 24 hours or at least overnight. The almonds will swell and soften slightly as they absorb some of the water. This will make a creamy almond milk with less grit. After soaking, rinse and place in a blender.

Filtered Water in Pyrex Measure Cup
Filtered Water

 

Pour three cups of filtered water over the almonds and set the blender to the puree setting.

Blending almonds in Vitamix
Blend until creamy.

 

Puree in blender until thick and creamy.

 

Draining almonds using a nut bag
Drain the almond mixture

 

Drain the almond mixture using a stainless steel double mesh strainer, lined with a nut bag. You will need to stir occasionally to enable most of the milk to drain.

Squeeze milk from almonds.
Squeeze milk from almonds.

 

Squeeze excess milk from the bag. Pour the milk, vanilla and honey into the blender.

 

Blend ingredients just until combined
Blend ingredients just until combined

 

Blend for about 30 seconds to a minute, just enough to combine the ingredients. Pour into a glass pitcher and place in the refrigerator.

 

Homemade Creamy Almond Milk
Homemade Creamy Almond Milk

 

 

 

The Creamy Almond Milk will stay fresh for 3-4 days.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Please leave a comment to share how you use almond milk and different variations you like to use.

 

 

Use the remaining almond mixture to make almond meal.

Drying almonds in warm oven.
Dry almonds in warm oven.

 

Heat the oven on its lowest setting. Spread the leftover almond meal on a lined baking sheet and place in the heated oven until thoroughly dry. Pour dried almond meal in a blender and process until fine.

Use the almond meal in cookies, cakes, bread or a variety of other recipes. It is especially delicious when used as breading for chicken strips.

Here are some of the culinary tools I use to prepare Creamy Almond Milk.

 
Simply click the image to learn more about each product:

Krona Stainless Steel Deluxe Double Mesh Strainer by Norpro
Stainless Steel Double Mesh Strainer

 

Nut Milk Bag by Rawsome Creations
Nut Milk Bag

 

Anchor Hocking 8-Cup Batter Bowl With Red Lid from Fox Run
8-cup Batter Bowl with red lid.

 

1 qt Milk Bottle
This vintage style, ceramic Milk Bottle keeps milk colder than plastic or cardboard.

 

JR Watkins Original Double-Strength Vanilla
JR Watkins Original Double-Strength Vanilla

 

Visit The Kozy Nook
View our complete line of culinary tools.

Perfect Burger Press

 

Perfect Burger Press from Progressive Int'l.
Perfect Burger Press by Progressive Int’l.

This Perfect Burger Press by Progressive Int’l. makes it quick and easy to make hamburgers, turkey burgers or veggie burgers. The three-piece set includes a comfort grip pusher, dimple insert and non-skid base. The dimple insert enables the burger to cook more evenly.

 

Garlic Asiago Cheddar Burger

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp. JR Watkins Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp. JR Watkins Smoked Paprika

1/2 tsp. JR Watkins Chipotle

1/2 tsp. JR Watkins Granulated Black Pepper

1/2 tsp. JR Watkins Coarse Sea Salt

2/3 cup Asaigo cheese, grated

2/3 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients until combined.

In a large bowl, gently combine ground beef, minced garlic and spices. Don’t over work the ground beef or, the burger will be tough. Divide into 6 balls and form patties using the Perfect Burger Press.

Cook burgers on a hot grill to desired doneness. Top with a mound of Asiago and Cheddar.  These burgers are just as delicious cooked indoors on an indoor George Foreman type of grill.

Here are some of our favorite tools for preparing perfect burgers:

Perfect Burger Press by Progressive Int'l.
The Perfect Burger Press by Progressive Int’l.

To order yours, click on the image

Garlic Twist by NexTrend
Clear Garlic Twist

Quickly minces garlic and is dishwasher safe.

JR Watkins Grinder Seasonings
JR Watkins Spices

Click the image to view the complete line

of JR Watkins spices and herbs.

 

 

Stuffed Burger Press from Norpro

Stuffed Burger Prepared Fast and Easy

Stuffed Burgers in 3 Easy Steps

Stuffed Burger made with Stuffed Burger Press from Norpro
Juicy stuffed burger filled with cheese, onions and mushrooms.

 

This was the easiest stuffed burger I have ever assembled. I was able to easily fill the the burger with my favorite ingredients without making a mess. The filling stayed inside the burger while grilling and the cheese was deliciously melted as you can see from the image.

My husband stuffed his burger with swiss cheese, diced onions and mushrooms. I preferred a little attitude with my stuffed burger, so I filled mine with pepper jack cheese, diced jalapeños and caramelized onions for sweetness.

 

Stuffed Burger Maker with Removable Indention Tool
Stuffed Burger Press with removable indention tool.

