Tag Archives: almond milk

Almond Fresh Noël Nog French Toast

26 Dec
Almond Fresh Noël Nog

Almond Fresh Noël Nog

I had some friends over recently for a pre-holiday gathering and given that some of them are lactose intolerant, I thought it would be fun to try Almond Fresh Noël Nog, a non-dairy “egg nog” that I learned about recently (check out my previous post about Almond Fresh here).

The verdict: We all enjoyed it and we were particularly impressed with how light it was in comparison to regular egg nog. My friend Lisa was particularly happy that she could have an egg nog style drink without the dairy, as she only found out that she was lactose intolerant a few months ago.

I had some Noël Nog leftover after the gathering, so I decided to make some French Toast, using a recipe from Almond Fresh. It was my first time trying out a non-dairy French Toast and I was really pleased with the results! I was able to get the same custardy, rich texture that I enjoyed when I made French Toast with regular milk.

I ended up making this on a morning when my husband wasn’t home, so I cut the recipe back to make French Toast for one (makes 2 pieces of French Toast). I’ve included measurements for one serving in brackets below.

Almond Fresh’s Noël Nog is only available for the holidays, so if you can’t find it, you could substitute Almond Fresh Vanilla and add a ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg to the recipe to get the same flavours.

1 Egg + Almond Fresh Noël Nog + Cinnamon makes some mighty fine French Toast goodness

1 Egg + Almond Fresh Noël Nog + Cinnamon = mighty fine French Toast goodness

Dip the bread into the egg/Almond Fresh Noël Nog mixture

Into the frying pan with a little butter or oil

Almond Fresh Noël Nog French Toast

Almond Fresh Noël Nog French Toast

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 eggs (for one serving, use 1 egg)

1 cup (250 mL) Almond Fresh Noël Nog (for one serving, use ¼ cup)

2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon (for one serving, use a ½ teaspoon)

8 slices bread or brioche (for one serving, use 2 slices of bread or brioche)

Slivered almonds and maple syrup

Directions:

1. In a shallow dish, beat together the eggs, Almond Fresh Noël Nog and cinnamon.

2. Heat a large frying pan over low/medium heat.

3. Soak bread in the Almond Fresh Noël Nog/egg mixture, one slice at a time.

4. Lightly coat the pan with vegetable oil or butter. Cook each slice of French toast on both sides until nicely browned.

5. Serve with slivered almonds and maple syrup- enjoy!

Notes:

-You could easily make this with regular egg nog if you had some leftover from your festivities

-Again, Almond Fresh Noël Nog is only available for the holidays, so if you can’t find it, you could substitute Almond Fresh Vanilla and add a ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg to the recipe to get the same flavours.

-I chose to dust my French Toast with icing sugar, instead of using the slivered almonds and maple syrup.

For more info, check out their website at http://www.almond-fresh.com/

They are social media friendly! You can also “Like” them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/almondfresh or follow them on Twitter at @almond_fresh or http://twitter.com/almond_fresh

Disclaimer: I received coupons to try Almond Fresh products in the mail. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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An Ode to Almond Milk

28 Oct

If you’ve been following my blog over the past year, you’ll know that I recently found out that I have an intolerance to cow dairy. What does this mean? It means that apparently my body doesn’t react particularly well to cow’s milk, yogurt, cheese…and the list goes on. I’ve managed to remove the majority of items containing cow dairy from my diet and I can certainly say that my general health has greatly improved. I don’t feel bloated all the time, I have more energy and my stomach is a LOT happier now!

In my quest to find great non-dairy beverages, I’ve found almond milk to be one of the tastiest alternatives to milk (from cows that is). The texture, colour and flavour is fairly close to cow’s milk and it tastes great hot or cold (heat up chocolate almond milk and you’ve got an awesome alternative to hot chocolate…mmm). Some people believe that only cow’s milk has the nutrients you need but in case you didn’t know, a cup of fortified almond milk contains 30% of the calcium needed in a day, along with Vitamins D, B12 and A. All this and my stomach won’t bother me anymore too…woot!

