Since my decade long sensitivity to dairy, I have tried the various dairy alternatives out there. I can't say I hold a love for rice milk and soon settled for soy milk as a front running favourite. There is conflicting opinion on whether or not soy is good for us but I have chosen to continue to consume it until there is a more definitive answer.
Nut and seed milks are now growing in popularity and almond milk is a 'go to' choice for many who want an alternative to dairy and soy. I can't say that I love store bought almond milk but I do really like homemade in my daily smoothie - to mix up my choice of dairy alternative milks.
Don't be intimidated by making your own nut and seed milk. It only takes a few minutes to blend the ingredients and then strain through a nut milk bag or a large square of cotton muslin cloth. I soak my nuts overnight in order to break down the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors to make them more easily digestible.
- 1 cup of almonds (soaked overnight in the fridge)
- 4 cups of unchlorinated spring water
- 1 pinch of uniodized natural salt
- 6 Medjool dates
- 1 tsp. vanilla paste or the paste of one vanilla bean
Place all the ingredients into a high speed blender (mine is a cheap knock-off Vitamix from Aldi) and blend until the water, dates and almonds are a completely and smoothly blended - around 2 minutes. Strain slowly through the cotton muslin and squeeze all the milk into a clean glass container; refrigerate.
I'm not sure how long the milk will keep in the fridge but I usually drink about a cup a day so it goes quickly. I imagine 5 days is a good estimate for fridge life. The milk will separate so just give it a gentle shake before drinking. If you aren't keen on the vanilla, dates or salt then simply leave them out. If you want a sweeter milk then add more. While expensive, Medjool dates are high in vitamins and minerals and give the almond milk a gently sweet flavour. Since I only use a few, I feel I can indulge when I make almond milk resulting in a superior milk than what I can buy commercially in the grocery store.
Leftover almond meal can be added to homemade muffins, porridge, smoothies, or cookies. Enjoy this awesome almond milk!