This chilled bevy owns the summer of 2014, like Miley Cyrus owns twerking (but more tasteful I promise).
It’s not necessary of course, but you can elease your inner Gwynie by making your own almond milk from raw nuts like the shots below. Takes 90 seconds. Otherwise, look out for the award-winning range of Rude Health dairy-free milk.
We already know that nuts are incredibly virtuous and tasty, but the almond is the angel of the firmament. These perfumed nuts deserve wings of their own.
When soaked, almonds are considered to be alkaline as opposed to acidic. Why is this important? Acidic foods are thought to make calcium absorption more difficult in the body. A yogi’s worst nightmare. Actually, scrap that. An accidental bottom burp during Downward Facing Dog on a yoga mat beside Colin Farrell is way worse. So I hear.
Alkaline foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, help our bones access and utilise the calcium from our diet more efficiently. This does not mean acidic foods are unhealthy, but suggests that balancing acid with alkaline is important for strong bones. And supple dance floor moves.
The alkaline-acid theory always sounded a little hocus-pocus, until I researched calcium retention after popping my two brutes. Luckily, alkaline foods are fabulously tasty so it’s not a big ask to bulk up on them. (Alrightalright, coffee is definitely acidic, so we’ve teamed it up with heaps of almonds in this recipe. Geez.)
Brendan Brazier, a professional ironman athlete, relies solely on a plant-based diet to fuel his training sessions (and his egg-box abs). I notice almonds get some serious adulation in his cookbook. Loaded with waist-friendly fats, bodybuilding protein and age-defying minerals, these everyday nuts have been neglected in my life for far too long. And perhaps my body shows as much. I resolve to eat more of them, if it brings me closer to badass Brendan.
And given my stats, plant-based calcium is something I’m on high alert for these days. All the better if I’m inspired by hot Californian athletes.
Coffee and Almond Milkshake
This shake is seriously sumptuous and addictive. I pour it into a jam jar and slurp it during grid lock. It’s a healthy form of morphine, like listening to Lisa Hannigan, or dancing your arse off while no one is looking (which is what I’m doing here in this demo).
½ large banana, frozen
1 cup / 250ml home-made or unsweetened almond milk
1 shot of espresso (optional)
2 teaspoons bee pollen (optional)
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 Medjool date
Slice the banana into discs and freeze on parchment or non-stick paper. I tend to have a cargo of frozen banana discs at the ready, to service tired friends and limbs. When the bananas are solid, pitch them into a high-speed food processor alongside the almond milk, bee pollen, coffee and almond butter.
Remove the stone from your Medjool date, and drop into the milkshake. If you can’t find Medjools, you can replace them with pre-soaked regular dates and a prayer.
Blend on high. Pour into chilled jam jars, and sip away the boredom at your bus stop.