Saturday, July 3, 2010

Making Your Own Almond Milk

So after watching the movie, No Impact Man, I was inspired to look more deeply into my daily routine and see what ways I could go "more green". Food packaging came to mind, because although I've gone green with storing food by using reusable bags, glass containers, etc. I still buy food that has been packaged with plastic, paper, cardboard, and oh yeah...more plastic. So I started thinking, I wonder what I buy that I could just make at home? Almond milk!


Because of my cow's milk allergy, I've tried many dairy-free milks over the years, and I'd finally found almond milk to be my favorite with low calories, low sugar, and free of gluten and animal products. I had read about making it from scratch in some raw food and vegan recipe books a while back, and now I was ready to give it a try. After the first batch, I was addicted! It tastes fresher and more creamy to me, plus I avoid the packaging and high cost of expensive almond milk! Yes, it does take a bit more time to make it by hand, but I try to do it on the weekends so I'm stocked up for the week. Also, it kind of teaches you to slow down a bit and relax, which I could always use a bit more of ! ( :

So, if you feel like dairy-free milk a try, instead of buying it at the store, try out this recipe:

1. Night before: Take 1 1/2 cups of raw almonds * and put them in a bowl. Fill the bowl with water so the almonds are covered, now cover the bowl (I just put another bowl on top) and soak for 8 hours. I usually just do this before I go to bed so I don't even have to think about it. (*use raw almonds if possible...there's controversy over this because what is labeled as "raw" has actually been pasteurized so it's technically not raw. I don't stress out too much about it, I just avoid the ones that have been flavored or roasted, so if the raw I buy isn't 100% raw, I don't worry about it too much.)




2. Strain and rinse the almonds that have been soaking. Then add to the blender.



3. Add 3-4 Medjool dates with the pits removed, to sweeten it up



4. Add 1 tsp. or more vanilla extract if you would like a vanilla flavor...add your own flavors or leave it plain if you would like.


5. Add about 1 1/4 cups of water in with the almonds and other ingredients...then after you blend everything in there, add 1 more cup of water.




6. Mix all the ingredients up in your blender until it's smooth and you can't see any big chunks.


7. Break out your "nut milk bag"! This will help you strain away the almond pulp from the actual milk. Some people like to just leave the pulp all in the mix, but I like it a little smoother so this is what I use. You can find a "nut milk bag" here on Amazon.com for $12. When you're done with it, you can just rinse it out, hang it to dry and then use it again. Love my "nut milk bag"! I just have to make sure I don't squeeze too hard sometimes or it will rip the seams...be gentle just slow it down and relax. LOL ( :


8. Time to "milk" your almonds! This part cracks me up because it feels like you're milking a cow...but you're definitely not! He he! So, in this pic I probably put all the milk in the nut milk bag, but sometimes I break it up into two halves, so I'll squeeze the first part, then clear out the almond pulp, then I'll squeeze the second half of the milk and then be finished. *Also, word from the wise, put your bowl in the sink while "milking". Since taking this picture, I've found it keeps the counter a little cleaner if you put the bowl in the sink.


This is the almond pulp that will be left in your "nut milk bag" it's the almond pulp. Haven't found any good uses for it yet, mainly because it's extremely dry after you squeeze all the moisture out of it! Throw it away or compost it.


9. Here's comes the "Funnel Fun"...pour the milk from the bowl into a jar. Thank goodness for this cheap little funnel, it cost me less than a buck and it does a great job of keeping me from spilling all this milk onto the counter! Also, I like to use glass mason jars because I know I can close them up and my milk will stay fresh and sealed.



10. Now your homemade vanilla almond milk is done! You'll probably want to wait at least 2 hours or so to use it, so it will be cold, but you can have it immediately if you like. Be sure to keep it refrigerated, and shake it before you pour it, since it will separate out a bit between uses!


Well, I hope you enjoy the almond milk! It should keep about a week or so in your fridge. Do you have any other favorite non-dairy milks that you buy or make? Please post below! ( :

9 comments:

  1. Hey Ashley, that's a pretty cool process, I'm sure it feels good to be able to make your own too. Regular milk is the one thing I would love to give up, but I just haven't tasted a suitable substitute yet. I don't remember if I have tried the almond milk yet. You will be proud that I do plan on giving regular milk up one day though.

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  2. I may have to get a nut milk bag and try this. We love almond milk!

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  3. Andrew, I'll have to bring some of my almond milk over for you to try sometime. Yeah, until you find a good milk subistitute it makes it hard to switch! I know you can do it! : )

    Amy, I'm a huge fan of almond milk too, I had no idea it could be this easy to make! Nut milk bags are great to have, just be careful squeezing the milk out...I was trying to rush one time and now one of the seams has a little hole-oops!

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  4. Coolest...post...ever! That looks amazing! I wanna try to make my own milk so bad! Once I get my hands on one of those "nut milk bags" maybe I will! Hope you had a happy 4th :)

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  5. Glad you liked it Meg! You'll have to let me know how it turns out when you make it! ( : We had a good 4th, went and saw Eclipse, and had fun watching fireworks from the window in our room...sounds weird but it had awesome view of lots if fireworks-plus we were able to enjoy the air conditioning-LOL! Hope your's was good too!

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  6. Aah! Don't throw the almond stuff out! Use it to make your homemade Lara bars! I got this idea from 'green and Crunchy'!
    Great post.

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  7. Kathy,
    Do you have the link to the recipe on "Green and Crunchy"? I love Lara Bars and would love to make them at home, but I couldn't find the recipe on their blog. Good idea to reuse the almond pulp! Love the "Green and Crunchy" blog too! ( :

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  8. I've used a wire mesh strainer for the pulp, but I think I want to buy a bag now - my kids would love this opportunity to "milk" the cow. :)

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  9. Yeah I bet kids would love that! I teach pre-school kids, I never thought about having them try it out...good idea! Let me know how it goes! ( :

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