Category Archives: Nut Milk

Dragon Fruit Smoothie

So you may have seen this leathery, hot pink or fuscia fruit with it’s strange curly spikes at the grocery store more frequently, and thought to yourself “now what is that and what would I do with it?”

Dragon fruit has a flavor and texture similar to kiwi fruit. It is a member of the cactus family (think prickly pear). The skin of the fruit is inedible, but the flesh is white and flecked with little black specks that look like vanilla or poppy seeds.

Select ripe fruits without bruises. You can just slice them in half with a sharp knife and scoop out the fruit with a spoon by running it around the inside of the skin. Then you can eat it right away or dice it up and add it to fruit salsas, fruit salads, or smoothies. It is versatile and mildly succulent.

You will need:

  • 4 ripe Dragon fruits, scooped out of the skin, and diced
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced
  • 1 fresh mango, diced
  • 2 cups soy or almond milk
  • honey to sweeten if preferred (shouldn’t need it)
  • 1/4 cup ice

In a blender add all the ingredients and puree until smooth and creamy.

Serves-4

Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

  • 1½ cups of unsweetened almond milk (organic is preferred)
  • 1/4 cup organic (preferred) Greek yogurt with live active cultures
  • ½ cup frozen mangoes
  • ½ cup fresh papaya
  • ¼ cups walnuts
  • ½ inch fresh ginger root, peeled and cut up
  • ½ inch fresh turmeric root, peeled and cut up
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon flax seeds


Place the liquid in the blender and add the remaining ingredients. If you don’t have a powerful blender, I recommend grinding the nuts and seeds in a coffee grinder before placing them in the blender unless you don’t mind a little texture with your smoothie. Blend until smooth and enjoy! This makes one good sized smoothie, or two small smoothies to share. If you want to skip the yogurt, you can also use about a teaspoon or less or probiotic powder.

Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds
High in Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

You may have noticed a new fad in the world of healthy living: chia seeds. Yes, those chia seeds of Chia Pet lore. They’re in puddings, in drinks, sold as is in packages and people are adding them to their baked goods and sprinkling on salads and oatmeal.

Chia seeds taste slightly nutty when eaten out of hand, and absorb about 9-12 times the amount of liquid they are put in making them ideal for using as an alternative thickening or gelling agent. This also means they help keep you feeling fuller, longer, as well as hydrated. When used in liquid they take on the flavor of the liquid. Adding them to a glass of coconut water is a great post workout treat.

They also are high in Omega-3’s and Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as being a complete protein. Per 1-ounce serving (about 2 Tablespoons a day) they offer up 11 grams of fiber, 4.4 grams of protein, and 18% of your daily value of calcium. They can help regulate blood sugar, reduce cravings, are anti-inflammatory and help keep you regular.

You can simply add them to a cup of water with some lemon or fruit juice, let them sit 10 minutes until they gel (absorb the water) and drink it that way. Or you can make smoothies with them, or add them to oatmeal or your almond or soy milk.

To make a simple, fast chocolate chia pudding you will need:

  • 1 cup plain almond (or other non-dairy) milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 small, ripe avocado (or 1/2 a larger one)
  • 2 tablespoons real Maple syrup or Raw organic honey

If you’d like a spicier Mexican chocolate pudding you could add some cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne.

Whiz this mixture up in a blender on high until smooth and transfer to a bowl or serving cups and chill in the refrigerator until set.

You may omit the avocado as well and use 1/3 cup of chia seeds instead.

Simple Almond Butter and Simple Almond “Milk”

There are a lot of peanut butter substitutes out there and one of my favorite nut butters has to be almond. The health benefits of almonds include  per ounce: 14g of protein, 3 g of fiber, 7% of recommended daily calcium, 6% recommended daily iron, it’s a great source of vitamin E, riboflavin and magnesium which activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate calcium levels, as well as copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients in the body. So you can see why almonds are a welcome addition to a Pain Free Diet.

Making your own nut butters and nut “milks” at home also ensures quality control and that you know exactly what is in the dish. You will need a food processor and a blender respectively for these two recipes.

For the Almond Milk it’s not so much a recipe as it is a ratio:

1 cup Almonds to 4 cups water. Ideally you will want to soak the almonds for up to 8 hours in water.

Blend the almonds and 4 cups of water on high-speed in a blender for about 2 minutes. If you like it chunky you can keep it as is, or buy a “nut-milk-bag”, or strain through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth. It won’t strain quickly, so give it some time.

And that’s it. Yes, that is the recipe. If you like to add flavor to your almond milk then add a couple dates and a teaspoon good vanilla extract or use agave sweetener instead of sugar or dates to sweeten. If you have real vanilla beans feel free to use one whole bean. After straining the liquid through the nut-bag, or cheese-cloth or sieve, you will have some pasty remains. Feel free to use this in cookie recipes or breads.

For the Almond Butter:

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • one food processor
  • spatula

Add the almonds and turn it on. This process takes a good 10 minutes, plus or minus one or two. Start out about 2 minutes and stop the processor and scrape down the sides often. Let it go another 2 or 3, and scrape again. The mixture will look lumpy and broken, keep stopping it to scrape down the sides. After about 7-8 minutes the oils in the almonds will begin to release and come together with the solids to create the
“butter”, or paste. Voila!

Serve with cut up fruit or veggies. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator just to be safe for up to a week. If you wanted to make a flavored or sweetened almond butter I recommend using a little agave nectar at the end and maybe a pinch of sweet cinnamon.

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