Tag Archives: Milk

Homemade Almond Milk

Have you tried Almond Milk?  I’ve tried both the homemade and the store bought version.  The difference I find between the two is that the store bought version seems thicker (thanks to the added xantan and /or gellan gum you’ll find in the ingredients), but there definitely is a cost benefit to making it yourself.  Of course, who the heck has the time to make it regularly, right?

Homemade almond milk is really easy to make though, so if you can find some time, on a Sunday perhaps… you should definitely try making it.  Just soak almonds in boiling water inside the blender for a while, then add more water and blend. That’s it!

The time consuming part comes with the straining.  You need to strain it to separate the solids left over from the blending process.  Actually, I had to strain it twice because I only had a fine sieve to do it.  I’m sure if I had some cheesecloth, or maybe a new and clean tea towel I could use for this purpose, it would have been easier.   I did find it a bit too watery, though.  I used a 1 cup almonds to 4 cups water ratio.   Maybe next time I’ll add another 1/2 cup of almonds to make it a bit “creamier”.

Arborio Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk

Even though the holidays are over, a chill is still in the air and we all crave comforting food.  This recipe is a version of rice pudding, except instead of using regular rice I used arborio rice, which you use to make risotto.  The starch from this variety gives the rice pudding an extra creaminess.   I also used a mixture of different types of milk: regular, evaporated, condensed and coconut milk.   The first three are from a recipe Mariano’s grandmother makes for her infamous rice pudding and his family can eat bucketfuls of it.
I added coconut milk out of curiosity.  The result is a smooth, rich and creamy rice pudding with a hint of nutty coconut flavor.

When you make rice pudding,  you combine rice with milk and you stir and add more milk as necessary until the rice is tender and the mixture reaches the desired thickness. At least, that’s the method I know.  For this recipe I combined this procedure and the procedure you use to make risotto, meaning I let the milk get consumed and I continued adding more to cook.

If you feel the mixture is too thick, just add more milk (the regular type).  Sugar is also something to consider.  Personally, I prefer a creamy and smooth rice pudding that is not too sweet. This is where you can adjust the amount of sugar you put it.  The recipe calls for 6 tablespoons and 1/2 can of condensed milk. You can omit the sugar altogether if you think the sweetness from the condensed milk is enough, or use half of it.   To be honest, I did find that 6 tablespoons was a bit too sweet, for my taste.

~Helga

Arborio Rice Pudding

Arborio Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk

 A The Foodies’ Kitchen Original Recipe
Serves 8

Ingredients:

1 cup Arborio rice
2  1/2 cups whole milk + more during cooking (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 can coconut milk
1 cinnamon stick

Procedure:

  1. In a large pot, mix the Arborio rice, cinnamon, sugar, and whole milk. Cook (uncovered) over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring until the milk starts to evaporate.
  2. Meanwhile, in another pot mix the rest of the ingredients (condensed, evaporated and coconut milk), and bring them to a simmer. Once the 15 minutes have passed, incorporate this mixture into the pot with the Arborio rice,remove the cinnamon stick and continue cooking over medium heat for another 10 min, stirring. At this point, you can adjust the amount of sugar you want to put it, depending on your taste.
  3. Now, lower the heat to low, and continue cooking for another 25-30 minutes. Keep stirring!  You need to add a little more milk, and I didn’t measure this part! when I thought it was starting to get too thick, I just added a few extra slushes of milk as the cooking process went on (you’ll probably add about 1 1/2 extra cups of milk) . I didn’t want to be too thick, remember that it will get thicker as it cools.
  4. Check to see if the rice is cooked through, we don’t want any al dente qualities here.  If you need a few minutes more, 5 or so, just keep adding a little bit more milk.

Arborio Rice Pudding

Arborio Rice Pudding

Arborio Rice Pudding

Arborio Rice Pudding

Arborio Rice Pudding

Arborio Rice Pudding

Arborio Rice Pudding

Hot Vanilla

This is the opposite of hot chocolate. Before I wrote this post, I wanted to try it out for myself. I figured it would only taste like sugared milk, and… well, frankly I didn’t want to give you a crappy recipe. I simmered the ingredients, poured it into my Irish coffee mugs, not expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised!  This hot beverage is so delicious, all I can tell you is… go heat some milk, you need to try this. Right now.

