Friday, July 27, 2012

DIY Almond Milk

I know I could buy a carton of almond milk for about $3 easily. Easily. But can I tell you? I'm sick and tired of seeing weird ingredients in something that should be so simple. Why does almond milk need starches added to it? Sugar? Salt? Vitamins? "Natural flavoring?" What in the world IS "natural flavoring?"

Once I discovered how to make my own almond milk - free of starches and sugars and flavorings and other additives - I began making it. There's a saying, "You make time for the things that are most important to you." For me, I make time to do this, because it's important that I eat as cleanly as possible right now. I'll admit, there are times when I don't feel like making it. I have a box of organic almond milk handy just in case I don't get a chance to make my own. But it's pretty simple to do, and truth be told, I like the way it tastes better.

Here's what you need to do this: 1 cup of almonds, 7-8 cups of water, a blender, cheesecloth or a nut milk bag, a large bowl to strain the liquid into, and a jar to store your almond milk.

Soak one cup of almonds in two or three cups of (filtered) water overnight. The soaking softens the almonds and removes the enzyme-inhibiting substance in the brown skin.

I like to peel my almonds once they've soaked, but you can skip this step if you want. Some people find the taste of the skin makes the milk taste bitter even after soaking. If you want to give peeling the almonds a try, all you need to do is give an almond a gentle squeeze and the nut will shoot right out of the skin. And when I say "gentle," I mean "gennnnntle." There's an almond MIA in my dining room right now because I squeezed a bit too hard. I find it kind of therapeutic, so I turn on the TV and watch an old movie while I peel almonds. It usually takes me about 10 minutes to do it.

Discard the soaking water and give the almonds a good rinse. Drop the almonds along with the remaining 5 cups of water in a blender. If you would like to make a sweet milk, now's a good time to add your sweetener of choice. Blend the almonds and water (and optional sweetener) for two minutes.

Side Note: because of my blender's limitations, I have to make my almond milk in two batches.

Double Side Note: I do not recommend this version of the Ninja Blender. The capacity is small and it works like part food processor and part blender, but not enough like either when I need it. I'm doing the best that I can with it, but a VitaMix is in my future.

Triple Side Note: If you want something like cream for your coffee or tea, try blending the almonds with just two or three cups of water. DELICIOUS!

Quadruple Side Note: I just wanted to write the word "quadruple." That is all. Carry on.

Pretty cool to see how it's transformed into the milk, isn't it? Once you have milk, pour the liquid through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth. I prefer the nut milk bag because I like a pulp free milk. I picked mine up at my local health food store for about $8 or so. Squeeze the pulp in the bag to get every last bit of milk out of it.

Transfer the milk to your storage container. I picked mine jar up at WalMart for around $5. The almond milk keeps up to three days in the fridge.

That's it. That's how homemade almond milk is done. Pretty simple, huh? No salt, no starches, no natural flavoring. Just what almond milk is supposed to be: almonds and water.


6 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the recipe and pictures, I can't wait to try this!! :) Can you use additional flavorings, like vanilla? Or would that taste weird?

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  2. Hey I just did this and it was so insanely easy - thanks for posting it! I wanted to know though, what do you do with the left over almond meal? I don't have a dehydrator or I would attempt flour, but I'm just curious if you put yours to good use or is it waste? Thanks!

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  3. @ katy - you don't need a dehydrator, just spread it out on a baking sheet and dry it in the oven, then ziploc and store in the freezer until you have enough to use

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  4. I have read the post and the information which you have shared that is really good and useful.

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