 

 

If stuffed burgers are not your thing. The set includes a removable indention tool to allow you to prepare traditional patties.

 

Step 1:

Two Patties Need for Stuffed Burgers
You need two patties for each burger.

Prepare your favorite filling ingredients and set aside. Divide your ground meat into approximately 2-inch balls. You want the patties to completely encase your stuffing to prevent the filling from oozing out during grilling. If they’re too large, the patty will be too thick. With just a little practice, you will be able to make the perfect size to fit your personal preference. You will need two patties for each burger.

Two Patties Need for Stuffed Burgers
You need two patties for each burger.

Step 2:

Press the indention tool into the patties, add stuffing and season with your favorite spices.  Every member of the family will enjoy creating their own variations. Plan a burger night with lots of filling options.

Step 3:

Stuffed burger patty
Stuffed Burger Patty

The final step is to grill your burgers. If the weather is warm, we prefer to grill outdoors. During cool or rainy weather, we grill indoors using a George Foreman type grill. To add a smoky flavor when cooking indoors, I like to combine a little Liquid Smoke with barbecue sauce and baste liberally onto the burgers before grilling.


Grilled Bacon Mushroom Swiss

Stuffed Burgers

 

Grilled Bacon Mushroom Swiss Stuffed Burger
Grilled Bacon Mushroom Swiss Stuffed Burger

Ingredients:

5 pounds lean ground beef
10 slices bacon, chopped and cooked (not crispy)
5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. liquid smoke
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
JR Watkins Coarse Sea Salt and JR Watkins Granulated Black Pepper
2 cups finely diced onion
2 cups finely diced baby bella mushrooms
3 cups shredded Baby Swiss
JR Watkins Steak and Chop Seasoning Grinder (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat a grill for high heat. When the grill is hot, lightly oil the grate.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, bacon, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, garlic, salt and pepper until well blended. Make 20 balls. Prepare and fill patties as instructed above, distributing the onions, mushrooms and cheese evenly.  Make sure to enclose the filling and seal all of the edges of the patties together tightly. Liberally grind the Steak and Chop seasoning over the prepared patties.

3. Grill the patties for 8 to 10 minutes per side, or until meat is done according to your preference and cheese in the center is melted. Serve on a toasted bun with your favorite toppings and dressing.

PREP 15 mins

COOK 15 mins

READY IN 30 mins

Variation:

Substitute the beef with ground turkey or chicken and fill with a mixture of grated carrots, grated parsnips, finely diced bell pepper and feta.

 Here are a few links to our favorite kitchen gadgets for preparing stuffed burgers:

Purchase a Stuffed Burger Maker at 1. http://www.shop.thekozynook.com/Stuffed-Burger-Press-028901500508.htm?sourceCode=blog
Purchase your Stuffed Burger Maker Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garlic Twist by NexTrend
This Garlic Twist will quickly mince garlic, ginger, nuts and more. Purchase yours here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Better Zester from Kitchen IQ
This Better Zester from Kitchen IQ features a non-stick grating surface and conveniently measures grated ingredients. Purchase yours here.
Better Zester II
Conveniently measures your grated ingredients. Purchase yours here.
JR Watkins Grinder Seasonings
Find a complete line of JR Watkins Grinders, Spices and Extracts here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Have you ever stuffed your burgers? Please leave a comment below and share your most delicious burger recipe with us.

 

Artichoke Spinach Pizza

Artichoke Spinach Pizza
Artichoke Spinach Pizza

Recently, we went to dinner with our son and his girlfriend. As we were waiting for our waiter to serve our meals, I suddenly felt something very warm on my shoulder and chest. The waiter had attempted to reach over my head to place my dish on the table. While doing so, a small bowl of dipping sauce had slipped off the plate, spilling sauce onto the front of my blouse and splattered the remaining contents as it hit the table. Thankfully, it was not one of my best blouses and we all had a good laugh. I had ordered an artichoke spinach pizza and was really impressed with the flavor.

We enjoy a preparing our own freshly baked pizza. This Artichoke Spinach Pizza recipe is quick, easy and most importantly, delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Artichoke Spinach Pizza

Ingredients:

1 pizza crust
3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Pitted Green Olives
1 Garlic Clove
8 oz. can or jar Artichokes, drained
1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice
2 oz. fresh Mozzarella Cheese, sliced thin
1/4 cup fresh Baby Spinach
1 Tbsp. Sliced Green Olives
1/4 cup chopped can or jar Artichokes, drained
1/4 cup Roasted Red Peppers, thinly sliced
Cornmeal

Directions:

Preheat pizza stone in oven to 500 degrees F, then reduce to 400 degrees F.

Put the next 6 ingredients in a food processor and process until you have a smooth sauce consistency, about 30 seconds.

