Almond Milk, Coconut Milk & Cultured (Kefir) Review

I grew up drinking skim milk 3 meals a day and as an adult at least once a day on my cereal or in protein shakes. In the past year I have been buying exclusively organic fat free milk. When the hubby and I decided to do our detox I purchased some almond milk and we have since to go back to dairy milk. We may add it back in occasionally, and we do eat dairy cheeses and Breyers Natural ice cream, but I must say I love almond milk on my cereal and it makes the best protein shakes! If heated/steamed under 130 degrees it’s also fabulous in our Sunday morning lattes.

 

Almond Breeze vs. Silk Almond Milk

I prefer Almond Breeze by Blue Diamond; it is creamy, and tastes of sweet, raw almonds. (You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten raw, unseasoned, nuts). In my opinion the Silk Almond Milk has an unnatural thickness to it and the flavor isn’t as clean. This could be because I am used to fat free milk and don’t want my cereal etc. to have a white film on it. Both steamed fine for lattes but we thought the flavor of the Almond Breeze was better in this application as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:
Blue Diamond: Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Evaporated Cane Juice, Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Potassium Citrate, Carrageenan, Sunflower Lecithin, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2 and D-Alpha-Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E).
Silk: All Natural Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds), All Natural Evaporated Cane Juice, Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Dipotassium Phosphate, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Vitamin E (D-Alpha-Tocopherol), Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2.


Both have similar nutritional breakdown as well as ingredients (except for the Dipotassium Phosphate in Silk).
60 calories
2.5 g. fat
180 potassium (150 in Silk)
8 g, carbs
7 g. sugar
30% of your daily calcium
50% of your daily vitamin D

So Delicious Coconut Milk

This tasted very plain, kind of neutral, slightly like coconut water. It wasn’t bad but I wouldn’t want to drink it plain. I used the rest of the carton doing halfsies with almond milk in my cereal and shakes. Next time I will try the “original” instead of the “unsweetened” version which would be more similar to the original Almond milks; sweetened with a bit of cane sugar.

1 cup serving is:
50 calories,
5g fat (healthy medium chain fatty acids that the body easily metabolizes. This means our bodies use it as energy and not stored fat)
65 mg of Potassium
1 g carbs
50% of your B12 for the day
Only 10% of your calcium

*Update…Really like the Vanilla Coconut milk and it has more Potassium (90 mg) . A glass makes a nice sweet treat for after supper too.

 

So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk (Kefir)

Kefir is a fermented milk product similar to a sour Greek yogurt. It contains tons of live and active cultures, including Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactic. Greek yogurt helps feed the good bacteria already in your gut but Kefir goes a step further and adds healthy bacterias. It has been widely consumed in Europe for hundreds of years, known for it’s health benefits. The first published literature on Kefir was in 1908 by Russian bacteriologist, Ilya Iljitsch Metschnikow. Mechnikov was the first to develop a theory relating toxic bacteria in the gut to aging and that healthy latic acids could prolong life. His research positively connected the high age of Romanians and Bulgarians to their regular consumption of Kefir. In 1908, Metschnikow was awarded the Nobel prize in medicine for his findings. *
I had tried “regular” dairy Kefir when I was on antibiotics to help keep good bacteria and populate my gut. I would blend it with frozen berries or add a bit to smoothies/protein shakes as it tastes like sour cream+ strong Greek yogurt. However, I recently bought the Coconut version and it is really good! Is is creamy and smooth and a little thinner than dairy Kefir which was hard to pour and strong. The coconut Kefir has a pleasant aftertaste and smell of coconut and a bit of an effervescent feel.

Ingredients:
Organic Coconut Milk (Organic Coconut Cream, Water, Guar Gum), Tapioca Dextrose, Chicory Root Extract (Inulin), Pectin, Calcium Phosphate, Lactic Acid (from Vegetable Source), Natural Flavors, Magnesium Phosphate, Carob Bean Gum, Citric Acid, Live Cultures, Carrageenan, Dipotassium Phosphate, Vitamin B12.

Live Active Cultures Include: L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, L. Plantarum, L. Rhamnosus, L. Paracasei, Bif. Lactus, Bif. Bifidum, Bif. Animalis, Leuconostoc Cremoris and L. Acidophilus

1 cup serving is:
70 calories,
6g fat (healthy medium chain fatty acids that the body easily metabolizes. This means our bodies use it as energy and not stored fat)
6 g carbs
35% of your B12 for the day
30% of your calcium
30% of your magnesium
only 3g. of sugar

Try them and comment below your thoughts on the taste and health benefits!*Élie Metchnikoff. (2011, February 18). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:51, March 11, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=%C3%89lie_Metchnikoff&oldid=414600888
Kefir. (2011, March 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:54, March 11, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kefir&oldid=418106747

Breville Juice Fountain Review & Recipes

I don’t know who was more excited when I opened the Breville 900 Watt, Variable Speed Juice Extractorfor my birthday, my mother in law the gifter, or me. She was so tickled by my expression she laughed for a few minutes and knew immediately she didn’t need to give me the gift receipt.

From the Breville website:

ikon Multi-Speed Juice Fountain

BJE510XL

$199.99
Smart juicer that adjusts speeds to maximize juice and minimize waste. 5 speeds from 6500 to 12500 RPM for efficient juice output.
Easy-to-clean micromesh filter keeps the fibers out and the juice in. Beautiful stainless steel. Components are dishwasher-safe.

This is a nice machine! It is powerful, easy-to-clean and FUN (oh yea it makes delicious concoctions too). I even had the gizmo obsessed husband try it out and it was reminiscent of infomercials for the Troy Built wood chipper…this baby can devour anything in 2 seconds flat! However, it is relatively quiet; you can have a conversation while it is running. A friend, Elizabeth came over to have a juicer play-date and we created a few different juices with the following washed produce:

  • Carrots (cleaned of dirt)
  • Beets (cleaned, trimmed)
  • Kale
  • Apples (whole)
  • Cucumbers (skinned)
  • Ginger

Sunrise Sorbet
This made 35 fl oz and was gorgeous to boot!

  • 3 beets w/greens
  • 8 carrots
  • 1 large apple

The next 2 flavors were our favorites:

Apple Ginger Delight
23 fl. oz.

  • 8 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • pinky sized piece of fresh ginger
The Hulk:
20 fl. oz. of a refreshing bright green detoxifying juice
  • 2 cucumbers (made 15 oz. on their own)
  • 5 pieces kale
  • 1 apple

Cleaning:

The juicer cover, filter bowl surround, and pulp container are top rack dishwasher safe.
Remove the plastic top
Remove the basket

Place the basket in a sink of warm water while you finish cleaning up and it will be a cinch to clean.
Use a damp dishrag to wipe the motor base and powercord (mine stayed clean). Only excess/splatter from mine came out of the lid of the juice pitcher; we just placed a dishrag over the lid.

 

Now, what to do with all that pulp? It’s full of fiber and can be used easily in many recipes (and dogs and horses love it too). The easiest method is to place in a freezer bag and whenever you make soup, tomato sauce etc. break off a chunk and throw in.

Pulp to go into freezer

I also created a hummus-like bean dip using the carrot pulp and it was so yummy!

In a food processor I added:

  • beans,
  • carrot puree,
  • smoked paprika
  • salt
  • Greek yogurt

Blended till smooth and tasty- adjusting spices and ingredients and I went to get a creamy, yummy dip.

This was delicious on deli pretzel crackers

Happy Juicing!