2/5/13

homemade almond milk






















I don't know what took me so long to try making my own almond milk.  It's been on my list for quite some time and I finally got around to ordering this nut milk bag.  Now I'm obsessed!  It is so delicious and as easy as soaking almonds, blending them with water, and straining them through the bag.  Even better is what remains, almond meal.  I spread it on a lined cookie sheet and toasted it in my oven over very low heat until it was completely dry and ran it through my processor until it resembled a fine sand...ta daa...almond meal in addition to almond milk!  Needless to say I was pretty excited at my ability to turn one of my favorite foods into two new foods.  I did add a pinch of cinnamon and salt to my batch of milk, and next time may get more adventurous with maple syrup or honey for sweetness.  I'll likely save the almond meal until I find some yummy treat that is well deserving of my precious almond particles.  Any recipe suggestions?  I'm new to this gluten free thing.
Almond Milk
I used this recipe from Lovely Morning and it turned out great!

- Soak 1 cup of almonds (blanched or regular is fine) overnight in a bowl of filtered water
- Strain and rinse soaked almonds
- Blend with the 4 cups of filtered water on high for 5 minutes
- Place the nutmilk bag in a large bowl and empty the blender into the bag
- Strain the milk through the bag and squeeze out all liquid into the bowl
- Pour the milk back into the blender and add any sweetener or spices of your choice (maple syrup, honey, agave, dates, cinnamon, vanilla, sea salt, cardamom, etc...)
- Blend again for a minute and pour into bottle or jar for storing (something with a lid so you can shake it)

 Almond Meal 
I didn't follow any official recipe, but this seemed to work just fine.

- Turn the nut milk bag inside out over a lined cookie sheet and scrape out the almond meal
- Break up the wet clumps of almond meal and spread out on the pan
- Turn oven to a low temp (250 degrees or so) and dry the almond meal for 20-30 min, checking often and breaking up more clumps and checking for wetness
- I took mine out when it was completely dry and starting to toast
- Pulse a few times in a food processor (or baby bullet!) and store in a closed container, probably in the freezer to ensure freshness

This week I've used my almond milk in smoothies and pancakes and I love knowing that it does not contain extra additives or fillers.  The homemade variety also seems to have a lot more flavor than the store bought kind.  Before I got this nut milk bag I would occaisionally soak and blend my almonds to make them softer, smaller, and more digestible for the baby and would use them in our morning oatmeal.  It worked great but I'm excited to have actual almond milk on hand a bit more and someday teach the little guy how to make his own!

2 comments:

  1. Oh, great minds think alike! I have been making almond milk the last couple weeks as well. The only huge discovery I made is organic almonds taste so much better than well, non-organic. The meal...I read that there is no nutritional value to the meal. That once you make the milk you have taken any value out of it. I might be wrong...and so wrong that I have been tossing mine! (hang head in shame)

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    Replies
    1. I actually haven't read a ton about using the leftover almond meal. I know to buy almond meal/flour in the store can get expensive so I just figured I was saving myself some money! It's an extra step after making the milk, but being the nutrition nut that I am, I just assumed it had value. I think if you make your milk with a Vitamix blender you might not need to strain it because the blend is so powerful, but I'm just using a standard blender. I'm thinking of using the almond meal in a quick bread/muffin recipe. Let me know if you come up with anything good from yours!

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