• Several weeks ago, I posted a query, asking readers about their gluten free breakfast choices. I got a lot of wonderful answers which you can see by going to this post and reading the comments. What a fantastic variety of foods all of you eat for breakfast! It gave me lots of ideas and encouraged me to continue with my quest to find satisfying, delicious foods that I can eat for my first meal.

    My latest first-thing-in-the-morning meal has been homemade muesli, a concoction that consists of a whole lots of different components, depending on your preferences for dried fruit, fresh fruit, nuts, and flakes (and anything else you might want to add). I pour Vanilla Almond milk over the whole thing and then dig in. It’s one of the first gluten free breakfasts I actually look forward to. It’s so delicious that I’ve even considered having it for more than one meal!!! For me, I feel like I’ve finally hit the breakfast jackpot. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a piece of crispy, toasted Breads From Anna gluten free bread or Glutino Bagel. But it’s nice to have a change of pace.

    The first few mornings I made the whole thing from scratch each time. But then I got smart and made a batch of the dried nuts and dried fruits, enough to last for four breakfasts. In the morning, I then only had to add the fresh fruit and almond milk to the mixture.

    Homemade Muesli

    3 strips of dried banana AND/OR 3 – 6 chopped dates
    one small handful dark raisins
    7 raw almonds, chopped
    7 raw pecan halves, chopped
    handful raw sunflower seeds (not roasted or salted)
    1 – 2 tablespoons grated unsweeted coconut
    one chopped apple
    about 6 – 8 blackberries or the berry of your choice

    Mix. That’s it! Store in a container and try not to eat it all at one sitting!

    If you’re looking for dairy-free milk alternatives, maybe you’ve tried the gluten-free commercially prepared dairy-free milk. You can buy this product at Whole Foods, local health food stores, or Trader Joe’s, in cardboard pourable containers. There’s soy milk, rice milk, hazelnut milk, almond milk and probably other choices that I’m forgetting. The one that I presently have in my frig is the Pacific brand of Vanilla Low-fat Almond Milk. I use it for my tea, coffee, and to now pour over my muesli. It’s ok, quite acceptable actually. But truthfully, it doesn’t come close to homemade almond milk.

    I actually really love the almond milk that I’ve been making at home. I mean, like I REALLY love it! And that comes from a person who has really dug her heels in when it comes to finding suitable dairy-free milk alternatives. There are two different ways that I’ve made it. The easiest way is to make it without cooking it. I’ve also made it with my Soyquick Milk maker, an alternative that cooks the almonds. I will be blogging about this fabulous machine in a future post. But for now, let me tell you how you can easily make uncooked homemade almond milk. I’m including the recipe below, but if you want to watch a video of it being made by an expert, go to youtube.com and search for either Karen Knowler or almond milk. I can’t seem to figure out how to actually place her youtube video in this blog post. Any ideas, please let me know!

    Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk (uncooked)

    1 cup raw almonds (with or without skins)
    3 cups water
    medjool dates or any dates you can find – make sure there are no pits inside the dates
    agave syrup to taste
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract or the scrapings from one fresh vanilla bean

    I’ve read that it is best to soak the almonds overnight, however I always forget, so I just make it with almonds straight from the bag. By the way, the almonds from Trader Joe’s (they cost about $4.69 per 16 ounce bag) appear to be gluten-free. Many of their bagged nuts say that they’re made in a facility that also processes numerous ingredients, including wheat. Not so with the almonds. Of course, it’s always best to check – we have to religiously read labels.

    Put the almonds and water in a blender and blend on highest speed. When it appears that the almonds are as finely chopped as they’ll get, turn the blender off. Of course, I would love a Vita-mix blender, but for now I’ve made do with my regular, run of the mill blender.

    Strain the almond milk by placing a sprout or nut bag, if you’re lucky enough to have one, over a bowl or measuring cup. Pour the almond milk into the bag. Squeeze the bag to get all of the liquid out of the blended almonds. If you don’t have a sprout or nut bag, another alternative is to place a strainer over the bowl or measuring cup so that it will not tip over. Lay a doubled or tripled piece of cheesecloth over the strainer. Pour the almond milk into the strainer.

    Once the almond milk is strained, pour it back into the blender (first you have to thoroughly wash it before reusing for this next step). Add the dates, agave syrup, and vanilla and blend. You will want to taste the milk to see if you want additional dates, agave syrup, or vanilla, per your taste.

    Store in the refrigerator. Best to use within the next 2 or 3 days.

    So there you go. If you decide to try making your own almond milk, please let me know. I’d love to hear about your experience.
    • Sea

      How cool, homemade almond milk. How does it differ in taste from the Blue Diamond prepared almond milk? I have to admit I didn’t really like the prepared stuff, so just wondering. :) I might just have to try making some one of these days…
      -Sea :D

    • kyrie

      have you tried hempmilk? my toddler is GFCF and we love it. i’ll have to try the almond milk recipe! thanks!!!

