I switched from regular milk to almond milk about 6 months ago and never looked back. It isn’t that I’m lactose intolerant or anything, but I just do not care for the taste of milk. I gave almond milk a try and loved the flavor and have been using it in place of regular milk ever since. Almonds are also a rich source of protein, Vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, selenium, manganese, and iron. This will help build strong bones and muscles, provide antioxidant protection, healthy skin, high energy levels, good metabolism, and other health benefits. Almond milk contains no cholesterol, and has been shown to lower levels of LDL cholesterol (due to good monounsaturated fats in almonds) as well as protect against heart disease (almond skins contain flavonoids which help to protect the heart).
I use almond milk just about anywhere I would use regular milk; in my baking, soups, and even my morning cappuccino. When I was back in the US, my favorite brand was the unsweetened version of Almond Breeze by Blue Diamond. I liked the flavor a lot, and do not care for the added sugar so it was perfect. Unfortunately, when we arrived here in Italy, I could not find an unsweetened brand of almond milk, and I really wasn’t crazy about the taste of any of the varieties that I could find. My only solution seemed to be to make my own.
I started to do some research online about making my own almond milk and could not believe it was as easy as it actually is. Basically you simply soak raw almonds overnight, then the next day mix them with water in the food processor, puree, then strain. Since I like my milk unsweetened, I do not add anything else, but you could add raw honey, vanilla extract, or even ground cinnamon if you like. The milk is thick and delicious, and I found it doesn’t even separate when stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. After that point it does begin to separate, and though you can shake the bottle to blend the layers again, the flavor is best if you consume the milk in 5 to 7 days maximum. I found that the flavor just started to break down after that point. Since I made so much at once, I simply stored one bottle in the refrigerator that I knew I could use up within 5 days and froze the rest.
You have to start the process the night before because the almonds require soaking overnight which is a very important step. Soaking the almonds softens them and they release the natural oils much easier. It helps to have a high powered blender, like a Blentec or Vitamix as it will cut down the time required to puree the nuts. Cheesecloth is also very helpful, although since I had none in the house I simply used a kitchen towel and it worked just fine. You will have 2 to 3 cups of almond meal leftover that you can use in baked goods. I used mine in Paleo friendly Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies! You can use up to 4 cups of water for every cup od raw soaked almonds if you prefer your almond milk a little thinner.
Deborah Mele 2013
- 1 Cup Raw Almonds
- 3 Cups Water
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons Raw Honey
- or 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- or 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Place the almonds in a bowl, cover with cool water and let soak overnight.
- Drain the almonds, then place in a blender with 3 cups of fresh water.
- Process until the almond has become fine meal.
- Pour the milk through a couple of layers of cheesecloth (see note above).
- If using, add you honey and/or cinnamon or vanilla and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.