I know there are a million recipes out there for almond milk but I am continually upset to hear that people don’t like almond milk because the stuff they buy in stores is too sweet and I just can’t accept that as an excuse! Homemade nut milks can be as sweet or as plain as you like and you can experiment until you find your perfect combination. I’m on a crusade to convert as many of my friends and family members to homemade nut milk – dairy milk is totally unnecessary – and I’m happy to say I’m at four permanent converts and counting!
Almond milk (or any nut milk) is so flexible. It’s a great base for granola, milkshakes, and smoothies, and you can add it to your tea of coffee. Some people use the ‘pulp’ for cookie dough, but sometimes I like to keep the pulp in – it’s all about personal preference. Leaving the pulp in gives it a thicker texture and makes it more filling but is good for adding to granola but not great in tea or coffee.
Feel free to experiment with the following ingredients, but know that this is a personal favorite and a hit with everyone I have given it too ;)
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 5 cups filtered water
- Tiny pinch of sea salt
- 2 vanilla beans scraped, or a dash of essence
- 2 medjool dates (optional)
- Soak the nuts for 8 hours in filtered water and rinse thoroughly
- You can also ‘peel’ the almonds if you want a really white, pure-looking milk; simply pinch the soaked almonds in between your fingertips and the shell will slip off (this takes soem time though!)
- Measure approx 5 cups of filtered water into high speed blender and add all other ingredients
- Blend until smooth
- Determine the consistency:
- If you want a thin, ‘regular consistency’, strain the pulp through a nut milk bag into a bowl, squeezing out the liquid through with your (clean) hands – interestingly, this is kind of like milking a cow!
- If you’re happier with a thicker, more filling milk, don’t strain – I usually add a little more water
- Cold vs. warm
- This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days so you can make it in advance and have it cold
- Fresh out of the blender it is usually a bit warm and you can blend it longer to heart it up more – nice for winter mornings and delish with some cocoa added as a ‘hot chocolate’
- If I have dates I like to use them, they add a certain creaminess and a hint more sweetness but they’re not critical – if they are hard, soak them in a separate container to the nuts
- If you don’t like, or are allergic to vanilla, that’s not critical either – you can really just use nuts and water!
- The salt is a good addition, particularly if you’re just transitioning from animal milks that can be a little salty, just don’t add too much!!
- You can also use the same foundation with other nuts – brazil nut and cashew milks are good but a little stronger, and hazelnut milk is my absolute favorite to have with my granola… yummo!
- You can use more of less water depending on how thick you want it. Sometimes for smoothies I will reduce it to as little as 3 cups of water.
- You can add fun flavors – I like adding cacao powder for chocolate milk, and Ani Phyo’s book Raw Food Kitchen has a load of other great ideas to try too.