“N” is for Nut Milk – Homemade Almond Milk

If you’ve never made your own almond milk at home, you are in for a surprise!  It’s not only easy, but very satisfying.  You can make it plain (unsweetened) or add vanilla to taste.  If you want a bit of sweet goodness, cinnamon, honey or dates (medjool are best) are always an option.

I first started making my own milk out of necessity.  There was a particular brand I favored, but unless it was on sale at my supermarket, it was an unjustifiable purchase–especially when the price tag didn’t match the volume I was getting.

There are also nutritional values and ingredients to consider when drinking store bought milks. If you are an avid label reader like me, you’ll know all the preservatives that are used to keep foods edible/drinkable till a certain past due date.  There’s lots to stay away from.

One of the most common ingredients used in dairy is carrageenan. That hard to pronounce word is a “common food additive that is extracted from a red seaweed, Chondrus crispus, which is popularly known as Irish moss. Carrageenan, which has no nutritional value, has been used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture of ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk, and other processed foods.”

See link for more info: https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/food-safety/is-carrageenan-safe/

While it has been deemed safe by the FDA, it is associated with causing malignancies and stomach issues.  If you already suffer from a digestive disorder, why add to your ailments.

Here’s a quick and easy way to make almond milk at home.  You can use any nut as long as it’s in a raw state.  Most common homemade nut milks are: almond, cashew, and hazelnut. Almond milk is particularly high in protein and magnesium, which is good for bone strength. It is also high in vitamin E and has much less sugar than soy or rice milk. If you are feeling nutty (couldn’t help myself) and adventurous, you can mix nuts for a unique milk.

You’ll need: a jar to soak nuts in, water, a nut milk bag, a high-speed blender and your nut of choice. Follow the photos and instructions.

Choose the raw nuts you wish to milk.  I get mine from Trader Joe’s as they tend to be more economical. Raw is better as it yields a creamier and sweeter milk.

Measure 1cup of almonds–used in this recipe and cover with water, doubling in amount.  (I make a small amount as I am the only user and since there are no preservatives, the milk will expire within a few days.)  As the almonds soak, they’ll get plump and you want them to be covered. Soaking time should be at least 12 hours.  If for some reason you can’t blend after 12 hours, soaking can go for longer.  They’ll forgive you.  This process activates the almonds’ enzymes making your milk more nutritious.

12+ hours later……

Rinse the pre-soaked almonds and place in your high-powered/high-speed blender.  Honestly, this is an essential instrument.  I use a Vitamix, which I wanted for a long time, and finally splurged on after years of consideration.  I think I have used it daily ever since and have kicked myself for waiting so long to get one. It’s worth the investment!

Add up to 4 cups of filtered water to the pre-soaked almonds.  I always start with 2 then add 1 cup at a time.  Sometimes I want the milk creamier (if you are cooking with it, especially when using cashews, as it can be used to recreate a cheesey sauce) and sometimes I want a milk consistency for my lattés or smoothies. At this point, add your dates and/or vanilla to taste and a pinch of salt.  You can also, soak the nuts with a cinnamon stick and/or a couple of dates.  The flavors will infuse the liquid as they soak.

After you’ve pulverized the nuts and liquid on high power for at least one minute, then it’s time to strain.

I use this nut milk bag,  https://m.surlatable.com/product/PRO-2280576/Nutiana+Nut+Milk+Bag+XL/ .  It is re-usable and can be used for draining other things such as yogurt.

Pour the blended water/almond mix into the bag and press to drain.  Squeeze as hard as you can to get out as much liquid goodness out.  You want the leftover pulp to be as dry as possible.  Save the pulp! I’ll show you how to use it here : https://www.instagram.com/healthyatoz/

And then there was milk! Store in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge.  The homemade milk should be used within 4 to 5 days.

See, easy peasy.  Happy home milking!

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