Rich & Creamy Chocolate Almond Milk.

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I want to real talk you guys. Usually this means a type of melancholy, wearing my heart on my sleeve, a degree of uncertainty, or a deeply rooted fear, but this real talk is none of those things. These past few days my eyes have been opened to just how privileged I am to live this life.What has stuck me the most about this unannounced excitement is that it stems from the same things that would bring me down or cause me to fear. Uncertainty. The unknown. A future that we don’t have planned out. It has opened my eyes to the amount of possibility we have lying before us! After traveling to a wedding this summer, we would like to take some time to adventure together, no matter what that looks like. In our dreaming and talking, it has taken the shape of Europe, Guatemala, Chile, South America road trip, as well as a few other ideas. Europe is in the lead, but who knows? The rest of the dreams will get tucked away into the recesses of our brains, in our dream folder, where we can pull them out when we have some moments together.
Yesterday we had a day in the city to run errands & get away together. After dropping our car off to get a tune up, we headed across the road to a pub for lunch (where I had my mind blown by a seared tuna club with shaved pickled ginger, dill aoli, & arugula, but I digress . . . ). In the midst of our conversation and laughter, I realized that I married a dreamer. I married a man that thinks big thoughts & has big ideas. He is passionate about adventure while still having a good head on his shoulders. He is fun-loving, low maintenance, flexible, and the best part, he wants me to adventure with him. How rad is that?!We aren’t going to live the rest of our lives in this same context together, but our surroundings and situations in life are going to change with every rolling season. It is easy to say that, but another to really believe it and be at peace with that. We, as a couple, don’t just exist as ourselves in Squamish, BC, but the adventures that are waiting to be had all over the globe are going to be experienced together, with this other person. I know that is kind of obvious, but as I have really thought about it these past few days, I get more and more excited about those adventures! Right now, we are dreaming of travel, and though we won’t ever lost our passion for traveling and experiencing other cultures, I know that there are seasons of life that will certainly be adventures right here in our town. Adventures that cloak themselves in the delicate momentsof everyday life. The adventure that we must savor and soak, because those moments, though they may be difficult, are fleeting and precious.
After this year is over, who knows what could happen next? I will have my permanent residency by then (fingers crossed!), and I’ll be able to work, and whatever shape and place that takes, I have no idea. But it will be a grand adventure, and I am very excitedOh, you want me to show you how to make some almond milk now? Can do.As you can see, we’ve soaked the almonds overnight in water. Then we rinsed them, snagged and tossed their skins, then blended them with a bit of water. I like my almond milk silky smooth, so I strained it through a cheesecloth and strainer.Tada! You just made almond milk. Be proud.

And now for chocolate.

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Because this happens,  and it makes your heart happy.
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You’re welcome, planet earth.
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Rich & Creamy Chocolate Almond Milk. Serves: 4-61.5 cups raw almonds
3.5-4 cups filtered water
1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped
{this was almost too sweet for me! next time, I’m going to melt 3/4 cup chocolate}
scant 1/4 cup cocoaSoak your almonds in warm water overnight at room temperature. Cover with enough water to ensure they’re fully immersed plus 1 inch of water. No need to cover.The next day, drain and rinse your almonds under cool running water. Gently pinch the almond, and the skin will slip right off!

Add skinned almonds to a blender with 3.5 – 4 cups filtered water (the more water, the thinner it will be) and cover tightly with lid and a towel just in case any liquid seeps through.

Blend on high for 2 minutes or until the milk looks creamy and only small bits of almonds are visible.

To strain the almond milk you can use a cheesecloth. Simply lay the cheesecloth over a strainer and set it over a mixing bowl and pour on almond milk. Then gather the corners of the towel, lift and gently squeeze the liquid into the bowl until only the pulp remains.

Once the milk is thoroughly strained, you can either keep the pulp to add to baked goods (such as muffins, quick breads, granolas) or discard it. Your choice.

To a separate small bowl, add your chocolate and melt over a double boiler (a large bowl over a saucepan with an inch of simmering water).

Once melted, spoon 1/3 cup of almond milk into the bowl and whisk to combine. You’re wanting a chocolate “sauce” so it will more easily mix with the milk.

Once combined, add to the almond milk and whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust flavor. You could add more melted chocolate using the same method, or even another sweetener of choice or cocoa powder for a more well-rounded chocolate flavor.

Transfer to a container with a lid, or a mason jar, and store in the fridge for several days. Shake before serving. You could also freeze this for longer-term storage.

{notes.}
*If you don’t have chocolate on hand, you can sub 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder and 2-3 dates for sweetness during the blending process.

Source: adapted from the Minimalist Baker
Listening to: The Art of Simple podcast

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