Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Homemade Almond Milk

Almonds are high on the superfood list, especially raw ones. Packed with protein and lots of other nutritional goodies like magnesium and vitamin E as well as folic acid and calcium, everyone seems to be popping them like candy. You can read more here but suffice to say, aside from their high calories, almonds are pretty healthy for you.

The almond milk you can buy in the store is often fortified with calcium and other nutrients. Why would they do that if almonds were already a natural powerhouse of nutrition? Because commercially produced nuts milks are pasteurized which destroys many of its nutrients. So make your own!

You can make the milk as "thick" or as thin as you like, depending on the ratio of water to nuts. Commercial milks often use soy lecithin as a thickening agent. Personally, I was raised on skim milk (and loved it) so I take mine on the thinner side. Almond milk is a great replacement for dairy milk in baking recipes, as a simple beverage or poured over cereal or granola, which is how I picture it here.

Homemade almond milk will leave you with some dry and crumbled pureed almonds. I threw them in some white bean and chipotle burgers and they added some great bulk - recipe forthcoming.

Homemade Almond Milk
(makes 2 cups)

1/2 cup raw organic almonds
2 cups water
agave nectar or honey to taste (optional)
cheesecloth or nut bag
1/4 teaspoon salt

Soak almonds for 4-12 hours in a bowl of water to cover them by at least 1 inch. Drain water and slip off the skins of the almonds; they should slip off when you pinch them like a watermelon seed. If necessary, slit the skin with a finger nail and peel it off and discard skins. Add almonds, salt and sweetner if using and 2 cups fresh water to blender and blend on high 2-3 minutes until it sounds as if almonds are well pureed. Strain through several layers of cheesecloth or through a nut bag (available at natural food stores) and squeeze all of the milk out of the nuts. Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator. Good for 1 week.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Carrot Cake Jam from Nutmeg Nanny
Coconut Shrimp with Orange Dipping Sauce from Cinnamon Girl Recipes
Crock Pot Roast Beef with Giardinera from Proud Italian Cook

1 comment:

Pam said...

I had no idea you could make your own almond milk.