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Olwen Anderson's Blog

Make almond milk at home with bonus crackers

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Almonds, like most nuts, are powerhouses of nutrition. Versatile too. Even if your teeth aren't so good you can still extract the goodness from them by making almond milk at home. And it's so easy.

Why make your own almond milk? 

- If you're keen to minimise packaging in your life.

- When you want to avoid additives. You can review the additives in almond milks on the supermarket shelf in this article by Choice magazine

There's a heap of almond milk recipes on the internet, so browse around until you find the best one for you. This is what works for me:


One cup of almonds, preferably organic. You want to make just a small batch at a time because there's no preservatives involved; the milk will keep in the fridge for only a few days.

Water is the other ingredient.


Thoroughly rinse the almonds to wash off any dust, then soak for two days (in the fridge) in plenty of water.

Then discard the soaking water and give the almonds another thorough rinse. You'll notice the almonds have softened and enlarged a little with the soaking.

Put the almonds and two cups of water (or less) in a robust blender and blend on the highest speed available for two minutes. Now it's really starting to look like milk. Less water = more creamy milk.

Now to filter the pulp out: You can purchase a dedicated nut milk bag or just reach for a clean tea towel or a calico bag. Filter the milk and pour into a clean bottle. Squeeze the filter cloth to ensure you get all the milk possible out (You do have clean hands, don't you? Good.)

You don't have to filter the almond milk if you don't want to. Here's what happened when I didn't: 

What you have now is half a litre or more of creamy almond milk and a cloth full of almond pulp that you can use for more fun in the kitchen. Here are some ideas for using almond meal:

- make almond pulp crackers

- use the almond meal to help create banana bread or some other grain-free cakes (Take a look at the fabulous recipes at

- as an alternative to dairy milk for topping steel cut oat porridge or muesli 

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Easing The Bloat

Saturday, April 16, 2016
One of the oft-mentioned ailments people bring to the clinic is a bloated tummy full of gas. It expands from breakfast onwards so that by mid-afternoon that waistband is pretty uncomfortable. As we explore what’s in their diet, something else becomes uncomfortably evident: Their diet is full of short chain carbohydrates. Not met these before?

Carbohydrates are a major (and important) part of our nutrition needs, providing an easily accessible source of energy for cells. They’re so important that digestion begins within your mouth, with enzymes like amylase contained in saliva. The complexity of the molecular structure of the carbohydrate you ate helps determine how fast their energy can be released.  Sugar is the ultimate simple carbohydrate. Fibrous dense root vegetables are slow, complex carbohydrates.

A food that ‘melts in your mouth’ is a sign that the carbohydrates are being broken down rapidly, and their energy released quickly. Rice crackers are a good example, as are sweet biscuits. It’s easy to eat lots of this style of food: No need to chew much, they’re not too filling. You can unconsciously eat lots without noticing, as anyone who has sat in front of the TV with a packet of biscuits has found. It’s hard to consume too many vegetables though.

Consuming too much simple carbohydrate alters the environment in your gut, providing an over-abundance of food. As a result the resident bacteria produce gas, and plenty of it. You can see where this could lead if you start your day with a breakfast cereal, top up with biscuits for morning tea and white bread with your lunch: A bloated tummy. This is one of the reasons some people feel an immense sense of relief when they trial a low grain or paleo style diet – the food source for gassy bacteria just isn’t there.

If you want to ease the afternoon pressure on your waistband you may need to reconsider the carbohydrates you put in your mouth. But there’s no easy way around the solution: Instead of opening a packet of processed food, like crackers, you’ll have to make time and effort to produce your own seed crackers at home, or prepare vegetables to munch on.  Even fresh fruit is a more complex carbohydrate than what you’ll get out of a packet.

If you enjoyed this article, why not download your free copy of "A Layman's Guide To IBS and Diverticulitis", here

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Supplement shortages ahead?

Sunday, April 10, 2016
There’s a burgeoning problem looming in the nutritional supplements industry. I’ve started to experience it and want to alert you too.

Our checks and controls around supplements and remedies in Australia are quite stringent; good for us, and it also means our raw materials and supplements are in demand in other countries too. Demand seems to be out-stripping supply. There’s already been two instances this year when I haven’t been able to obtain popular supplements I usually keep in stock because the manufacturer can’t obtain the raw materials for the product. The delays meant a gap on the shelves in the dispensary for 6-8 weeks. Distributors are murmuring that this situation is likely to happen more often.

So if you take a supplement that you ‘just can’t live without’ and want to avoid getting caught up in the supply problems, I suggest you keep an extra bottle on hand. Just in case.

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An apology about flaxseed meal

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Whoops. Made a mistake, gotta 'fess up. I hope this didn't put you off cooking with flaxseed meal.

You see, I've always created my own flaxseed meal to create almond meal crackers, using my Vitalmax Oscar cold press juicer. It created a flaxseed meal with texture. Then one day inadvertently picked up a bag of flaxseed meal instead of flaxseeds. Didn't think there would be any difference; but flaxseed meal is actually much finer in texture, and created a 'gummy' texture to my baking recipes. Ew.

So if you've tried (pre-packaged) flaxseed meal and didn't like the texture, this could be the reason why. 

It's worth revisiting - even if you don't have an Oscar on your bench you might have a blender that could create well-textured flaxseed meal. After all, flaxseed/linseed is such a valuable tool in rebalancing your hormones.

If you would like to drop into the clinic with your baking efforts we'd all be happy to give them a try!

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Olwen Anderson @olwenanderson


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