Sunday, March 9, 2014

Homemade Almond Milk








Almond milk has been on my to do list for at least a year.  It kind of intimidated me, but once I got a certain Christmas present I knew I could tackle it.  I got a HUGE surprise under the Christmas tree this year that made me jump for joy.  I may have done a karate kick jump after I opened this present.  I'm not exaggerating.  I was looking spiffy in my new pajamas and thankfully those Christmas tree printed pants were up to the high kick bright and early.  I looked a little something like this...
 
 
I got a Vitamix!!!!  Oh, the joy!  The excitement!  The surprise! (Thank you Dad and Mom!)  The only bad news was there was no way I could get it home on the airplane.  Thankfully, my mom had it all planned and I could send it back to Houston with Josh's Dad who was driving back.  We are three hours from Houston and it took us until February to get there for a visit and to collect my beloved gift.  Once I finally got it home I knew the first thing I would try was almond milk. 
 
Why make homemade almond milk?  Here's the deal, after lots of reading about it, it can be a smidge cheaper depending on how much you pay for your almonds, but there really isn't a significant monetary savings making it yourself.  (Unlike laundry soap) I had two main reasons to make it myself.  One, I know exactly what ingredients are going in.  In my book, any time you can make something homemade, do it.  Secondly, for me personally, I waste a lot of almond milk.  I rarely make it through the whole carton I buy without throwing some out.  I try not to eat much cereal and I don't ever drink it plain so it's just hard for me to utilize it all before it goes bad.  Every time I dump it down the drain I just see dollar signs getting thrown away.  For me, it's worth it to make my own to reduce waste because I can make a smaller batch than what I buy at the store.  I'm not saying I won't ever buy it again at the store, but it's so easy to make myself it will be very infrequent.
 
An added bonus, once you make this yourself you will LOVE the taste too.  I'm not a plain milk of any kind drinker, but this stuff is delicious!
 
**I should mention that if you buy almond milk make sure it's plain or unsweetened vanilla to ensure there isn't added sugar.  There is one ingredient, carrageenan, that is in most milk substitutes that is potentially hazardous.  It's a chemical additive that is a thickener.  Jury is still out on if it harms us, (like oh so many chemical additives) so it never hurts to make your own stuff when possible. 
 
I thought I had to wait to get a Vitamix to make this, but I really think a regular blender will work!  I did a lot of research before I made my first batch and many people use their blender and it comes out fine.  What I also found in my reading was to make one purchase before I started: a nut milk bag.  (Who knew there was such a thing, right?)  I bought mine at Whole Foods for around $8 and I'm sure you could find it at many health food stores.  You can also buy one on Amazon.
 
This bag makes straining your milk a breeze.
 
My soaked almonds with water on the left and then my Vitamix doing her thing. 
 
Straining the milk through my nut milk bag.  Lots of it strains out immediately and then you have to use your hands to work the rest of it out.
 
This is the remains of the almonds that were left in my bag.  I saved mine and tossed some in my oatmeal a few days later.  I froze the rest for later use.
 
3 1/2 cups of homemade almond milk.  Yum!
 
 
I was at Marshall's last week and found this glass milk container for $5.99.  It has a cow on the front and says milk so I suppose it's a bit wrong to put almond milk in it, but I thought it was adorable.

I made two different versions of vanilla almond milk and I liked both of them. The first one I made used a real vanilla bean.  That intrigued me, but it will definitely make your homemade version more expensive.  I have a jar of vanilla beans in my pantry so it was easy to try this recipe first.  In this version I also added cinnamon.  It was very tasty, but also quite different than any almond milk I've tried due to the cinnamon addition.

Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Milk
Recipe from: www.ohsheglows.com

Ingredients
1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water (the first picture in this post is my almonds after they soaked.  They are plump, soft and ready to blend!)
3.5 cups filtered water
1 whole vanilla bean, chopped
1/4 t. cinnamon
small pinch of fine grain sea salt
 
Place almonds in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight.  (I put mine in my oven so they were out of the way)

Rinse and drain the almonds and place into a blender along with your filtered water and chopped vanilla bean.

Blend on highest speed for about 1 minute.

Place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the bag. Gently squeeze the bottom of the bag to release the milk.  It only takes a few minutes to squeeze it all out.

Rinse out your blender and pour the milk back in. Add the cinnamon and pinch of sea salt and blend on low to combine.

Can be stored in the fridge for approximately 5 days.  Enjoy!


If you want something that tastes more similar to the vanilla almond milk you buy at the store, follow this recipe:

Vanilla Almond Milk

Ingredients
1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water
3.5 cups filtered water
1 t. vanilla*
small pinch of fine grain sea salt
 
Place almonds in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight.  (I put mine in my oven so they were out of the way)
 
Rinse and drain the almonds and place into a blender along with your filtered water and vanilla.
 
Blend on highest speed for about 1 minute.
 
Place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the bag. Gently squeeze the bottom of the bag to release the milk.  It only takes a few minutes to squeeze it all out.
 
Rinse out your blender and pour the milk back in. Add a pinch of sea salt and blend on low to combine.

*Leave vanilla out to made plain almond milk.
 
Can be stored in the fridge for approximately 5 days.  Enjoy!




 

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I was wondering if you have a suggestion for which non-dairy milk to use in coffee.

    ReplyDelete

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