Kaju Badam Milk Powder (Cashew Nut & Almond Health Drink Mix)

Now that schools have started the mommy in me is working overtime trying to chalk out meal plans and ensure that the son gets decent meals that help his weight gain. Well, sorry to bore you with the same old stories, but my life is pretty much bound by the school routine during the academic year and all I can think of is how to sustain my little one during the long hours at school. That's how life is for moms across the world I guess (although I swear it was a lot easier in India as the school timings were more relaxed and travel time didn't eat up his playtime). So all I do now is wake up at an unearthly hour, pack the lunch box, fix breakfast, feed and pack the child off to school and worry about what to make for the next day. Well, planning meals ahead of time happens most of the time but not always. I mean, I am not a super woman and I do like to laze around the day sometimes and in the bargain my son has to settle for a cheese sandwich the next day, something I can slap together in 2 seconds. 

But then sometimes the goddess in me rises above the mundane and wants to do something spectacular, like make healthy meals and get the laundry sorted and declutter everything in sight and bake and prepare condiments or put some make-ahead meals together - basically, the works.  This goddess pops up in my head just once a year - thank god for that! Anyway, one of the things I did once upon a time was to scout for a healthy beverage mix for my son since the only thing he really loves to drink is coffee and I couldn't possibly indulge him everyday. When the ads on the telly lure him you can find some random tins of health drinks on my pantry shelf. But after a while he loses interest in them and says they taste no good anymore so I am stuck with a few tins of Pediasure or Ovaltine or Bournvita. The scouting resulted in a good recipe I wanted to try for long. I bought packets of cashew nuts and almonds but ended up eating them because I just didn't have the time to roast and powder them. I eventually gave it a try and it was ridiculously easy. I wondered why I didn't make it before.

This recipe is a super easy way to get some goodness of nuts into your body without munching them. It's a cheat's way of making nut milk but of course it is not vegan. The rock sugar (also known as rock candy) is believed to be beneficial to ward off colds and bring out the phlegm when you have it. Saffron is a wonder spice that is known to have a host of health benefits ranging from anti oxidant properties to those that treat a mild depression, promote sleep. 

This recipe was given to me by Mrs. Asha Sathish Phillar on one of the food groups on Facebook. Thank you Asha Aunty!  

Kaju Badam Milk Powder
Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: Nil | Yield: approx 250 grams

1. Heat a heavy based skillet/tawa and dry roast the nuts one by one - just until you get a nice aroma. Do not burn them. Transfer them to a plate to cool completely.
2. Pulse the nuts, rock sugar and the saffron in the dry grinding jar of your mixer. Don't grind it on low speed, instead use the pulse option to powder it. You need to be careful here as the mixture can turn into a thick paste before you know it.
3. Transfer the contents into a clean, dry airtight container/jar. Store it in the fridge for a longer shelf life
4. Add 1 teaspoon of this mixture to 1 cup of hot or chilled milk and enjoy!

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