Wednesday, March 5, 2014

In the Kitchen: Raw Almond Milk

It is unbelievably easy to make delicious nut milks. I never knew, but it also never occurred to me to make my own because I've always enjoyed my store bought brands. That is until I moved to Rio. I love unsweetened soy and nut milks and they have a lovely subtle sweetness that I'm used to, but searching for unsweetened non-dairy milk has been an expedition without success. Most grocery stores offer soy milk, but ALL are sweetened with either sugar or an artificial sweetener like cellulose. Fake sugars are really unhealthy, so I try to avoid them as much as possible.

Ooh and don't get me started on the almond milk. So far I've found one brand of nut milk, Mandorlat almond milk, but it's so unnatural it's scary. It's made from water and almond SYRUP and then a bunch of additives. I mean...what? I found rice milk at my local organic shop and I swear I didn't see any sweeteners in the list of ingredients. But when I tried it, it was sooo sickly sweet it had to have had sugar. Tasted great in my coffee though.

Fortunately this experience has encouraged me to try something new and one of my favorite things to make is homemade raw almond milk. And it's crazy easy, the steps are soak, blend, and strain.

  • 300 grams of plain raw almonds
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1. Soak
Put your almonds in container and completely submerge them in water with a few extra inches above. You can soak your almonds overnight or up to 48hrs and the longer you soak, the creamier the milk. 

2. Blend
Once you're done soaking, strain the almonds and rinse them in clean water. Put them into your blender and fill with 3 1/2 cups of fresh water. Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon then blend baby blend. The milk tastes great on it's own, but I love adding cinnamon and vanilla for a bit natural sweetness.


3. Strain
Now you want to strain the almond meal from the milk and there are multiple ways of doing this. The easiest/quickest method is to filter the milk through a cheese cloth. I don't have one so I use a spoon and a fine strainer and that works perfectly, just takes longer. Regardless of the method, make sure to squeeze as much of the liquid out of the almond meal.

BOOM! Almond milk done and it's sweet, creamy and natural goodness. There's also delish almond meal leftover that you can bake with, snack on or throw back into milk shakes for protein and good fat. The milk will last in the fridge for about 3-4 days and it's natural for a little separation to occur, just give it a stir before consuming. I love making breakfast shakes with it and a diabetic nutritionist told me that my morning staple was a healthy and balanced breakfast. Here's my favorite recipe:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of linseeds (chia or flaxseed are excellent too)

Great Reads for this post:
Health benefits of almond milk
7 Good reasons to say bye bye to cow's milk
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