Sunday, 18 March 2012

How to make Almond Milk

Geez I can't even begin to tell you how hard it is to find those little tiny teets on the almonds........

Almond milk is remarkably easy and SOOOO much yummier than the store bought stuff.  Home made has a much stronger nutty almond taste which I really like.  From the various batches I have now made, the kids prefer the slightly sweetened vanilla version best.

What I like most about home made -
  1. It is cheaper
  2. It tastes better
  3. I can control the sugar, amount and what kind
  4. I can ensure the quality of the ingredients
  5. No additives or preservatives like carageenan which is found in almost all store bought milk alternatives
  6. The 'leftovers' from making almond milk can be used in baking, wasting nothing.
Here is what you need:
1 cup of raw organic nuts (our personal favourite combo is 3/4 cup almonds and 1/4 cup cashews)
fresh water
vanilla extract**
a sweetener of you choice ( I used brown rice syrup or honey.**)
A nut milk bag.  (This is a cloth bag to strain the nut paste out of the water. You can buy one for under $10 at a healthfood store or you can use layered cheese cloth or a clean dishcloth)

Here is how you do to

Soak almonds in a blender full of fresh water for 8 hours or leave it overnight. You want to remove the enzyme that inhibits their growth while they are sitting on the grocery store shelf.  This enzyme takes a real toll on digestion preventing our own enzymes to break down the food and inhibiting absorption of precious vitamins and minerals. Simply by soaking nuts in a little water, the nuts release these harmful enzymes, and at the same time, their nutritional value skyrockets.

the next morning after soaking
A batch using just almonds

After a long soaking, like overnight, you will notice that the water starts getting murky and it looks like the almonds are starting to break down.....they are.  Strain and rinse with fresh water.  Fill the blender up again and blend it.  Start at a lower setting to start but get it up to liquify and leave it for 1-2 minutes. Put your nut milk bag in a large bowl or pitcher and carefully pour the contents of the blender into the bag and hang it, letting most of the liquid drip out.

When it slows down squeeze the remaining out.

Now the best part and what makes this SOOO worth the effort.  Dump that nut pulp back in the blender, fill it up with water and blend it again.  With one cup of almonds you will get two blenders full (I have a 7 cup/1.5 ltr blender).  That is 1 1/2 cartons!!! After the second blenderful has drained really squeeze as much liquid out of it as you can because you want the pulp to be as dry as possible.  Dump it out on a plate and let it dry out some.  Over the next two days use it in your baking.  Most recently I used some as 'flour' in a batch of muffins and some as the ground almonds in a pot of curry.  If you are adding vanilla extract or a sweetener to you milk rinse out your blender and pour back in 2-3 cups of your freshly made milk.  Add in your sweet and blend for 30 seconds then pour this back in with the rest of the milk.  Pour into seal-able glass container(s). Keeps refrigerated for 4-5 days

 **I am not giving a specific amount because that is really up to your taste.  I used approx 6 tbsp of the brown rice syrup or 2 tbsp of honey and 1 tsp of vanilla per 1 cup of almonds.


Ashleigh said...

What kind of blender do you have? I'm looking to get one again. There are so many price points so I'm wondering how much I should spend to get a good one.

Emily Grace said...

I don't have a fancy blender. It is a black & Decker that was donated to the kids school for a silent auction (read: I didn't shop around). I 'won' with a final bid of $55. It was listed as a $100 value. I think it was donated by Canadian Tire. It has a glass container which I really like (Gimmie a few more weeks to break it) and works's no VitaMix but really I want to make almond milk and smoothies so who am I kidding?