Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Homemade Almond Milk
Almond milk has been a staple in our home for years. We usually go through at least one 1/2 gallon carton each week. Recently we ran out, and rather than go to the store for more, we made it in the blender from scratch with ingredients on hand. It was so good, and I liked knowing exactly what was in it so much, that we made it again. Now I really don't see the need to buy commercial almond milk. It's so easy to make a child can do it, and only takes a couple of minutes. This recipe makes 8 cups.
1/2 cup almonds, soaked overnight in water and rinsed (if you didn't soak the almonds first it will still turn out great)
2 pitted dates (or to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla (omit if you prefer plain)
1 1/2 tablespoons ground flax meal
filtered or purified water
Place the first four ingredients in the blender with about two cups or less of water. The amount of water you start with may depend on your blender. You want to use less water at first because that way it will turn out less grainy. Blend until thick and creamy. This will take a couple of minutes. Then fill the blender with more water, and blend well.
At this point it is usually recommended to strain the milk - we don't bother. If we did strain the milk, we would probably blend the almonds separately, strain, then blend the additional ingredients in the strained milk. It does turn out a teensy bit grainy this way but it doesn't bother us.
Leftovers should be placed in a shaker container so that it can be shaken before each pour. Obviously, this can be flavored any way you can think of - with cocoa powder, fresh fruit or berries in season, or for a soothing, healing drink: a dash of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, saffron and manuka honey, served slightly warm.
A note about soaking the almonds: This has to do with removing an enzyme inhibitor from the skins. In our home, if we know ahead of time we are going to make something out of almonds we soak them. Otherwise we haven't been worrying about it.
It would also be possible to use flax seeds rather than flax meal. We haven't tried this yet, but we would probably start with two tablespoons. Soak them separately from the almonds in a cup of water overnight. Use the seeds with the flax soaking water in the blender with the almonds.