Move over egg nog! This is the perfect dairy-free beverage for the holiday season! A simple Spiced Chai Latte!
I started making my own nut milks (almond, cashew) about a year ago and let me tell you just how so very easy it is to make! As long as you remember to soak the nuts overnight, it literally comes together in a matter of minutes in a Vitamix. When you warm it up and add it to the Vitamix you get an amazing frothy milk! It's like trying to contain clouds in a cup!
Is it necessary to soak nuts?
The answer to that question is absolutely!
Nuts have phytic acid. Phytic acid is also found in grains and legumes. Just as with grains and legumes, soaking nuts is essential for proper digestions. When eating nuts that haven’t been soaked, the phytic acid binds to minerals in the gastrointestinal tract and cannot be absorbed in the intestine and too many bound minerals can lead to mineral deficiencies. By soaking, you are breaking down the phytic acid so it can be absorbed properly.
Nuts also have high amounts of enzyme inhibitors. This is another reason why unsoaked nuts are hard to digest. Soaking nuts neutralizes the enzymes allowing for proper digestion.
The best thing about making your own nut milk is that you don’t have to search far and wide for a nut milk version without carrageenan. Carra...what you say?
So, what's the scoop on carrageenan?
When you start reading labels, you’ll be amazed at the number of products that contain carrageenan – argh!! Carrageenan is not digestible and has no nutritional value. It is used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture of ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk, and other processed foods. Research has shown that exposure to carrageenan causes inflammation and that when we consume processed foods containing it, we ingest enough to cause inflammation in our bodies. Yuck!
So skip the carrageenan and make your own nut milk!
P.S. - My dear kitchen friends, if you don't own a high speed blender like a Vitamix, I highly recommend you put one on your Christmas list from Santa! I love my Vitamix. It graces my counter where it is used daily, usually several times a day.
The Vitamix has a two-horsepower engine, and the blades travel at a speed of 400 revolutions per second. This means that food in the blender, being hit with the four blades, is chopped 1600 times per second! With this power, things that normally can't be done in a regular blender - freezing ice cream, cooking soup, grinding flour - can be done with ease in a Vitamix. I'm not embarrassed to say I LOVE my Vitamix! I bought mine refurbished (for a fraction of its regular cost) from Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2h0Y3EF.
I highly recommend you put one on your Christmas list from Santa!
Then,...get creative and spice up your milk with this quick and easy recipe. Frothy goodness that tastes amazing!
If you prefer a sweeter milk, add more dates to the blend. For a spicier milk, add more spices and say cheers to chai!
- 1 cup cashews or almonds soaked 3 hours, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups water
- 3-4 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp fresh ginger root
- 1 tsp cloves (optional)
- 1⁄4 tsp black pepper (optional)
- 1 tsp all spice
- pince sea salt
Make it Like So
- Place all ingredients into Vitamix or other high-speed blender in the order listed and secure lid.
- Turn machine on and slowly increase speed, then to high.
- Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Chill and serve with ice cubes if desired, or heat for hot chai latte.