Almond milk is a wonderful alternative to dairy milk. I say alternative but I really mean it’s great milk. We tend to think of milk as only coming from a cow or other animal when plant milks have been used all over the world for thousands of years. In many cases non-dairy milks were used as a safer and more convenient milk source especially during the Middle Ages.
Almond milk provides so many nutrients and it tastes just wonderful. Once I tried it, I was hooked. I loved the idea of making my own milk from scratch and once I tasted it the flavor alone won me over. No cartons, no processing, no stabilizers, no fillers, just plain beautiful plant milk. It’s also easy, fun and economical to make. Simply soak, blend and strain, and you have an authentic milk beverage within hours. You can serve it over cereal, in desserts, in beverages, and just plain guzzling (I mean drinking)…the possibilities are endless. Literally. Can you tell I love almond milk? Almond Mocha.
Soaking the nuts before hand removes dirt, physic acid, and makes then more digestible. The soaking time can be anywhere from 2 to 24 hours or more to sprout the nuts before blending. Talk about superfood milk. Soaking is also important because it helps your body better utilize a very concentrated food especially for regular use. When soaked and diluted with water, almonds are much easier on the system. Often people who can’t eat raw almonds have no issue with them when they are soaked.
One of the many things I love about making my own almond milk is that I can modify the recipe to suit my particular needs. It can be used in any recipe calling for milk. And if you want pourable cream, just reduce the amount of water in half. The cream can be used in place of dairy cream for coffee, ice cream, or in any recipe where cream is called for. The wetter almond pulp can be used as a topping (instead of whipped cream). The drier pulp can take the place of many bulking agents like flour and bread crumbs and can be used for crackers, breads, cakes, desserts; you name it.
I get excited just thinking about all the dishes this wonderful milk and pulp can be used in. I hope you’re getting a little excited too and give this fresh and creamy almond milk a try. It’s a super delicious and nutritious, and will have you wanting more nut milk in your life.
This recipe is dairy-free and serves 2 – 4 persons.
- This recipe produces creamy smooth almond milk although you can use most any unhulled nut in this recipe. You may want to modify added flavors or sweeteners accordingly.
- For blanched almond milk, soak almonds in warm water for 2 – 8 hours, drain and rinse, then pinch the skins off between your fingers before adding to a blender. Blanched almond milk does not need to be strained. Keep in mind you won’t have any almond pulp.
- For almond pulp topping, I simply scoop out a few tablespoons of pulp during straining (before all the moisture is removed) and save in a separate container.
- If using the almond milk in savory recipes omit the sweeteners and vanilla.
- If you soak the almonds longer than 8 hours, refrigerate to keep the water fresh. If you soak longer than 24 hours, you’ll need to rinse and change the water as it will get rancid. You can also sprout the almonds for 12 – 24 hours after soaking for maximum nutrition. Keep in mind toasted or most pasteurized almonds will not sprout.
- You can use either a nut bag or a very fine sieve for straining. I’ve tried both ways and you get similar results although the nut bag produces smoother milk.
- If you are on a budget, you can stretch the almond milk by reducing the amount of almonds or increasing the amount of water. I would keep the ratio to no less than 1/4 of the amount of water used. 2 – 4 tablespoons of coconut oil can be added for extra body.
- 4 cups filtered water
- 2 cups raw almonds, soaked in water for 2 – 8 hours or longer then drained and rinsed
- 2 Tbsp coconut/palm sugar or other sweetener to taste (optional)
- 1 – 2 vanilla beans or 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla-flavored liquid stevia to taste (optional)
- Add water and almonds to a high-speed blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Strain the milk using one of the methods below.
- Add vanilla and sweetener to the milk it’s been strained. You can stir it in or blend again in a clean container.
1. Through a very fine sieve into a bowl.
Place a very fine meshed metal sieve over a large bowl. You can also layer the strainer with cheese cloth. Make sure the sieve is big enough to fit the bowl and accommodate the amount of milk and pulp. Pour the almond milk into the sieve and let it strain for 30-40 minutes or until the pulp is dry. You can speed up the process a bit by gently moving the pulp around with a spatula, making sure not to press the pulp into the sieve. You can also let it drain overnight in the refrigerator. Most of the almond milk will be strained within the first 30 minutes. You can reserve some of the wetter pulp for topping by scooping it out before it’s completely dry.
2. Into a nut milk bag over a bowl.
Place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and pour the almond milk into the bag. Squeeze out the milk until the pulp is dry. This will take a few minutes. You can reserve some of the pulp for topping by simply scooping it out before you’ve squeezed all the moisture out.
When you are finished, it’s ready to use.
Yields about 4 1/2 cups Almond Sylk and about 2 cups almond pulp.
Almond Sylk can be stored refrigerated up to 3 days.