Thursday, 16 October 2014

Awesome Almond Milk

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.

My recipe is similar to many circulating in cookbooks and on the net but this is the version that I like.
  • 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!

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