    • Dianne

      Oh blimey! That breakfast looks absolutely gorgeous!

    • Lynn Barry

      I used to make my own almond milk but that is about the time I decided I had more than a gluten and casein intolerance. Nuts don’t agree with me it seems too. I stick to rice milk, now.
      I am SO glad you found a great way to start your day! I have been on a toasted lovely loaf spread with raw honey kick lately. I drink a mug of warm chocolate rice milk with it. HUGS

    • Ellen

      Sea,

      It definitely tastes different than the Blue Diamond brand of almond milk, as well as the Pacific brand. But I can’t quite describe it. Perhaps the homemade almond milk is thinner due to the fact that I strained it really well. Also, knowing that I controlled what and how much of the additional ingredients went into it makes a difference. It was worth it, I think. Let me know if you try it – I think you’d like it.

    • Still Learning GF

      Do you know if you can use a sprout and nut bag with soy beans for making soy milk?

    • Ellen

      Dear Still Learning GF,

      I can’t answer that, but I bet if you go to the website of the makers of the soymilk maker that I own, http://www.soymilkquick.com/, and contact them, they’ll be able to answer you. Good luck!

      Ellen

    • Lisa

      OMG, how did I miss this posting?! I can’t wait to try it!

    • Anonymous

      Okay, dumb question here. Are the apple and berries dried or fresh? Also, thanks for making the recipe so user friendly!

    • Ellen

      Hi Anonymous,

      The apples and berries are fresh, everything else is dried. Yummy!

      Ellen

    • Mike Eberhart

      That all sounds wonderful. Someday I’ll have to take the time to try and make the homemade almond milk. And, the musli – yum!

    • Ellen

      Mike,

      The almond milk takes five minute to make. The muesli, a bit more, but make a big batch and you’ll have it for many days!

      Ellen

    • Heather

      I am sitting at work with a very full tummy after trying the muesli. Very good! At some point I’ll have to try the almond milk, Today, I mixed it with yogurt and it was great, almost like granola. I also added dried cranberries…the variation possibilities are endless!

    • Ellen

      Heather – yes, it is very filling! I’m always surprised by how many hours I can go without feeling hungry again after I’ve eaten the muesli. This morning, I almost added chocolate chips, but then decided not to be so decadent at 8 in the morning! I was thinking of adding soy flakes, in place of oat flakes, but I haven’t been able to find them AND never having used them, I’m not sure if they’d be a good addition. I’d love to add something that would sort of take the place of oats. Any ideas?

    • Heather

      Ah…I’m not a cook. Not in any possible format! I do know that oats in their purest form are okay for celiac’s (I have it and my mom is a “super” celiac). There is a company out of Canada that grows the pure oats. The oats were planted in a field that has never grown glutinous products and this year will be their first harvest. I will find out the name of the company if you’re interested.

    • Anonymous

      try almond and cashew nutmilk more creamy :)

    • Anonymous

      The natural oat itself does not contain gluten. However, oats are usually grown next to wheat, rye ect and is harvested by those same machines. Therefore oats you buy in stores is heavily contaminated with glueten. Cream Hill Estates is a Canadian company that has glueten free oats. I buy them from a lady who customizes my bread to suit my familys GFCF lifestyle. For more info you can go to creamhillestates.com. Thought that may help.

    • Tori

      Hi Ellen! I just found your blog by doing a Google search for “dates and GFCF.” We (well, my 3-year old son) is gluten-free, as well as casein-free (dairy), and soy-free. Just this week, he tried dates and likes them (woo hoo, another food to add to the mix!), so I was looking for something to do with them. I like your blog — great yummy stuff. Much of it we can’t do, but I’m sure much of it we could! :) Thanks! (I’m at http://gfcfblog.blogspot.com by the way!)

    • joseph

      I also prepare almond milk without soaking them. But i use 21/2 cups spring water per 1/2 cup of almonds,good tip on when to add the sweetner i add it all at once i’ll try it your way.Agave is so expensive where i live but so is pure maple syrup so what to do , thanks.

    • Lisa

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    • Krystal

      I grew up with homemade almond milk very similar to your recipe… SOOO good! Unfortunately I'm supposed to be staying away from nuts right now :(

      We're currently on a coconut milk kick in our house right now. So Delicious brand is awesome. I was never a huge fan of the canned stuff, but this comes in a carton in the refrigerated section by the Silk Soy Milk and the like. Totally yummy!

      Your Muesli looks amazing; I'm totally making that tomorrow!

    • http://www.awalkinmygarden.blogspot.com Christina

      I've heard of making your own nut milk, but I've always been intimidated. I think this is the first time it looked doable. Thanks! We buy a lot of almond milk, and I've wanted to give making it a try.

    • melissa

      You make so many things!!! How much time do you spend in the kitchen each day?

    • http://www.gardenofglutenfree.com Crysty

      Thank you! I have seen almond milk recipes before, but they always called for a vitamix, which I don’t have, so I will try this with my blender and see what happens! Brilliant!

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