Alisa Fleming ~ I see it all the time; the mother, single guy, or college student with both almond milk and regular dairy cheese in their cart at the grocery checkout. For over a year I stood there puzzled, wondering what in the world they were doing. Why buy non-dairy milk if you still eat dairy?
But over time, I realized two very important facts. One is that many people are opting to cut back on dairy, but have yet to break the cheese addiction (hence why that seems to be the only dairy item I see in ALL of these carts). And two is that milk alternatives are pretty awesome in their own right. A lot of people simply like them better than dairy milk! How cool is that?
Seriously, you can’t get that delicious, natural almond flavor that pairs so well with breakfast and dessert from cow’s milk. It is a little earthy and a little elegant all in one and the creamy sweetness of nuts is second to none …
And some days, I can’t get enough of that almond flavor, so I double or even triple its essence.
Sweet Almond Breakfast (or Healthy Dessert) Shake
Recipe adapted from Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook. This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free (some almond milk brands do contain soy lecithin), Peanut-Free, Wheat-Free, and optionally Sugar-Free.
Note: Since I use a lower-power blender, I typically tear up the date or mash it a bit before adding. Even so, I sometimes have a few little date chunks in my shake, but definitely no harm done – I eat my shakes with a spoon, so I often like them a little chunky.
Add the banana, date, almond butter, almond milk, cinnamon, and salt, if using, to your blender. Blend until smooth. If using a lower power blender, pulse on high several times to help break up the chunks before whizzing away. If needed or desired, add more milk alternative to thin. If needed or desired, blend in ice to desired consistency and temperature (I use crushed ice and pulse it first since my blender is wimpy). I like my shakes thick.
Pour into a glass and garnish with sliced almonds if desired.
Article, recipe, and photos by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org, blogger at Alisa Cooks, and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications, with an emphasis on creating recipes for various types of special diets.