Thursday, May 3, 2012

Homemade Almond Milk

Almond milk is a staple in our house.  It is the best milk substitute available in my opinion; it is low in sugar (depending on which brand you buy), low in calories, high in calcium, you don't have to worry about hormones or GMO's, and tastes delicious.  If you are going through cartons of almond milk you may want to consider making some yourself.  It's super easy, and it tastes a thousand times milkier and better than anything you buy in the store.

You will need a nut milk bag, which you can find at Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage, you can also purchase one online for $7-12.  You may also use a cheese cloth, but it's a little messier this way. 

Fresh Almond Milk
2 c organic almonds 
5-6 c filtered water
4 dates, pitted
1 tsp vanilla

First you need to soak your nuts ;)  Using 2 cups of filtered water let the almonds soak overnight.  If you don't want to wait that long it's fine, but the longer you wait the better flavor you will get in your milk. 

Strain the almonds and put them into a large food processor or blender, add dates and vanilla and blend to get the almonds all chopped up.  Now slowly start adding the rest of your water, which should be about 3-4 cups.  I like mine to be a little thicker in flavor and texture so I lean towards 3 cups here.  

Then pour the mixture through the nut milk bag, with the bag sitting in a large enough bowl to hold the liquid.   

Start to milk your liquid through the bag until you have gotten as much liquid as you can from the almond meal.  Then transfer to a pitcher/container of some sort and VOILA!  

You will only get about 3 cups of milk, but it's worth it!  You need to use it within 3-4 days anyway, so making any more than that would probably mean it'd go bad before you could use it.  Keep refrigerated and use on your cereal, in tea, or drink a glass all by itself!

You will have a bunch of almond meal leftover and I hate to have you throw it away.  I like to use it for baking, or toppings on my salads, or as a mushy cereal.  I spread mine out over a cookie sheet and dehydrate for about 8 hours, to get the liquid out, then keep it in the fridge or freezer depending on how fast I'm going to use it.  There are plenty of gluten free recipes that call for almond meal as a substitute flour option. 

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