Almonds are one of those magical foods (just look at those trees in bloom!!!) that can be transformed into flours, butters, oils and even milk. For the non-dairy set (like me), almond milk has become a necessity. The problem? Commercial almond milk is devoid of all natural goodness, watered down to thin, hyper-sweetened liquid in boxes meant to be stored for a year without refrigeration. Really fresh almond milk is nutty, naturally sweet and, dare I say, refreshing. This insanely addictive nut milk is extremely hard to find in your average store and it is extraordinarily simple to make in three minutes!
I gave up pasteurized cow milk thanks to Traditional Chinese Medicine. I had low energy without the help of lots of caffeine, I was always feeling blah and I ate tons of cheese and milk. A holistic doctor explained to me that pasteurized cow protein was extremely hard- due to the size of the protein molecules- for our bodies to digest. If you overindulge, you might be dragging around, have weak digestion or always feel like you have a mild cold or seasonal allergies. I could never give up cheese and butter forever— but now, I step away for weeks then have a bit. When I step away from the cheese plates and milkshakes, coconut and almond milk take center stage.
Almond milk is shockingly versatile. Once you have everything in stock, you can whip up a fresh batch for impromptu smoothies, granola or that craving you had for hot chocolate whenever you want… and that is artful genius.
Super-Delicious Homemade Almond Milk (makes about 1 cup, double as you wish!)
- 1 very full cup spring water/filtered water (you may add more as you will see)
- 1/2 cup almond flour or almond meal (*** see note for using whole nuts)
- a little piece of vanilla bean (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1-2 tsp honey (I like clover, you can get fancy or go raw)
- a shake of salt (yes, pink, sea or plain table will work, up to you!)
Blend at high speed for about 2 minutes. Add a bit more water if its too thick for your liking, and a bit more almond to get a richer milk.
If you don’t mind a bit of grit settling at the bottom of your glass, you are good to go. It is more elegant (though a little time-consuming) to strain the mix through a cheese-cloth-lined colander or sieve to get the tiny bits out. Either way, you will love it. Store (you will drink it first, trust me) in the refrigerator for up to a week.
*** NOTE: If you fall in love with making your own almond milk, try to keep a bag of almond meal or almond flour on hand. This is the easy way. If you only have access to whole almonds this will still be easy, but you have to soak them overnight and rinse them before using. Also, if you blend whole nuts, you MUST strain the mix through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl before using, or it will be way more gritty than milk. The nice part about using whole nuts is that you can use pecans, brazil nuts, walnuts… no nut is too exotic to use! Just soak and rinse. Oh, you can use sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or even hemp seeds to make the milk, too. Raw hazelnut milk in coffee? Yes, you can!
Enjoy!!! xoxo Dana