Here it is: the first snowy night of the winter season. Well, sort of: it’s first snowy/rainy/sleety/slushy night of the season–that lovely set of circumstances that weathermen like to call a “wintery mix.” As if by design, this has been a heavy working Saturday for me (three clients, two manuscripts, and a partridge in a pear tree), so I’ve been able to spend most of the day inside with a fleece blanket. And tonight, I’ll be cozying up with my favorite new winter beverage: sesame seed milk.
This post is dedicated to a dear friend–he knows who he is–who chuckles each time he hears me say “nut milk.” Well, Beavis, I’m afraid that this post falls short of naughty hilarity, since it’s technically a seed milk I’m talking about, but even so, this one’s for you!
So, remember when I made almond milk? I mentioned then that nut milks (he he) and seed milks lend themselves to endless variety. Cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and pecans all lend themselves to delicious variations on the basic nut milk formula (1 cup nuts, 4 cups water, sweetener if desired, pinch of salt). One of the best nut milks I’ve tried was the sesame seed milk at SproutCraft here in New York. And since today’s weather called for a comforting seasonal beverage to go with my reading (and the chances of me drinking eggnog are about as high as the chances that I’ll be curling up with Julie Powell’s new book), and I happened to have some sesame seeds handy, my own snowy sesame milk was born.
The recipe? Practically a no brainer: blend 1 heaping cup of raw sesame seeds, 4 cups water, 6 pitted dates, and a pinch of salt in a blender for a good long time (maybe 2 whole minutes, or until the mixture is really creamy).
Sometimes I strain nut milk, sometimes I don’t. I actually liked the richness of this blend as it was without straining, so I left it, but if you’re fasting, or you want the mix to be smoother, go ahead and strain through a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag (he he). If you want to warm the milk up a little, go ahead and warm it very gently in a pot, or let it blend in the VitaMix or BlendTec for a minute or two (this is a good trick for raw soups, too)–just don’t let it get scalding hot.
This milk is creamy, flavorful, and delicious. Imagine the taste of tahini, but sweet. Or imagine liquid halvah.
OK, maybe that was a bad example: lots of people don’t like halvah. Just imagine a really creamy, slightly nutty, slightly sweet beverage that’s a perfect pick me up on a cold day, is 100% dairy and cruelty free, and also rich in calcium (yes, friends, sesame seeds are a terrific vegan calcium source!). What could be better?
OK friends. Hope you get to try this treat soon. In the meantime, stay warm and stay dry.
P.S. Who’s already listening to holiday tunes? Tell me I’m not the only one who’s rocking out to Pandora holiday music (thanks, Nel).