It’s high time we talked a little almond milk over here. Of all the many nut milk options out there, I’ve been hanging out on the edge of the field, so to speak, for the last few years. Coconut milk is ma boo. My fav. My one and only. My one and only that I’ve tried, and that’s just silly, no? I just love coconut milk and if you do too, this version and this version will not let you down. But it was time to venture out of the realm of tropical creamy goodness and into a world of mellow, alkalizing, nutty goodness.
Of all the nut milks, almond milk really is the most mild, the middle ground. You could use an unsweetend version to replace milk in cooking, in many instances. My favorite version, best for drinking, is lightly sweetened with dates and adds sea salt and vanilla bean for amped up flavor. Nut milk is super duper easy to make and is much better for you than the storebought versions. Not only do you get the nutrients in their most fresh state, but you can avoid nasty additives like carageenen by making your own.
The only downside to making nut milk as opposed to coconut milk is that the almonds will need to soak for at least 12 hours and up to 48 hours. This softens up the nut and makes it easier to pulverize, as well as helping to neutralize enzyme enhibitors and increase the bioavailability of the nutrients. I place my nuts in a jar with twice as much water as there are nuts, as after 24-36 hours, the nuts will have almost doubled in size and need all of that extra water to soak up.
You’ll find a step by step photo tutorial below, not because nut milk making is hard, but because it is such a lovely process. Theraputic, even. Especially if you need to squeeze something.
A few notes:
*Buy almonds in bulk for the best price. I can get raw almonds for about 3.50 a pound by doing this and depending on where you shop or order from, you may even be able to best that.
*Nut milk bags are great for squeezing the liquid from pulp, but not necessary. I use a clean kitchen towel that doesn’t have too tight of a weave.
*Almond milk will separate as it sits in the fridge. Since the fats do not solidify when cold, there is no need to add sunflower lethican. Just give it a good shake before pouring.
*If you like, you can pop the skins off of the almonds after soaking and before blending, but it is not at all necessary.
*Don’t throw out that almond pulp! The pulp in this recipe is full of vanilla and dates and makes awesome cookies! Just follow the directions below the nut milk recipe and save it. In the next few days I will share a cookie recipe especially for using up that pulp!
- 2 cups Raw Almonds
- Water for soaking
- 6 cups Water
- 8 Deglet Noor Dates (or 4 Medjool)
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Whole Vanilla Bean
- Place the almonds in a quart sized mason jar and fill to the top with water. Let soak for a minimum of 12 hours or up to 48 hours. Almonds will expand in size and almost double in volume if you let them soak for 48 hours.
- When your nuts have finished soaking, rinse them thouroughly. If you so desire, you can easily pop off skins at this point, though this is not a necessary step.
- Place the rinsed almonds in a high speed blender along with the 6 cups of water, dates, salt, and vanilla bean.
- Blend on high speed(slowly work your way up) for 1½ to 2 minutes.
- Place a nut milk bag or clean kitchen cloth inside a large bowl with the edges of the bag or cloth hanging over the sides. Pour Almond mixture into the cloth.
- Pull the sides into a bunch, lift out of the bowl, and use your hands to squeeze the liquid from the cloth. When you can no longer extract any liquid from the cloth, set the cloth full of pulp aside.
- Pour the almond milk into a sealable jar and refrigerate. Drink once chilled! Note that you will need to shake the bottle before pouring as it will naturally separate as it sits in the refrigerator.
- WHAT TO DO WITH THAT NUT PULP:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle the nut pulp evenly over the sheet, breaking up large clumps with your fingers.
- Turn your oven to "warm" or the lowest setting available. Place the sheet of pulp in the oven and let it dry out over the next 4 hours, tossing and breaking up clumps every hour or so.
- When the pulp is completely dry, remove from oven and let cool.
- When the pulp has cooled, place it in a food processor or high speed blender and process until is is as finely ground as you can get it, one to two minutes.
- Pour the nut pulp flour into a sealable jar or bag and store for another use (such as awesome chocolate chip cookies that I'll be sharing in a few days!).