Cream Gravy (Dairy version -- can be made vegan!)

Ease Level: 2 (pretty easy)

For vegan version, use coconut oil and hempmilk or your favorite dairy substitute.

Melt a half cube of butter in a pan on medium heat.  Add a 1/2 cup of lentil flour and make a roux.  Keep stirring vigorously.  Stirring constantly, add 1.5 cups milk.  When it begins to thicken a bit, add ¾ cup water.  When it thickens a tiny bit more, add ¼ cup cream.  Bring to a good boil, add salt to taste and remove from heat.  Add pepper at the table.

This is an outstanding traditional gravy to serve over mashed potatoes and also makes a really great eggless hollandaise!  Try adding ¼ tsp of your favorite spice to give it a regional flavor.  Tarragon has been suggested to me but I confess I haven’t tried it yet!

Homemade Almond Milk

Make your own Almond milk! (I was stumped for a recipe this week, thanks Kasia!)

Level 1: Super Easy

In my soy, wheat and dairy free days I used to make this delicious drink almost daily.  I never measured what I used so thanks to Kasia for sharing this proportion. 

But before we proceed to the recipe, here is an IMPORTANT note on almonds.  You want truly RAW almonds because the ones you buy in stores labeled Raw are not truly raw.  It is not that they have been roasted or cooked either. They have been irradiated or bathed in chemicals.  This is obviously harmful and should be avoided. Some grocery stores import truly raw almonds from Europe.  However, you can still get truly raw almonds from California, and you can get them at a “farm stand” online.  Google Briden Wilson Farm Almonds if you don’t see another option you like better.  I think you can also get truly raw almonds on Amazon and Ebay but personally I like knowing exactly what farm they came from and the people who grow them.

Now for the recipe!

Soak 1 cup of almonds overnight in 3 cups water. In the morning, drink the soaking water, or if you are concerned about phytic acid, discard it.

Either way, put 3 fresh cups of water in the almonds and grind in your Vitamix.  I would grind it for a minute or two on high, but make sure it’s completely creamy (no grit left at all!) before you’re done grinding or you’ll miss the experience.

If you don’t have a vitamix, just use a blender.  It may take longer. If you can’t get rid of all the bits, you can strain it with a cheesecloth or something similar.

If you like it sweet you can add dates, maple syrup or any other sweetener that works for you and then blend it again, or just add it at the beginning. 

If you want to get extra fancy you can soak part of a vanilla bean with the almonds and puree it too.