It has been about four years since I stopped having cow’s milk. On and off I have had the occasional yogurt, scoop of ice cream, or bit of cheese, but I consider myself to be mostly dairy free these days. I used to always buy soy milk which didn’t taste so great; especially if like me, you go for the unsweetened. And then there is all the controversy about soy products. I mean, there is controversy about pretty much everything these days; for example I was reading about arsenic is rice?! You just have to do what is best for you though, and listen to your body.
I first tried almond milk over a year ago. Again unsweetened, it was a nice change from soy. It is much thinner and lighter than soy, and I found it perfect for my smoothies and porridge, yet it doesn’t really taste very almondy.
Something that always bothers me about packaged milk, juices and smoothies, is that they never separate. If I make a green juice or a smoothie and leave it to sit for a little while, the heavier particle sink to the bottom and the liquid sits on the top. And, it turns out, homemade almond milk is no different. But it is reassuring to see that separation as you can see that it has not been messed with. In shop bought products I believe it is a mixture of additives and pasteurisation, neither of which are particularly health giving.
Back to the almond milk. This tasted really almondy. You can add sweetener if you like, and I have seen people using dates to make it sweeter, but I liked it just fine as it was. I probably couldn’t drink a glass of it plain, but I made overnight oats with it, a smoothie, and porridge. I was a little disappoint though as I had been told it lasts up to a week in the fridge. Mine lasted two to three days but the seal on my glass bottle was not very good, and on the label when I bought the bottle it said not for preserving, so it is clearly more ornamental than anything.
1 cup Almonds, soaked overnight if possible
3 cups Filtered Water
All you need to do is soak the almonds in a bowl of water, ideally overnight but a few hours should be ok. You might get away without soaking them but nuts are always better soaked. Get fresh water (not soaking water) and put it in your blender with the soaked and rinsed nuts. Blend up until as broken down as you can get it.
Next you will need a nut milk bag, or I used a preserve straining bag, designed for jams I think but much much cheaper as healthy foods and equipment tends to have a high premium added, annoyingly.
Pour the contents of the blender into the bag over a large bowl and allow the liquid to strain through. When the liquid slows, use your hands and squeeze out as much as you can, trying not the damage the bag as these are usually reusable. Once you have all you can get, pour the almond milk into a container. I poured mine into a jug so that I could get it all in the bottle without spilling any.
This is a litre bottle so the recipe makes just over half a litre I would say. You can always add more liquid for a thinner milk, like the shop bought ones, however this recipe was lovely and creamy. I would love to hear how long your almond milk lasts and how you store it if you have tried it before.
But next up is what to do with the leftover pulp. I have read about people using it for all kinds of things, from cookies and hummus, to almond flour and meal. I decided to go for almond meal. Firstly because my blender left it quite chunky, and secondly because I already had too much food in the house to make anything else.
All you have to do is spread out the almond pulp on a baking tray or dehydrator sheet as thinly as you can. I spread mine on baking parchment on a baking tray and baked at 160c Fan for about 10 minutes. I took my eye off it a little while too long so it went a bit darker than I would have liked.
Then just crumble by hand or put in a food processor and pulse until you get a crumb texture. If you have a better food processor you might get a flour texture which would be great as almond flour is really expensive. I stored mine in a little Tupperware pot to be used soon. I don’t know how long it will last but as long as all the moisture is baked or dehydrated out, you should get at least a week out of it.
Tagged: almond, almond milk, almondmilk, dairy free, dairyfree, easy recipe, glutenfree, healthy, healthy lifestyle, healthy living, lactose free, mylk, no added sugar, raw, sugar free, vegan, vegetarian