You can’t control life’s ups and downs, twists and turns. Sometimes, things come back around—again. And, you have to just go with it. I believe that I’ve been put on this planet to feed people. That’s what I LOVE to do. Nothing makes me happier, especially when I’m baking and cooking for my kids, the hearts of my life.
“But, recently I’ve realized that feeding people means so much more. It’s emotional. It’s personal—and it’s happening right now.”
When we found out in June that Chiara has a serious intolerance to dairy, I paused. I confused most of my friends. But, it had been months of back to butter for my family since Isaiah’s most recent blood tests revealed that his intolerance to dairy had disappeared. Even though I wrote a cookbook full of dairy-free, gluten-free recipes, I admit that I was happy to return to my dairy-full days.
“I always thought that being gluten free was so much easier than being dairy free. Don’t you?”
And now, I have come to terms with Chiara’s dairy intolerance. Even though, as many of you know, I can eat both gluten and dairy, I have chosen to cut dairy out completely just as I did with Isaiah almost five years ago. It’s an act of solidarity, yes, but more so of acceptance. So, to celebrate I’ve made my first non-dairy milk, almond milk. I even steamed it this morning for my morning cappuccino. It’s delicate and sweet, just like my girl, Chiara.
1 cup raw almonds—soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
4 cups filtered water
Two pinches sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
2 tablespoons agave nectar (optional)
You can store this in the fridge for up to 3 days. To make chocolate almond milk, blend in about 3 tablespoons cocoa powder. For strawberry almond milk, toss in some fresh or frozen strawberries. Chiara's favorite flavor is by far the strawberry milk; Isaiah prefers the vanilla. I like them all! Also, this is the nut bag I used.
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth, 1 to 3 minutes, depending on your blender. Using a fine mesh strainer or a nut bag, strain.