Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Like many I assumed only dairy products milk\cheese\yogurt as good sources of calcium.Considering how big and powerful the milk industry is,people are made to believe that it is the only good source.Unless one chooses to become vegetarian for better health or search for alternatives due to allergies or lactose intolerance,the equally nutritive alternative sources like Soy ,Almonds, vegetables like Kale,broccoli,Okra,lentils like Urad, remain undiscovered.
In my case it was my son's asthma which lead to hunt for alternatives.Excess intake of Dairy products are not recommended for asthmatics,as it can increase the mucus production.I have limited his intake to Organic reduced fat milk after the diagnosis ,I also substituted with alternative sources like above to make up for the daily required recommendation of calcium.He is used to the flavor of cow's milk,the change to soy milk with a distinct after taste was not liked hence I tried the almond milk with mellower taste,even that he wouldn't take it unless flavored with cocoa.Total transition seems impossible with his picky tastes.But when ever he has an episode of cold followed by symptoms of asthma,I stop all kinds of dairy products for few days until he gets back to normal breathing pattern,that helps the symptoms from getting bad to worse.That's no doctors advice,its purely based on my observation and research in milk's connection with excess mucus\phlegm production.
Even if you don't suffer with any kind of milk allergies,try Almonds for its extra nutrition of Iron and Vitamin E ,totally absent in cow's milk and above all it has Zero cholesterol.
Though prepacked Almond milk may not provide same health benefits as the Whole Almonds ,home made Almond milk is good alternative.If plain is too bland for you,flavor it up with cocoa or the strawberry syrup.
How to make Home made Almond Milk?
1 cup Raw almonds
3 cups of water(use filtered or nursery water for babies)
Method : Soak the almonds overnight in plenty of water.Remove the skin and process in the blender with 3 cups of water until smooth.Now filter through a cheese cloth\muslin cloth in to a clean storage container.Store in fridge for 4-5 days.
Do not throw away the pulp
Use it in baking cookies ,bread or thickening gravies .You even dehydrate it until dry and flaky then dry grind it to make almond flour.
See a helpful Step-by-Step almond milk recipe
For my brave boy who has been through so much struggle at tender age,this almond cocoa is just for you buddy.
Almond Cocoa (Hot and Cold)
2 cups unsweetened Home made almond milk
2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar or natural sweetener like agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla or pinch of cinnamon for flavor.
Process in a blender or use a whisk to blend together the cold almond milk,sugar and cocoa until well combined.
Heat the milk to desired temperature over medium heat,whisk in cocoa and sugar until smooth.Serve warm.
The recipe is off to Alka's Just For You event.
Daily Calcium Needs
How much calcium is one supposed to take for healthy bones and efficient functioning of other vital body processes ?
1 cup of almond or cow or soy milk has about 300mg of calcium.
Please Note:sodium increases calcium losses,so reducing salt intake would also help in calcium absorption in the body..thanks for the useful bit of info Sweta.