One of the most simple and satisfying things you can create in your kitchen with a high-powered blender are nut milks. It’s easy, quick, saves money and is so delicious and creamy without those pesky preservatives. One additive that is found in nearly all store bought brands of almond milk is Carrageenan, a gumming agent derived from seaweed. Unfortunately, Carrageenan, found also in organic versions, is known to cause inflammation in the digestive tract and has been linked to irritable bowel disease and colon cancer by several peer-reviewed animal studies. It is a controversial additive found in many processed foods and best to avoid it when possible.
Which brings us to the simple task of making your own! One of the things I love about making almond milk (besides the base ingredients literally being almonds and water) is the flexibility of flavor and creaminess depending on what you’re using it for. The recipe below is for a moderately creamy version. I use it as a milk substitute in baking and to add to smoothies and coffee or tea. Also below find variations and flavors to add to truly make it your own.
I did not filter the almonds in my recipe, which I recommend if you want it to resemble a purely liquid consistency. I like to leave more of the protein and fiber in tact, so I leave the meal incorporated. If you do not have a Vitamix or high-powered blender, you will be left with some almond bits in the bottom of the pitcher and will want to run the milk through a milk bag or cheesecloth. Simply pour it through the cloth and squeeze, and I mean SQUEEZE, the liquid into jars to store in the fridge. Use the leftover meal in baked goods (I love it as part of a crumble topping for seasonal fruit) or add it to smoothies.
Also, I like to keep some pre-soaked nuts on hand so I can make milk on a whim without having to wait for them to soak overnight. It is a good idea to soak all nuts and seeds anyway, even the ones you eat in trail mix etc., and especially almonds and walnuts. The bitter tannins are released which adds to the smooth natural sweetness, and the sprouting process begins which increases the nutrient profile considerably. A certain enzyme is released which makes digestion easier for many people as well. Be sure to take nuts out of the shell before soaking and discard the leftover liquid; do not add it to recipes.
Almond milk is truly and delicious and nutritious alternative to cow’s dairy. Soak, blend, pour. It’s really that simple! Give it a try and let me know what you think! Enjoy!!
1 cup raw organic almonds
3 cups water
pinch of sea salt (optional but recommended)
1. Place almonds in a small bowl and cover with purified water. Soak at room temperature for 8-12 hours or overnight.
2. After the almonds have soaked, rinse them well and place in blender with water and salt.
3. Blend on high 2-3 minutes until you have a very smooth milk. If you have a Vitamix, blend only for about 1 minute as the liquid will start to warm up.
4. Pour liquid through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth into a container to filter.
5. Store in a covered glass jar or container for 3-4 days.
1. Add 2 tsp. vanilla
2. Add 2 Tbls. maple syrup
3. Add 1-2 tsp cinnamon while blending
4. Add 3/4 cup of freshly squeezed OJ for a creamcicle-like beverage
5. Add 2 dates for sweetness
6. Use half almonds and half cashews for a variation on flavor and texture
7. Use 1/2 cup almonds for a more liquid consistency
8. Use 1 1/3 cup almonds for cream substitute