This is not exactly fair, I know.
I retired early 5 weeks ago, and obviously (for me) – became even more of a DIY enthusiast.
I think it is socially expected of retired people to upgrade their cooking skills, learn Italian,play the banjo and knit colorful socks. (I have a long way to go.no banjo skills , zero on the knitting part).
But let’s put aside whatever it is society expects you to be or do- since this was never my “thing”- to align myself with society’s expectations of me. better get to the point of this post.
I love being in the kitchen.
It is definitely my comfort zone, I find it to be liberating -artistic- comforting -and obviously quite useful at the end of the day- to spend time in the kitchen.
So in my defense I will say that I have been preparing food from scratch long before I (recently) retired, though my 2/3 of my kids are grown ups now( the youngest one and the only that is still living at home is 14.5, and really is low maintenance) so I truly think that if any of you work full time out of the house and is raising young kids- then just get a nap or a shower if you have 30 minutes to spare…DIY vegan milk is too much of a hassle for you right now…been there- done that.
An excuse which in my opinion is non-valid, is “my kitchen is too small for these adventures”.
Anyone who believes that it takes a designer state of the art new kitchen to prepare good food is welcome to go read someone else’s blog.
Sorry- not here. not me. not my kitchen.
when we bought our house in 2004, it was already an old house- I believe it had some 40 years on it back then- if not more.
we did some renovation -as in electricity, repainting and adding one room, but nothing else has changed, and that includes the kitchen -and it’s cabinets.
The cabinets were painted in a hideous dark green, so we bought paint and repainted them light yellow, and changed the knobs on the doors. after deep cleaning the insides- the cabinets were good to go.
I am happy with my small kitchen, I cook all the time, I eat out very rarely- only when I have to -meaning I am meeting a friend who lives far from me and it is my turn to come over. I much rather have my friends come over to me and I gladly cook for them.
This is my kitchen. as you can see-not big, not new, but very active nonetheless.
The equation, in my opinion, should be: time (to prepare)+money (to make from scratch) should be significantly smaller than the cost of buying the product+ risk of health issues- as in a large amount of added sugar, artificial additives, low-quality oil or such.
when it comes to vegan milk- amazingly everyone at the house is on board.
that is amazing since except me- no one os vegan at my house- on the contrary, my partner and my son love eating meat and eggs, pizza and the likes. but surprisingly- like soy milk, and since I started making rice milk and almond milk from scratch, they don’t mind blending it in their shake.
I started making my own milk after reading the label on my regular store-bought soy milk, and understanding the number of additives- sugar being the biggest one- was quite alarming.
The cost was also an issue.
We used to go through around 15 liters of soy milk a month, each cost 3.5 $, that’s 52.5 $ a month.
Now I order 6 liters of soy milk a month from my online supermarket, which is a bit cheaper than the grocery where I live. the cost for soy milk currently at my house is 18$.
To that, I need to add the cost to make the extra 10liters of vegan milk -as rice milk.
a kilo of rice costs 2$ in my online supermarket and yields 4 cups of dry rice.
each cup of dry rice yields about 3 cups of cooked rice, and each cup of cooked rice yields about 3.5 cups of rice milk.so each kilo yields 12 cups of cooked rice- which yield all together 42 cups of milk- 10.5 liters. for 2$.
I don’t add any sugar to the milk- I add 2 Medjool dates -soaked for 2 hours in hot water, to a cup of “cooked” rice, and then I add 2 more cups of water- blend in my Vitamix for a few minutes- and this is it. no straining is needed- my Vitamix is a beast- and makes smooth milk with no residues.
About that “cooked” rice – I boil a small pot of water, add 1 cup of dry rice and after a few minutes close the gas and put a lid on it and let it cook itself in its own heat for an hour or 2.
The original recipe is from the minimalist baker: minimalist baker rice milk-but I don’t strain the milk- since it’s not needed in my Vitamix and I can tell you I tried straining through a thin tea towel and it left such a mess on the towel I couldn’t get rid of it- and because it waited in line for the washing machine- it also developed a strange unpleasant smell- long story short- don’t strain through a towel….
what I use it for? actually everything- yes including a few drops in my coffee.
I heat it in the morning and add ground flax seeds, homemade granola, and turmeric, stir- don’t let it turn to cement- add some water if it is getting tough on you- and enjoy a very filling breakfast- when I don’t have my apples for my apple stew.
I put it in milkshakes, bake with it, and make pancakes with it- just an example.
now for the cost comparison: store-bought milk- 52.5$. and added sugar and strange stuff as additives. DIY milk +some store bought- 20$. dates instead of sugar.
You need to know though that in my experience- my rice milk does not hold for more than 3 days in the fridge, so I simply make 1 cup of dried rice, make rice milk from 1 cup of cooked rice and freeze the other 2 cups separately for preparing ahead.
enjoy- the cooliflower.