Since I’m the only one in the house who drinks almond milk, it’s difficult to finish a full carton before it gets spoiled, so I was thrilled to find out that I can now get almond milk in tetra packs (the little kid in me is excited too…who doesn’t love drinking boxes?!?!).  Earth’s Own now sells Almond On The Go tetra packs of original and chocolate almond milk and they come in a 3 x 250 mL pack.

Almond On The Go Tetra Packs

I now keep a few in the fridge at work as a snack for those afternoon cravings or late nights at the office. Clearly, my favourite of the two is chocolate but the original one is just as good as it has the hint of sweetness needed to kill a sugar craving when it strikes. As mentioned above, if I feel like having a “hot chocolate” I pour the chocolate tetra pack into a cup and microwave it or put heat it up on the stove. It smells amazing too….

The wonderful ladies at the Almond Fresh booth at the ShesConnected conference told me that in a few weeks, they’ll be coming out with a non-dairy holiday beverage, Almond Fresh Noel Nog (image below is from the Almond Fresh website). I can’t wait to try it out. P.S. Earth’s Own is a CANADIAN company, which is why they’re getting a shoutout on my blog : )

This image belongs to Earth's Own, the makers of Almond Fresh. http://www.almond-fresh.com/

On a side note, it’s almost time for the holiday season and if you’re looking for a non-alcoholic beverage to serve, I tried this one at the conference:

This image belongs to Earth's Own, the makers of Almond Fresh. http://www.almond-fresh.com/

Almond Fresh Apple-Tini

Recipe and image above are from the Almond Fresh website – http://www.almond-fresh.com/recipes/smoothies

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

2 oz apple juice

1 oz Almond Fresh Unsweetened

splash caramel syrup

dash fresh lemon juice

1.  Combine ingredients over ice in a martini shaker.

2.  Shake vigorously and serve in martini glass.

3.  Garnish with a cherry or apple slice.

Do you drink almond milk? What do you use it for?

YorkTest Program’s Food & DrinkScan, a Food Intolerance Test – Part 4 – My call with the Nutrition Advisor and the “No Cow Dairy” diet

13 Jul

 Note: This is Part 4 in my series of posts about YorkTest Program’s Food & DrinkScan, a Food Intolerance Test. You can find the earlier parts here:

Part 1 – http://bit.ly/M8QPne  Part 2 – http://bit.ly/L7okuY  Part 3 – http://bit.ly/N2T92g

A few days after I received my results, it was time for my first call with one of YorkTest Program’s Registered Naturopathic Doctors, Dr. Michelle O’Neill. She took me through my results chart and helped me to understand that I didn`t need to eliminate all of my main AVOID (RED) items immediately, specifically Cow Dairy, Yeast and Lentils, and advised that it would be best (and easiest) to start with the worst offender, cow dairy. Cow dairy was the top item on my AVOID (RED) list and therefore was the food that my body was fighting the hardest against. I was slightly surprised as I thought that by only including lactose-free milk, yogurt (the amount of lactose apparently reduces during the fermentation process) and hard cheeses (apparently also lower in lactose) that I had things under control. Clearly not!

Dr. O’Neill was so easy to talk to and asked what my current diet consisted of, so we could work together to pinpoint the key sources of cow dairy. From there, she walked me through potential substitutions for cow dairy and I was so happy to hear that I actually had options!

The plan – eliminate all sources of cow dairy for two full weeks and see if I felt any different. Dr. O’Neill was quick to point out that it would require a lot of willpower and planning ahead to make this work, as many of my daily food and beverage choices would be affected. She mentioned that in addition to the straight and obvious sources – milk, yogurt and cheese – I should look out for modified milk ingredients and related ones such as whey and casein when making choices.

She was quick to point out that although cow dairy was off limits, I could try goat, sheep or buffalo dairy instead. Almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk and other non-dairy sources were also easily available now at my local grocery stores. I was not only happy to hear that I had options but I was also looking forward to exploring new foods and beverages.

