When I got onto the “alternative” milk wagon the thing that struck me most was that milk became a fun and diverse ingredient in my life. The classic “Got Milk?” question became “What Kind of Milk you Got?” Almond? Tahini? Coconut? Soy? Oat? I could go on…
Each alternative drink satisfies a different need with its unique flavor profile and nutritional makeup.
A creamy tahini drink is great for shakes and baking, while coconut milk is amazing at mimicking rich creaminess for cooking. And almond milk… well, that’s the one to drink with cookies! Its consistency and natural sweetness make it a perfect substitute for cow milk.
Who knew milk could be so much fun?!?
Almond milk is packed with vitamin E, magnesium and potassium… which I think is very cool considering that in its most basic form it’s simply filtered water and almonds!
Most health food stores and many supermarkets carry almond milk, but if you want a fun recipe to try we suggest you give homemade almond milk a shot. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make and how amazingly delicious it is!
- Strainer: A nut bag, fine mesh strainer, clean tea towel or a few layers of cheesecloth
- Container: A one quart mason jar works best for this recipe
- 1 cup unsalted almonds, skin-on
- Water for soaking almonds
- 4 cups filtered water
- Sweetener: 1 1/2 tsp honey or agave nectar, or one whole pitted date
- Dash of salt
- Place raw almonds in a bowl and cover with cold water (filtered water is ideal, but not required)
- Soak for 24 – 48 hours, changing the water every 12 hours
- Drain and rinse almonds
- Combine soaked almonds and 4 cups of filtered water in a blender – you can adjust the texture to taste by adding more water for a more watery texture, but be sure to add the additional water in small batches until you have the consistency you like.
- Start blender on low and increase to high slowly. Once on high, blend for 1-2 minutes (your mixture should be smooth)
- Add sweetener to mixture and blend again for a few seconds (if using a date, blend until the date is fully incorporated in the mixture)
- Put mixture through the strainer of your choice into a jar or bowl (if using a mesh strainer, agitate the solids to help the liquid drip through, but be sure not to scrape them! If you use a nut bag or layers of mesh you will need to gently squeeze the bag until all the milk seeps through)
- Cover and refrigerate.
*Servings: About 1 quart almond milk
*It should keep for 3-4 days
*Shake before using it
When you are done straining the milk you will have a small amount of almond solids left. We’ll have a follow up blog next month with instructions on how to turn that into almond meal, a great alternative breading!