Roll out pizza dough to desired dimension. Place onto pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal. Spread the processed artichoke/olive pesto sauce over the pizza crust. Take a little more olive oil and brush the edges of the pizza crust, then evenly distribute the toppings: mozzarella, spinach, green olives, artichokes, and roasted red peppers. Slide pizza onto preheated pizza stone.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until crust gets golden brown and top is hot and bubbly.

Note: We enjoy adding a liberal amount of JR Watkins Pizza & Pasta Seasoning right before serving.

Have you ever had an embarrassing moment while dining out? Please leave a comment telling us about it.

Here are a few items you may find useful while preparing pizza at home:

Grip EZ Pizza Wheel Cutter
Grip EZ Pizza Wheel Cutter

 

Solid Bamboo Pizza Peel Paddle
Solid Bamboo Pizza Peel Paddle
Rectangle Pizza Stone 13 x 15
Pizza Stone 13 x 15
JR Watkins Grinder Seasonings
JR Watkins Grinder Seasonings

 

 

 

Healthful Smoothie Recipes

Vita-Mix Green Smoothie
Green Pick Me Up Smoothie

I have had an Oster blender/mixer/meat grinder system since 1981. It has been invaluable for all these years and I continue to use it today. However, several years ago, I witnessed a demonstration for a VitaMix and have been desperately wanting one because, it blends the roughest vegetables and fruit into silky, delicious smoothies. The investment was a little much since I already had a blender but, the results weren’t as smooth as I wanted. In July of 2013, I had an unbelievable surprise when I won a door prize for this beautiful VitaMix 750 Pro!

Smoothie Recipes
Preparing the First of many Vitamix Smoothie Recipes

Obviously, I was beyond ecstatic. Thankfully, a wonderful cookbook was included and I was already stocked up on fresh produce so, I could begin blending up smoothie recipes right away. As you may have already guessed, the first recipe to try was the Green Pick Me Up smoothie. It is so refreshing and flavorful. We have it quite often and occasionally change it up a little according to what’s in season. Here is the recipe and a couple other favorites you may enjoy.

 GREEN PICK ME UP SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (75 grams) green grapes

1/2 orange, peeled & seeded

1/2 green apple

2 cups (72 grams) Swiss chard

2 cups (480 ml) ice cubes

Directions:

Place all ingredients into the blender in the order listed, secure lid and process until smooth. For the Vitamix, select Smoothie program. Per 1 cup serving, this recipe has only 70 calories, 3 grams of fiber and no fat.

FRUIT SALAD SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:

1/2 cup green grapes

1/2  medium orange, peeled & seeded

1/2  slice pineapple, core included, cut to 1/2 inch thickness

1/2 cup (65 g) peeled and roughly chopped cucumber

1/2 medium carrot

1/4 medium apple, seeded

2 cups (480 ml) ice cubes

Directions:

Place all ingredients into the blender and process until smooth. For the Vitamix, select Smoothie program. Per 1 cup serving, this smoothie has only 83 calories, 3 grams of fiber and no fat.

PEANUT BUTTER BANANA SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:

1 cup almond milk

1/2 tsp. JR Watkins Original Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp. JR Watkins Peanut Butter Extract

1 medium banana

1 Tbsp. peanut butter

1 cup ice cubes

Directions:

Place all ingredients into the blender and process until smooth. For the Vitamix, select Smoothie program. For the Vitamix, select the smoothie program. This recipe contains only 177 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 1 gram of fat.

Options:

JR Watkins Extracts impart incredible flavor without adding additional calories or fat.

Various herbs and spices can be added for additional health benefits such as ginger, turmeric, cayenne powder and cinnamon.

To increase the protein in smoothies, we like to  add one or more of the following:

1/4 cup soft tofu

1-2 scoops of whey protein powder

1 Tbsp. Peanut or Almond Butter

1/2 cup Greek Yogurt

Here are a few items you may find useful for preparing your favorite smoothie recipes:

Stainless Steel Measuring Cups Set of 4
Set of 4 SS Measuring Cups
Measuring Spoons SS 5pc rectangle
Set of 5 SS Measure Spoons
Sink Station Green
Sink Station for washing, peeling and draining fresh fruit and veggies.
Swiss Pro Peeler
Useful to remove peel from kiwi, potatoes, carrots and a variety of other fruit or vegetables.
JR Watkins Naturals
JR Watkins Naturals offers the finest quality Gourmet Extracts and Spices to add incredible flavor to your favorite smoothie recipes.

We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment telling us about some of your favorite smoothie recipes.