I used McCormick’s pure vanilla extract, and added some whipped cream and marshmallows on top. This will go into my favorite hot beverages list… next to hot chocolate, of course.  Oh, and coffee.

This post also reminded me about how warm milk before going to bed can supposedly help you sleep. Have you tried it? I don’t have an issue with sleep myself, I’m gone 3 minutes after my head hits the pillow! But I did a little reading on the subject, and here’s an interesting article  I thought I’d share with you: Is it true that warm milk can make me sleepy?

Helga

Hot Vanilla

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Toddlers: Whole Milk vs. Skim Milk

About a year ago, during Kristen’s routine checkup at the pediatrician we discussed her diet and I asked him if I should continue giving her the fortified whole milk she had been drinking since she was 1 year old. In Guatemala almost everyone gives their children powdered milk from a well-known brand, which is fortified with vitamins, probiotics… and a whole lot of fat. (It has 5.9 gms of saturated fat, and 20 gms of total fat, according to the label).

Since Kristen is not a picky eater, and her daily diet is pretty well balanced she doesn’t need all that extra fat from whole milk, so the doctor suggested that we start offering her the skim milk my husband and I drink.  She liked it better than the other one, and has been drinking it ever since.

A few weeks ago, we had dinner with friends (Hi, Samas!) who have two older kids, and they told us about how they switched their children’s milk from whole to skimmed, because a nutritionist advised them to do so, and explained that whole milk was even considered bad kids (in the long run) and that all parents should start making the switch at around 3 years of age. Had they known this they would have made the switch years ago.

I decided to investigate and here’s what I found:

Because obesity is a risk factor for heart disease and often is accompanied by cholesterol problems, the pediatrics academy now recommends low-fat milk (no more than 2 percent fat) for 1-year-olds for whom weight or obesity is a concern. That new advice is aimed at 1-year-olds who are already overweight, have overweight parents, or have a family history of heart problems. Very young children are increasingly getting fats from sources other than milk.

As babies turn into toddlers, they don’t need the fat contained in whole milk. However, the decision to make the switch depends greatly in the toddler’s nutrition and overall health. If they are picky eaters, and you have trouble getting them to eat a variety of foods, then you have to wait to make the switch. Those kids will benefit from the extra calories they get from whole milk.

If your toddler has an overall balanced diet, then switching to 2% milk is fine. Low-fat and whole milk have equal amounts of vitamins and minerals. In fact, an 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk contains more protein than an 8-ounce glass of whole milk (10 grams versus 8 grams). Whole milk contains 3.5 to 4 percent fat, and this extra fat is primarily saturated fat, which your toddler can do without.

A quick comparison of milk nutrition labels (per 8 ounce serving) shows that there really is an important difference:

  • Whole Milk – 150 Calories – 8g Fat
  • 2% Milk – 120 Calories – 4.5g Fat (Reduced fat milk)
  • 1% Milk – 100 Calories – 2.5g Fat (Low-fat milk)
  • Skim Milk – 80 Calories – 0g Fat (Nonfat milk)

But your growing toddler still needs fat in his diet.  Healthy fats are a necessary component of the vital tissues  – especially the brain and central nervous system  – that are growing so fast in your toddler. So, when you switch to 2% milk, you must add other healthy fats to your toddler’s diet.  Try avocado, peanut butter, almond butter, olive oil, salmon. (be aware of food allergies, of course)

As a general guide, remember that:

  • No cow’s milk before age one (because of allergies)
  • Whole milk until two
  • Nonfat or low-fat after that

Making the switch at an early age is much easier than doing it when your child is older, when they are more likely to notice and be resistant to switching to low fat milk. Still, even with your younger child, you can make a gradual switch, going first to 2% Milk and then later switching again, this time to 1% Milk or Skim Milk.

Sources: 
Parenting
Pediatrics Guide in About.com
US News / Health

Photo from Bizmology