I found out that my mom’s friend’s niece delivers raw organic almond milk in my area, whaaat!? How did I not know about this! I finally got the chance to meet Cece and she is such a sweetheart. I wish we had connected sooner. We talked about her and her company, Raw Nut Milk, and she kindly gave me a sample of her “Rose Chai” almond milk to sample. Oh myyyy, it tastes just like a chai tea latte I am officially obsessed with it.
Her whole menu is filled with organic artisan spice and herb infused almond milks and an almond creamer. It is all organic, and dairy- sugar- soy-gluten- gmo- filler- binder AND preservative-free. She’s servin’ you the local leche jam packed with all the good stuff! The milk is sweetened using organic wildflower honey, but she will kindly sub it out for dates when requested. She will even make it salt-free and add custom ingredients that you wish for to ensure you are satisfied. Can’t have almonds? NO PROBLEM! Walnuts can easily be subbed in.
Where does she deliver?
San Gabriel Valley + parts of LA! Check out her website for all of the info. And guess what LA locals? Raw nut Milk will soon be available with Good Eggs, an online marketplace bringing fresh local groceries to your door!!
I got the chance to meet with her over Plant Food For People’s Vegan Jackfruit Tacos at one of our favorite spots Organix LA. It is great to meet someone that I can relate to in terms of our interest in health and our motivation to promote it. She was kind enough to answer questions I had for her, and to allow me to share it here with you all.
Introduce yourself and what you do:
My name is Celena De Luna. I’m an artist, health enthusiast and environmental advocate. I’m the founder of Raw nut Milk, an organic spiced and herb infused almond milk…hi! We deliver fresh almond milk to the doors of LA locals, making it more accessible and affordable for those who like to drink their almonds or have their almonds drunk.
How did you get started?
I use to buy boxed almond milk, but could never find one that didn’t contain additives. Then, I started looking into all the listed ingredients in the foods I was buying, which made me want to just make them myself. I found making my own food from scratch so much more fulfilling in every aspect! When I began making almond milk, the process was surprisingly simple and the taste much more richer than any boxed milk. My family and friends quickly caught on to the delicious taste and the demand started to grow! I thought, why not try spicing up this milk with some herbs from my garden and that’s how I got the variety of flavored milks we have today.
Why Raw Nut Milk?
There was a large void in the marketplace for simple almond milk without any of those unnecessary additives. I was also trying to find another creative outlet to express myself. Milk struck me as the most communal food almost every culture drinks. I wanted to be able to provide a healthy, trusted milk alternative for those with busy lives. Plus, I have a sweet tooth while also being very health conscious, so I wanted to make milk that can act as a dessert too! I’m also a big raw-foodist. I believe you get the most benefit out of food when it hasn’t been manipulated. I made sure to get unpasteurized organic almonds to get the full nutrients. Plus it’s a rarity to find really raw milk in LA. I wanted to be that source.
What would you suggest to those wanting to make their own almond milk, the best way they can? (i.e. info on tools, ingredients, and method of choice)
Everyone should try it! Its so fulfilling and nothing like you’ve ever tried in any box! You don’t need much at all. Not even a fancy blender. I started out and still sometimes use an Oster glass blender. All you need is a blender, a bowl, a nylon or cotton cloth (an actual nylon will work too-make sure its new and not dyed), and a glass jar to bottle it up. For ingredients, make sure you buy raw whole almonds and have access to a good water source. The only tip I would really suggest is not using cheese cloth! I’ve never had any success with it! It creates too much of a mess and can be discouraging to the actual simplicity of the process.
What could you do with the almond pulp?
Just one thing: never throw away almond meal!! There are just too many delicious things you can do with it. First you want to dry it out so it becomes flour. I usually put it in the oven on low at about 180 degrees for about 8 hours (overnight) or you can dehydrate it. Once you have it dry, use it as an alternative to flour for desserts, pancakes and even bread! You can even use it as a face scrub. And if you insist on throwing it away, compost it! It turns into black gold for your plants!
What are your top tips for maintaining good health?
- Get to know yourself –Every body reacts differently to different types of diets. Go with what makes you feel the best and own it.
- Eat simple –Eat your fruits and veggies. Drink as raw as possible (including your milk)! And read food labels! If it’s too confusing, don’t buy it.
- Learn from nature—in anyway. You will be surprised how much it will teach you
- Exercise regularly—our body was designed to move! You can eat the healthiest food in the world but if you don’t challenge your body you won’t feel the best you can.
- Deal with stress—stress is everywhere–just relax. It’s so important to know how to handle yourself through stressful situations. I’ve learned it effects a lot on how your body functions, even properly digesting food! You paid a lot for those farmer’s market veggies, don’t ruin it by stressing out!
- Be creative and don’t be afraid to share!
What are three things that inspire you?
- People doing what they love and don’t apologize for it
- This beautiful earth and all of its capabilities
- Folks that fight for real food and good health
What is your dream? What do you aspire to?
I want a raw nut milk shop that can be a hub for raw food, raw people, and a place for raw plants to grow! I want to travel to small villages to personally teach families how to make their own nut milk so they can have control over their health through the power of food!
What are you currently working on, and what in store for the future Raw Nut Milk?
There is a lot happening with Raw nut Milk! We will soon be featuring a different infused nut or seed milk each month because almonds are not the only nuts around town. We are working on adding more artwork to inspire locals to get creative! We will also be working with Good Eggs, an online market for fresh food deliveries, to reach out to more people in the LA area wanting quality alternative milk.
What is your favorite recipe? Could you share it with us to try?
I love them all! If I had to choose, I’d pick the Cinnamon Basil because it was the first infused milk I made with fresh Basil from my garden (recipe below).
Well, I tried out this recipe and I definitely see why she dubs this to be her favorite. I know what you’re thinking, basil in almond milk?! Hell yeah basil in almond milk. This is the best thing ever, and I don’t know why I hadn’t tried it before. Celena, you’re a genius! I can’t wait to try out all of your flavors 🙂
- 1 cup raw organic almonds, soaked and drained
- 2 cups purified water
- 2½ tbsp raw wildflower honey or 3 dates, pitted
- 1 tsp cinnamon spice
- 1 handful Greek columnar basil leaves (about 15)
- *See Note*
- Soak the almonds for 10-12 hrs and drain.
- Put all ingredients in blender. Blend until it is uniform and as smooth as you can get it.
- Strain through nylon or cotton cloth.
- Bottle it up and indulge! It will keep for 5 days refrigerated.
See more of Celena on the Raw Nut Milk website!
Show Celena some love!