Since Joanne Tobacman’s research was released in May of 2012, the food industry has had two choices:
- change food formularies to eliminate carageenan
- ignore over a decade of research
The most recent findings at the University of Illinois College of Medicine showed that even minute amounts of this “natural” emulsifier causes intestinal inflammation, a loss of important microbes, and increases the level of intestinal permeability (i.e. leaky gut). For those who have turned to non dairy milk substitutes like soy, almond, and coconut milk this is yet another example of where trying to eat or drink the right thing as turned out to be disappointing and potentially harmful.
The good news is that while carageenan is in so many things from salad dressings to ice cream, it is really easy to make your own much healthier versions of the products that it contains at home. In addition to creating something that is remarkably better, fresher, and healthier, you will save money!
Making either almond milk or coconut milk at home:
Raw Almond Milk
- 1 cup raw almonds
- Vanilla Powder or Cinnamon
Soak one cup of raw almonds for 8-12 hours or overnight
In the morning, discard the water they were soaked in and add both the almonds and one quart of fresh, non-chlorinated water to a blender
Add fresh vanilla powder (should be brown, never white!) or cinnamon if you like these flavors, 1/2 tsp of each will be adequate and not overpowering
Blend on high speed for 2 minutes, less in a Vitamix
Pour this blended almond meal/almond milk through either cheese cloth (less sediment) or a steel mesh colander/screen (my favorite as it has some pulp)
Enjoy! Refrigerate and it will last 4-5 days
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconuts
Bring 1 quart or liter of water to approximately 180ºF. It does not need to boil but has to be hot enough to soak the shredded coconut and to extract some of its healthy fat
Add 2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut to this quart of hot water in a blender or Vitamix and blend for approximately 4-5 minutes.
Pour from blender through a cheesecloth or steel colander/screen.
Enjoy. Refrigerate and it will last 6-7 days.
***In both cases, save the pulp that was removed by the cheesecloth for baking or other uses. Each will still have much flavor and great fiber to add to Paleo pancakes or muffins. Recipes to follow next week!