Homemade Almond Milk
Almond Milk is a healthy alternative to cow's milk and contains more vitamins and minerals than soy or rice milks. It is great for those who are lactose intolerant and those who suffer from soy and gluten allergies. Almond milk is one of the most nutritious milk substitutes available. It doesn't contain saturated fats or cholesterol, but it does contain omega-3 fatty acids, so it's very good for your heart. It's also high in protein, one glass of almond milk contains about one gram of protein, and it also contains about one gram of dietary fibre.
I have been making my own homemade, raw and fresh almond milk for a couple of months now, since I first started a vegan diet. I wasn't that good about not eating cheese and the diet didn't really stick with me, but I completely stopped using cow's milk in any baking recipes and my daily coffee. It is hard to switch at the beginning, but then you don't want any other milk because almond milk is deliciously sweet, without any added sugar, and is very low in calories. Try and get addicted like I did!
Ingredients (for 2 litres):
- about half a kilo of fresh raw almonds
- blender or food processor
- large bowl to strain into
- cheesecloth for first straining
- fine muslin bag/cloth for second straining
- jug or jar to keep milk in the fridge
- a few pinches of salt (optional)
- sweetener of your choice, to taste (optional)
- vanilla extract (optional)
- filtered water
You need 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of almonds. Put water and almonds into a jug or a saucepan and soak overnight (or at least 8 hours) in enough water to cover with a little water more to provide room for swelling. You can also halve the water to make an almond cream suitable as a cream.
On the next day drain the water from the almonds. Blend the almonds in 8/9 cups of filtered water. Add the vanilla extract and continue blending until well mixed. Sweeten to taste if desired. You can use a rice syrup, agave syrup, honey or other reasonably healthy sweetener.
Then you can proceed to strain your milk. This is very important or you will be drinking almond pulp as well as the milk. You need several layers of cheesecloth or muslin cloth. Pour the milk through the filter into a large bowl underneath. The filter will retain the almond pulp and the liquid will go through. Squeeze the remaining pulp to remove the last of the liquid. The almond meal left over can be dried and used to make raw cakes or muesli.
Almond milk can be kept in the refrigerator for 4-7 days but it must be covered. Remember to shake before serving to remix the liquid.