I decided to start Week 1 properly the following Monday, as I not only wanted time to prepare but I felt that my best chance at making this work was to start with a full week ahead of me. I sat down to make a list of all of the items I consume regularly with cow dairy in them and I realized just how big that list was. I was regularly consuming milk, plain yogurt, fruit yogurt and having cheese. Just as I started to pat myself on the back for having such a short list, I realized that many of my beloved sweet snacks, specifically chocolate, usually contained cow dairy as well….yikes! As painful as it sounded I knew I had to do this for the sake of my health. I was sick of feeling tired and having an upset stomach pretty much all the time.

I knew the only way to make this happen was to plan my own meals and cook at home as much as I could for the next two weeks, so that I could control the ingredients. I also knew that I would have to think of every food and beverage choice to make sure that I wasn`t putting cow dairy into my system. This was going to be fun and scary…

I headed to the grocery store and probably spent a good hour and half going through the aisles (this is not unusual for me, I love browsing in grocery stores), reading packages and filling my cart with the items I needed and wanted. I picked up the following alternative products to try:

I also stocked up on fruits, vegetables, tortillas and English muffins. I spent a FORTUNE on groceries that day, as alternative products are often a lot pricier, however I didn’t mind as I was excited to have an excuse to try some new products.

I spent the first week eating the following items (not all at once of course):

Breakfast Options:

  • English muffins with almond butter and/or jam
  • Breakfast wraps with egg, goat cheese or Daiya cheese and veggies
  • Oatmeal made with almond milk and fruit
  • Coffee with almond or soy milk OR a Starbucks Soy Americano Misto OR a soy latte

Lunch/Dinner Options:

  • Rice with veggies and tofu
  • Quinoa with veggies
  • Pastas with veggies and Daiya cheese
  • Wraps with egg, goat cheese and roasted veggies
  • Vegetarian maki rolls (Japanese)
  • Indian curry dishes, all made without dairy
  • Homemade soups
  • Salads
  • Noodles

Desserts/Snacks:

  • Fruit
  • Veggies
  • Smoothies
  • Chocolate almond milk (heated)
  • Homemade frozen ice pops

While I enjoyed the challenge of Week 1, it was also exhausting. After eating whatever I wanted that was lacto-ovo vegetarian for so long, I had to stop and think about everything I was putting in my mouth. This sounds simple enough, but when you look forward to having a small coffee with one cream and one sugar every morning, taking it away is rough. I’ll admit, on more than one occasion, I poured cream and sugar into a cup and was just about to add coffee before I realized what I was doing and had to throw it out.

Dealing with the food situation was okay, partly because my husband was away on a business trip and I didn’t have to cook for both of us that week. I also didn’t have many social engagements to deal with, which was a blessing as I’m sure that I was getting a little testy with some people : ) Week 1 helped me to realize just how much food I used to put into my mouth without thinking about it. Being a vegetarian is pretty easy once you get used to it but taking away the dairy and eggs just made it harder. For someone who loves food, it was a great exercise in restraint for sure. I wasn’t sure if I was exhausted because of the amount of effort or from what I was eating, so I asked Dr. O’Neill for her thoughts on how I was feeling. She advised that it was common for participants of elimination diets to feel tired in the first few weeks of making changes to their diets, as the body works to adjust.

By Week 2, I definitely noticed a change in my system as I did feel less bloated and wasn’t experiencing as much discomfort in my stomach. It was quite amazing to feel these changes as I had lived with my symptoms for so long that they started to feel normal to me. My pants started to feel a bit looser and the heavy feeling that used to drag me down all the time was lifting. I wondered at first if it was psychological but my stomach symptoms had clearly subsided! It was truly surprising. Now what was I going to do?

Want to learn more about the YorkTest Program? Visit their website at http://www.yorktest.ca/ or follow them on Twitter and Facebook

Stay tuned for my next post in the series – YorkTest Program’s Food & DrinkScan, a Food Intolerance Test – Part 5 – Product Reviews and changes I’ve made

Disclosure: In exchange for writing this series of blog posts, I’ve received a free Food & DrinkScan and enrollment into the program. The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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