Almond Milk Recipe

by Leslie Woodward

 Almond milk


  • High powered blender
  • Nut Bag (available at local natural food markets)



  • 1 cup of raw, unsalted almonds
  • 5 cups of purified water



  1. Place almonds in 2 cups of the purified water, making sure the almonds are completely covered. Place in the refrigerator and soak overnight or for six to eight hours.
  2. Strain and rinse soaked almonds and place in blender with the remaining three cups of purified water. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds, then on high for 2 minutes.
  3. Place nut bag over a pitcher or cylindrical vessel for straining and pour contents of blender in nut bag, squeezing the bottom of the bag until you’ve completely extracted the milk.


Why soak? Soaking almonds allows enzyme inhibitors to be released, therefore allowing our bodies to absorb more nutrients from the almonds and making the milk easier to digest.


Repurpose: Don’t throw the almond meat away. You can dry it out in a low oven to make nut flour or add a little honey and vanilla to make a healthy dessert. Another option is to add chives, garlic, shallots, parsley and olive oil to the nut meat, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees to make a savory salad topping that’s also delicious on roasted salmon.


Add-ins and Uses: The great thing about this almond milk recipe is that, while it’s blending, you can add such super foods as flax seeds, bee pollen and wheat germ. Fruits like bananas, berries, or pineapple are also great additions. Almond milk works in a variety of recipes, such as soups, French toast, desserts or creamy salad dressing.


Chef Leslie Woodward offers Farm-to-table catering and personal chef services with meals that can be customized to meet health concerns and nutritional needs. For more info call 917.882.8714 and visit


Perk Up With Great Local Coffee in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess NY

Coffee-cupby Rinku Bhattacharya

This time of year, nothing satisfies like a well-brewed cup of coffee. With its warm, nutty aroma, it’s both soothing and re-energizing, the perfect pick-me-up on a chilly winter day.

Coffee shops have mushroomed all around the area, so it’s easy to find a place to grab a fresh cup. But the best local spots are the ones that take pride in their product and opt for fair-trade beans. Chances are if coffee is grown and sourced right, it will taste right, too. After all, you want to warm your soul along with your body.


Big Bang Coffee Roasters: If you’re looking to start your morning with a unique selection of fresh coffee beans delivered right to your door, this company is for you. A family-owned business, Big Bang offers a custom selection of fair-trade and organic coffee beans to choose from, and they will deliver your order to your house—or you can purchase their coffee at John Boy’s Outpost in Bedford, NY, Skinny Buddha Organic Kitchen in Mt. Kisco, NY, or Plum Plums Cheese in Pound Ridge, NY. Owner Elina Dart says, “I like to find the sweet spot in every roast, where all the nuances of a coffee are highlighted. All of my coffees are intensely flavorful due to this diligence.”

Big Bang Coffee Roasters



Coffee-Labs-signCoffee Labs, Tarrytown: Coffee Labs is owned and managed by Mike and Alicia Love. Mike is a retired chef who now focuses his culinary passion on bringing together a select collection of sustainable and exclusive coffees. Alicia is a humanitarian who is very committed to the green component of the business. Together this duo developed a business model that offers exclusive coffee with a conscience. Their Tarrytown shop sells a wide assortment of beans, and it’s also a great place to grab a cup of coffee or tea—just what you might want on a weekend morning. Don’t miss the blog on; it will give you further insight into their mission and their featured coffees. Coffee Labs’ products can be ordered from the website and found at Mrs. Greens and Whole Foods markets.

Coffee Labs

7 Main St., Tarrytown, NY



Crafted--KupThe Crafted Kup, Poughkeepsie: A true coffee house located near Vassar College in Poughkeepsie’s Arlington walking district, the Crafted Kup serves hand-crafted espresso beverages; locally roasted, certified fair-trade organic coffees and teas; and locally made baked goods and bagels. “I guarantee you won’t find a better cup of coffee around,” says co-owner Tanner Townsend. “We pride ourselves on making sure every guest’s experience is an unforgettable one.” Sounds like the perfect way to start (or finish) the day.

The Crafted Kup

44 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY



The Freight House Café, Mahopac: Located in the heart of downtown Mahopac, the Freight House Café uses Bear Mountain Roasters certified organic coffee beans exclusively for their entire coffee menu, including espressos, lattes and cappuccinos. Almost everything on the food menu is also natural, local or organic, says owner Donna Massaro. The breakfast menu includes organic egg omelets and a yummy Veggie Breakfast Wrap made with homemade pico di gallo, melted provolone, avocado, red onion, egg and sour cream. A gluten-free menu is also available. On Friday nights, the café is open until 10 p.m., serving beer, wine and cocktails with noshing foods. Check their website for the local live music calendar and other fun events, including a Single Dads Night on Feb. 12, and Stitch and Bitch (bring your own yarn) on Feb. 19. Look for light dinners to be added on Friday and Saturday nights soon.

The Freight House Café

609 Rte. 6, Mahopac, NY



Rinku Bhattacharya is the voice behind the blog “Spice Chronicles” and the author of The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles and Spices and Seasons, Simple, Sustainable Indian Cooking. She also teaches Indian cooking classes out of her home and at other locations. Her interests include Indian cooking, spices and herbs, and sustainable living. She can be reached on Twitter @wchestermasala.