Dairy is one of those “paleo grey areas.” When it comes to the 21DSD, full fat (preferably grass fed/organic) dairy is allowed on level 1 and 2. I’m doing level 3 which eliminates dairy. Having transitioned to a paleo diet more than a year ago I had personally completely eliminated dairy and strictly followed “protocol.” (No grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods, etc.) I followed the books to a T. Having done a lot of reading I was well aware that some argue that dairy is not paleo, others argue that if tolerated full fat raw dairy is ok, and on and on. Most of the nutrition/paleo related books that I really enjoy reading are the ones that don’t preach “paleo perfection.” My gut instinct is to agree with the ones that bring paleo forth in a light of personal experimentation to see what works for you as an individual. No two people will tolerate the same foods in the same way. So, as I said I personally eliminated dairy completely for a while and then added back in high quality local goat cheeses from the farmers market and raw cows milk from a nearby raw milk farm. While both of these additions tasted delicious, they clearly made me feel bloated and just plain yuck, so I eliminated them completely. For ME, that was the right choice. It may not be a necessary choice for someone else. As a substitution for milk in recipes I use homemade almond milk or full fat coconut milk. The coconut milk I buy organic, in BPA free cans, and I make my own almond milk. I haven’t made almond milk in quite a while since my hand me down blender broke down, but for Christmas my mom got me the Ninja Ultima Kitchen System. It comes with the base motor, two single serve blender cups, a blender, a food processor, and tons of attachments for the food processor. It pretty much does everything but wash itself. It’s awesome!! Now that I have a blender again I can resume making almond milk regularly! I had forgotten how delicious a cold glass of almond milk is. Its really very simple and when you make it at home you have no added sugars or emulsifiers. So, here’s how I do it:
1. soak 1 cup of RAW almonds in 4 cups of water overnight or for at least 8 hours (I do this in a large bowl or mason jar on my counter, covered in a paper towel or dish cloth) This is an important step, as soaking the nuts deactivates the phytic acid in them. Phytic acid, if not deactivated would other wise bind to minerals in the digestive tract and make them unusable to you. Thereby negating your healthy eating attempts and potentially causing mineral deficiencies.
2. after proper soaking time has been allowed, rinse the nuts off until the water runs clear
3. put the soaked nuts in a blender with 3-4 cups of water. The less water you use, well, the less milk you will get, but also the more concentrated the flavor. 4 cups will give you a nice light flavored milk, 3-3.5cups a little stronger.
4. Blend until the nuts are as broken down as they will get. Not long if you have a strong blender such as a Ninja or a Vitamix, 1 minute maybe 2. A few minutes for a lesser strength blender.
5. Strain the pulp from the milk into a big bowl or pitcher using either doubled cheese cloth or a nutmilk bag. (I say try the cheese cloth first and if you like the resulting almond milk then invest in a nut milk bag. They are a rather inexpensive investment considering the time and money they will save in the long run as they are reusable.). **make sure you squeeze all that precious milk out of the pulp!**. (You can then take the pulp and dry it out in the oven to use in recipes or as a coating on chicken or pork.)
It will keep for about 5 days in the fridge. I find that keeping the almond milk in mason jars is the easiest way to store it as it will require shaking before consuming after it sits.
First off, I was out of my peppermint mocha creamer!! *gasp*. I whipped up a new batch of that and sipped away until the kids woke up…they had called a 3 hour delay for school due to freezing rain. In the midst of drinking my coffee they called school off completely. 😢😢. With school out for the day we had a late breakfast. I had 3 scrambled eggs topped with the last of my fresh chives, 1/2 an avocado and 3 pieces of pastured bacon. Mmmmmm.
After that very satisfying late breakfast I wasn’t really hungry until after 1 sometime. Since I had to be to work at 2 I had thrown a sweet potato in the oven to bake while I showered. When the sweet potato was nice and done I cut it open, slapped some butter on it and poured in some chopped up leftover London broil. Lunch was served, and it was tasty.
I had to save the rest of the London broil for the hubby to have for lunch when he got home, so I just grabbed an apple, my jar of homemade almond butter, and a Baggie of herb crackers for work. (I figured I could snack on whatever he made for dinner at the house after work if I was hungry later). So I munched on my herb crackers around 5ish and sat down with my apple and almond butter around 6:30. Had to run to shoprite after work to pick up a few more things for my big cooking day tomorrow. Got home and gnawed on some bone in pork chops from the farm. They are AH-mazing!!
Here’s my list of things I’m making tomorrow:
Almond butter cups
Lemon vanilla meltaways
Busy day ahead!!