I remember cooking conversations with my niece Mollie, wherein she extolled the virtues of home made almond milk. Mollie would encourage me to try making fresh almond milk at home because it was unbelievably superior to the stuff bought in containers. I like to use Almond Milk in Overnight Oats, or green and fruit smoothies. It can also serve as a substitute for liquids in recipes such as Current Scones with Spelt.
A good argument for making one's own fresh almond milk at home is an ecological one for our planet. A lot of the nut milks are sold in plastic containers. So a carbon footprint would be eliminated in this do it yourself project.
Frankly, I was intrigued to see if the taste of fresh home made almond milk would, in fact, be superior. I would answer by saying that I don't think I have a refined enough palate to make the distinction. You will need to try this recipe yourselves, and see if you agree that freshly made is best.
As to cost and savings, a 32 oz container of Fresh Breeze almond milk at Fresh Direct costs $2.89. The bag of nuts from my food coop that I used cost about $2.27. The cost would be higher in a regular grocery store. Although if one purchased raw almonds in bulk, perhaps the cost per yield may be less.
One last thought as to the benefits of Almond Milk or any fresh nut milk. There is an argument made that adults no longer need animal milks the way a growing child would. There is also information that dairy in general is a big source of inflammation within the body. Inflammation causes disease. Therefore, switching to a nut milk would certainly be a health benefit. Another reason to be game, try something new, and make your own almond milk at home using this recipe.
The recipe I used was from the cookbook, at home in the whole food kitchen, celebrating the art of eating well, by Amy Chaplin. In her intro to the recipe for fresh nut milk, featuring Almond Milk, Chaplin explains a bit about ratios. You can really do anything you want, as long as the ratio is "1 part nuts to 4 parts water."
So, you can switch out the nuts. Chaplin likes Brazil Nuts for a "rich, bright white milk." She goes on to suggest adding some "dried unsweetened coconut." All variations will give you different flavors. And, if you like some sweetness, as I do, follow her suggestion for blending in "a Medjool date or two before blending and straining."
As to the mechanics of making this recipe, Chaplin is correct in warning the home cook that nut milk foams up a lot. "If your blender isn't big enough to hold 6 cups, then make this recipe in two batches." She gives two variations to the recipe, unstrained and smooth. I prefer the smooth, as the small bits of the unstrained felt rough against my throat. The smooth is also closest to a store bought almond milk, with which I am most familiar.
Dear reader, if you are like me (and members of my food coop, and States within the U.S. that have passed a no plastic bag law), concerned with reducing your use of plastics to zero, then forgo store bought nut milks by making your own at home. Try this recipe for fresh almond milk and enjoy!Jump to Recipe
This, that, and the other....
There seems to be a lot of nostalgia for the music that I grew up with. Movies like Echo in the Canyon, Rolling Thunder Review, and David Crosby: Remember My Name. This August besides being the anniversary of the Landing on the Moon, it would be the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. They say that if you say you were there, you were not. My film speaks for itself. Happy Anniversary, boomers and Woodstock.
Almond Milk, home made and fresh.
Make your own almond milk, or any nut milk really. Per cookbook author Amy Chaplin, makes a "neutral-tasting milk." Personally, I love to use almond milk for overnight oats or a green or fruit smoothie.
- 1 cup whole raw nuts or seeds
- 4 cups filtered water, plus more for soaking Use regular tap water if you do not have filtered water.
- tiny pinch sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 medjool dates (optional)
Place nuts in a bowl, add 2 cups filtered water, and soak for 6 to 12 hours, depending on what kind of nuts you're using. (use regular tap water if you do not have filtered water).
Drain and rinse nuts, place in an upright blender, add 4 cups filtered water, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. (If blender cannot fit 6 cups, split into two batches).l
Blend on high speed for at least a minute ore until completely smooth and frothy.
If using unstrained, pour into a glass jar or bottle and store in fridge for up to five days. Shake before using.
For smooth nut milk, I used a fine strainer. Other ways to proceed: Line a large strainer with a bnut milk bag, a clean, thin kitchen towel, or several layers of cheese cloth. (I originally tried a coffee filter, but eventually it tore and was not effective). Place it over a medium bowl. Pour almond milk through tghe lined strainer into the bowl. Gather up the edges of the nut milk bag or cloth and slowly squeeze out the but milk, getting as much milk out as possible. Compost the leftover pulp or save it for another use.*
Pour the milk into a clean glas jar or bottle with a lid, and store in the fridge. Shake before using.
*Leftover pulp from straining nut milk can be added to oatmeal or other breakfast porridges. You can also stir some into pancake batters, breads, or other baked goods. If you make your nut milk plain (without cinnamon or vanilla), it can be added to savory dips, pâté, or burgers. Nut pulp will keep for up to five days in the fridge and can also be frozen for six months.