Saturday, April 11, 2015

Almond Milk

Making fresh almond milk might seem like a luxury until you do it a few times and see how easy it is to make. It really helps to have a Vitamix blender, but a regular blender is fine too. For someone who has just started to go off dairy, it feels like you need to have another milk to substitute especially if you eat things like cereal and smoothies. I have been buying almond milk for years and even got my husband to use it at home, but recently I have been enjoying making my own. 

I just recently finished a 30 day juice cleanse and after coming out of the cleanse I didnt want to muck up my digestion again with all the sugars and gums in store bought almond milk. So I have been making it part of my routine to soak some nuts every 3 days.  (Then I can make this chocolate shake any time I want.)  

You will need a Nut Milk bag  to strain the pulp as well as a large, 4 cup measuring cup to pour the milk into. A bowl works also, but I like using a measuring cup to strain the milk into because it has a spout and makes pouring out the milk much easier after.
I use dates as the sweetener along with a pinch of sea salt and sub out half the almonds for brazil nuts. I really like mixing the two nuts as brazil nuts are higher in fat, resulting in a creamier milk, and also have a very mellow flavor. You can make this with all almonds if you prefer. The best nut milk comes with soaking the nuts for 24 to 48 hours. You can get away with just a quick soak, but you will get far more out of a longer soak. 

1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw brazil nuts
2 dates

You will need:
Nut Milk Bag
Vitamix or blender
Large measuring cup

Alternate flavorings
dash cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract or seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean


Soak nuts by placing in a bowl and covering with water to about 2 inches above the surface of the nuts.  Best is soaking 1 to 2 days before blending. This helps to soften the nuts so that you can get the most of out them. The softer they are the more easily they break down in the blender, which means better milk.  If you did not plan ahead, then at least soak the nuts for 2 to 3 hours before blending.
Drain soaking liquid, place nuts in blender and fill water to the 4 cup mark. 

Remove pits from the dates and add them to the water, if you have the time, let sit an hour, this also helps to soften the dates so they break down easier in the blender.

Place lid on blender and blend on a low setting, for about 30 seconds, then increase to a high setting for 1 full minute. 
Set the nutmilk bag into a large measuring cup. This will help to hold the bag in place. Pour almond milk into the nutmilk bag. 

Close the top of the bag and gently lift out of the measuring cup or bowl, letting the milk drip out of the bag. 

Once the flow starts to slow down, gently close one hand around the top of the bag, squeezing down on the pulp. Eventually, you will be using both hands to  twist the top of the bag to make it smaller and smaller, applying pressure on the almond meal inside to squeeze out as much milk as possible. 

Discard the almond pulp and immediately rinse out the bag. Pour almond milk into an airtight container with a lid and store in the refrigerator up to 4 days. 

If you would like to see a good video on making almond milk, check this one out. She gets into the straining part at 2:30 minutes in.


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