 

Delicious Nutritious Nuts

The Kozy Nook
October 22nd is National Nut Day
In our home, we consume nuts in some form or fashion almost daily. Frequently, we toss a few almonds, walnuts or pecans in our morning smoothie or breakfast waffles, prepare trail mix with a variety of nuts for on-the-go energy, roll chicken strips with a mixture of nuts, coconut and corn flakes for a delicious, crunchy coating, entertain with Sweet, Salty, Spicy Party Nuts or serve Green Beans Almondine as a side dish for dinner. Many times, we will grab a few almonds or walnuts to ease hunger while waiting for dinner. Sometimes, we add a few chopped nuts with our coffee grounds to add a rich and nutty flavor. Taken in moderation, nuts are a healthful addition for anyone who doesn’t have nut allergies.
When I was a child, my mother worked in a little shop in downtown Dallas. There was a Plantar’s store across the street where they roasted their fresh nuts all day. We could smell the intense nutty aroma as each batch was nearing completion. One of my fondest memories was when I would purchase a bag of hot, freshly roasted peanuts or almonds. The sweet taste of the warm nut meat was and still is one of my favorite comfort foods.
I’m sure your family has a few favorite methods of preparing and consuming nuts. Here are a few tasty recipes we enjoy.

Chocolate Almond Smoothie

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbsp. raw honey, warmed slightly
2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
1 medium banana (I use a ripe frozen banana)
1 1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder

Directions:

Place all the ingredients into a blender, pulse a few times and then process on high until smooth. If you don’t have a frozen banana, you might consider adding a few ice cubes to make it cold.
Occasionally, I will soak 1/4 cup of rolled oats in 1/4 cup of the almond milk overnight. In the morning, I will combine the other 1/4 cup of almond milk, the soaked oatmeal and the rest of the ingredients and then process as usual. If the smoothie is too thick, add a little more almond milk.

Basic Trail Mix

Ingredients:

1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup craisins
1/2 cup M&M’s

Directions:

This is the basic mix we usually start with and then we’ll add additional ingredients like coconut, dried blueberries, granola chunks, walnuts, pecans, pistachios or a variety of other nuts and dried fruit. This trail mix is very versatile and provides energy for busy days or exercising.

Coconutty Chicken Strips

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
2/3 cup crushed cornflakes
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 tsp. Watkins Poultry Seasoning
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut in 1-inch wide strips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Put coconut milk in a small bowl, and set aside. In a shallow pie plate, combine coconut, cornflakes, pecans and poultry seasoning.
Dip chicken strips in coconut milk to cover, then roll in coconut mixture. Place strips on wire rack sprayed with Watkins Cooking Spray. Place wire rack on a baking sheet. Spray top of chicken. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350, and bake 15 more minutes. Check that coating browns but does not burn. If desired, broil 2 minutes for an even crunchier top.
Note: We like a little kick to our strips so, we add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Watkins Cayenne Powder and/or up to 1/2 tsp. Watkins Crushed Red Pepper Flakes to the coconut mixture.

Dipping Sauce:

1 (18 oz.) jar apricot preserves (such as SMUCKER’S® Apricot Preserves)
1 cup crushed pineapple
4 tsp. prepared horseradish
Mix apricot preserves and horseradish in a bowl; stir in pineapple. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Adapted from recipes found on Allrecipes.com
 

Sweet, Salty, Spicy Party Nuts

 

Ingredients:

1 cup raw walnut halves
1 cup raw pecan halves
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup unsalted, dry roasted cashews
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp JR Watkins Purest Black Pepper
1/4 tsp JR Watkins Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp JR Watkins Ground Cayenne Pepper
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350º F (175º C). Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper lightly coated with JR Watkins Cooking Spray.
Place walnuts, pecans, almonds and cashews in a large bowl, set aside. Combine salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne; add to nuts and toss to coat.
Heat sugar, water and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat. Slowly pour butter mixture over the bowl of nuts and stir to coat.
Transfer nuts to the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
Bake nuts in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Stir nuts until the warm syrup coats every nut. Spread into a single layer, return to oven and bake until nuts are sticky and roasted, about 6 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
Adapted from a recipe found on Allrecipes.com
 

Green Beans Almondine

Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh or frozen green beans
2 tbsp Watkins Original Grapeseed Oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1-2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Watkins Purest Ground Black Pepper
Watkins Course Sea Salt

Directions:

Remove any stem or strings from green beans; rinse and drain. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet on med. heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent; add garlic and green beans. Toss until evenly coated. Reduce heat to low, cover and gently simmer until green beans are al dente, approx. 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with almonds and transfer to a serving dish.

Here are a few suggestions you may find useful:

Nut Chopper from Progressive
Nut Chopper from Progressive
Silpat
This non-stick Silpat provides even baking and clean up is effortless.
JR Watkins Ind. Manager 391032
http://www.jrwatkins.com/consultant/hpina

You can trust JR Watkins superior quality Extracts and Spices for excellent results in cooking and baking. It’s my Granny’s secret ingredient!