Monday, October 10, 2011

Homemade Raw Almond Milk

The flavor of homemade almond milk is so deliciously fresh and the almond flavor is much more intense than the store-bought variety.  I love to drink it straight-up or use it in cereal in the morning so I can really savor the yummy almond flavor.  As long as you remember to soak your almonds the night before, it’s also very quick and simple to make.  You can choose to flavor or sweeten your milk however you please (I often opt for plain, unsweetened almond milk with just a pinch of sea salt).  As an added bonus, this recipe will also yield you a few cups of almond meal that you can store for use in other recipes.  The almond milk will keep in your refrigerator for about 4 days.  Let’s get started.

Almond Milk
Yield:  4 cups
2 cups raw almonds
4 cups cold, filtered water (plus extra for soaking)
2 tablespoons agave nectar (or 4 dates, pitted), optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or the seeds of half a vanilla bean), optional
pinch sea salt, optional

First, soak the almonds in 4 cups of water for 4-8 hours.  I prefer to just let them soak overnight.  If you are using dates as a sweetener, you’ll want to pit and soak them in just enough water to cover for about 2 hours and strain before using.

Soaked, strained and rinsed almonds

Strain and rinse the almonds in a fine mesh strainer or sieve.  Add the almonds and 4 cups of fresh cold, filtered water to a blender.  Add agave, vanilla, and sea salt to the blender (if using).  Blend until the mixture becomes the consistency of a thick milk (depending on your blender, this could take a few seconds or a couple minutes).

Gently squeezing out the milk

Now it’s time to strain the milk.  I prefer to use a nut milk bag, but a cheese cloth would work too (or just use a sieve and wooden spoon to squeeze all the liquid out).  Because I can tend to be a bit messy, I find it easiest to strain the milk over a large bowl.  Pour the milk into the nut milk bag and gently squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible.  It’s important to be gentle to ensure a seam doesn’t rupture.  Transfer to a jar or pitcher – voila!

Almond meal ready for the dehydrator

For the almond meal:  spread thinly on a lined dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 105 degrees F for 4-6 hours or until completely dry.  Alternatively, spread the almond meal onto a parchment lined baking sheet and prop the oven door open a few inches with a wooden spoon.  Bake until dried.  The meal will dry in clumps, so I always run it through a food processor to return it to a “meal” consistency.  Store in an air-tight container in the freezer.

1 comment:

  1. I love homemade almond milk but I hardly ever make it! I need to buy some more cheesecloth so I can start making it again.