You can’t beat the soothing, comforting feeling of fresh almond milk, especially on these cold, grey Parisian mornings. Heated up, with a sprinkle of cinnamon paired with freshly brewed Coutume Coffee, it really is the winter business. Fresh vegetal milks have been slow off the mark here in Paris and completely non-existent, until the girls from Nubio came along, launching their ultra delicious range of fresh juices, gluten free-granola and almond milks (their chocolate almond milk is dream delish).
Before Nubio, you could find me concocting my own almond milk (sans vitamix, with a battered old blender in my tiny Parisian kitchen…you get the picture). My attempts have been ‘pas mal’, but not quite up to par with Claire & Gabrielle’s fresh almond milk. In the midst of my swish almond milk production, one of the questions springing to mind is what to do with all this left over almond goodness? Surely, something wonderful can be done with this?
I clearly wasn’t the first person to ask this question! The Nubio girls take the almond milk production to a whole new level, upcycling their almond residue by adopting traditions from Japan to make what is known as Okara! I recently met with Claire (at their fab new atelier in the 11e) to find out more about Okara, some tips on making my own almond milk and how to get more resourceful and entrepreneurial this year. Here Claire shares her knowledge on the precious almond, her entrepreneurial tips and, cue the drumroll…their famous almond milk recipe!
Q. Besides it tasting so incredibly good, what are the benefits of almond milk ?
Almonds are a very precious ingredient. They are rich in vitamin E, calcium and magnesium. Our almond milk is fresh, made of activated almonds, some dates, vanilla and Himalaya salt. It is a very important product during our cleanse because it brings good fat (monounsaturated fatty acids), which helps the body to absorb some vitamins. It also brings energy and relaxes the body. And it is SO good.
Q. Can you tell me a little about Okara ?
Okara is what’s left after pressing grains or fruits (soja, almonds, hazelnuts) when you make vegetal milk. Okara is in fact a Japanese word (because the Japanese make a lot of soja milk). The Japanese use it a lot – ask any Japanese and they will know Okara. You can use it in savory or sweet recipes and even in cosmetics (as it’s a sweet exfoliating and hydrating ingredient).
Q. I admire the way you’re adopting traditions from Japan to be resourceful in your business – can you give me some additional entrepreneurial tips ?
Our small ecosystem (employees, freelancers) inspires us a lot. Finding the right people to work with is the most precious and important thing. We are also part of an entrepreneurs collective with other young companies. We share our tips and contacts. For example, we found the company which recycles all our organic waste thanks to a Parisian brewery in our arrondissement.
Q. These wintery months are the most challenging for us –what are you doing to chase the chills and beat the dreary days ?
Drink a lot of pure water. Enjoy fresh veggies and juices everyday. Eat raw veggies & fruits at every meal and add probiotic-rich ingredients to your salads (fermented veggies for example, like choucroute). Go out & spend time with the people you love – every day! Write down every day in a journal what you have done well & what you are proud of.
Q. Your secret to achieving a good work / life balance?
I’d like to quote Alain the Philosopher “le pessimisme est d’humeur, l’optimisme est de volonté” – so my secret is A LOT of “volonté” (will ) It is also important to really enjoy good moments and celebrate victories. This is our way to build up our strength for the future.
Q. So what’s new for Nubio this year ?
We are organising a lot of events at the workshop. Next one is on February the 20th. It will be dedicated to Yoga & Ayurveda. We also love learning from other experts, like Café Coutume. We have created together a Caffè Latte with infused coffee in almond milk – a dream !
Q. A dream drink & the perfect pairing! Nubio almond milk and coffee from Café Coutume ! Where can we taste it ?
Q. A new favourite address for comfort food ?
I love Amami rue Jean Macé, very close to our workshop. It is a tiny & peaceful cantine owned by a duo of talented pâtissières Antoaneta & Sayako. I love their bento and onigri.
Q. One last question, could you share your secret almond milk recipe with me, so I can make it at home?
RECIPE FOR FRESH ALMOND MILK 500ML
INGREDIENTS : 450ml of mineral water, 130g of almonds, 4 to 5 dates depending on size, a pinch of vanilla, a pinch of Himalaya salt.
METHOD: In a bowl, soak almonds overnight. The next day, rinse them so that they are clean. Place the almonds in a blender with dates, vanilla, Himalaya salt and mineral water. Mix together until smooth. Filter the resulting mixture using a cheesecloth. Then squeeze the cheesecloth to recover a maximum of almond milk. It keeps 3-4 days in the fridge.