If you’ve been reading this blog long, you’ll know I’ve got special dietary needs which drove us to start this whole homesteading and prepping lifestyle. In a weird way, I am actually thankful for my mast cell disease because it forced me into a totally different mindset than I’d have otherwise and with the way things are heading, I think it may pay off sooner than later!
One of the food groups I have to avoid in order to keep my immune system happy is dairy. I can have small amounts as long as I pre-medicate but even then it’s not always a guarantee that I won’t have an anaphylactoid reaction to it. So I try to avoid dairy as much as possible, which is so very, very HARD when you love things like butter, cheesecake and coffee creamer.
I know what you’re probably thinking, but a lot of non-dairy coffee creamer technically still has casein in it which is a milk protein. The same with many OTC and Rx medications. In fact, most pills are just “food pills” with a medicine added to them in order for us to digest them. So they contain milk, corn and soy proteins – all of which I struggle with thanks to my wonky mast cells.
What is my point here? Well, just that it’s very difficult to navigate a world full of food triggers! But it’s not impossible, obviously, or I wouldn’t be here rambling on about it, would I? 😄
One of the things I am thankfully not “allergic” to is almonds.
I grew up in the almond orchards in the San Joaquin valley in California so I have a special appreciation for almonds and some of my fondest memories are of my childhood spent surrounded by them.
And eating them!
Almonds are a great replacement for me when it comes to milk, and I make my own almond milk all the time. That way I don’t have to worry about any other additives or ingredients in commercial almond milk that might also trigger my hair-trigger mast cells.
I use my homemade almond milk for everything from coffee creamer…
To mashed potatoes and gravy…
To, well, just milk. There’s nothing better than a bowl of warm rice with some almond milk, sugar and cinnamon on a cold winter morning!
It’s really easy, too.
Just 1/4 cup of almonds in a cup of cold, filtered water blended on high and then strained and voila!
Coffee creamer is just almond milk, a table spoon of maple syrup and a splash of vanilla extract. It’s really simple and tastes really good (to me at least).
The good thing about almonds is they keep for a long time in the pantry and even longer in the freezer – up to 2 years. I try to stock up on them when there’s a sale because they can be pretty expensive, especially the way I go through them.
Lately I’ve been vacuum sealing them into mason jars and putting them up because I expect with everything happening to the food supply chain lately almonds will be even more expensive and may become harder to find.
We may look into growing our own almond trees here, but I’m not sure if they’ll do well in zone 5.
Either way, it’s one of those foods that I definitely don’t want to run out of!