It occurred to me recently that making almond milk, something I’ve been making from scratch for several months, might be something that is worthy of a blog post. It’s another one of those recipes or procedures that I take for granted, that I assume everyone knows how to do. Then I realized how ridiculous that assumption was – I was taught how to make almond milk by someone, so maybe there are folks out there who would appreciate being taught by me. What do you think?
I used to buy my almond milk from the grocery store – organic, plain, unsweetened – until Colin Medhurst at Feed Life told me about carrageenan. Carrageenan is a natural ingredient derived from seaweed and is used by food manufacturers to make food products thicker and/or to prevent separation. The only problem is the consumption of carrageenan can cause inflammation in the digestive system. And guess where you can find carrageenan on the ingredient list? Almond milk! Okay, not all almond milk has carrageenan, but some does including the brand I was buying! I also learned from that Feed Life Nutrient Dense Eating workshop that it’s important to make sure the almonds I buy are sourced from Europe. Why? Because almonds from the USA, even organic ones, are irradiated before export to Canada! Can you believe it?!
So, armed with this new information about commercially prepared almond milk and almonds, I decided to begin making my own almond milk. It’s actually really easy. You don’t need a high powered blender (which is good because I don’t have one), it doesn’t take very long, the ingredient list is minimal, and the homemade almond milk tastes so much better – fresh, tasty, almondy.
So here’s how it’s done:
1. Soak 1 cup of raw, organic almonds in water overnight.
2. Drain the almonds, then put in fresh water.
3. Peel the almonds. This is kind of fun! Just hold an almond by the fat end and pinch and the naked almond slips right out of it’s skin! The almonds must be wet and freshly soaked in order for the peeling to be quick and easy. If you drain the water and don’t peel the almonds right away, the skin is not so easy to slip off.
4. Put the peeled almonds in a blender and add 4 cups of water.
5. Put the lid on and blend for 5 minutes.
6. That’s it! Keep the almond milk in the fridge and use within one week.
7. If you want, you can add vanilla (1/4 tsp vanilla powder) and dates (2 pitted Medjool dates) before you blend to give you a sweeter almond milk. This is great if you only use the milk for smoothies or for pouring on your breakfast cereal or in baking. If you use your milk for making savoury sauces, then leave the dates and vanilla out.
How do you use your almond milk? I use mine in smoothies and on porridge as featured here or like this:
This is a delicious and nutritious seven grain porridge from Galloways (which has, sadly, gone out of business in the Lower Mainland), topped with blueberries picked seconds before from the blueberry bush in our back yard. Yum!
A note about the font: This post was written in large, black, bold font for easier access by people with vision impairments.