Raw Almond Milk
My family and I just returned home from our annual Labor Day vacation in our cabin which is located in a picturesque and very remote area in the Adirondacks. We had a wonderfully relaxing time. No WiFi whatsoever! Gotta love that once in awhile…right? Unfortunately we came home to no Almond milk in our fridge!!! YIKES! After traveling for most of the day…I really didn’t feel like venturing out to the grocery store at 8:00 PM. I told the kids that I would go in the morning…BUT…once morning came…I STILL didn’t feel like going out! Hmmmm….what to do….what to do? WELL…I have always wanted to try making my own Nut Milk. And, I now own the best blender in the world! The Vitamix.
In preparation, I have been collecting and trying recipes, making my own up and slowly replacing certain staples of our diet with raw-friendly equivalents. Milk seemed like an easy target a couple of years ago when I found out that my son, Ian, was lactose intolerant. So I started there, replacing cow’s milk with store bought almond milk—an ideal choice.
I digress…better get started! I found a 1lb. bag of raw almonds from Real Raw Food, which I had yet to open.
(makes 2-3 cups)
1 cup raw almonds, soaked for 6 hours*. I chose not to soak today due to time constraints.
2-2.5 cups water (3 cups seems to be standard, but I prefer it thicker; the water can be replaced with other liquids—apple juice is one example I’ve read)
1 or 2 of Majhool Dates
1 tsp. Organic Vanilla extract
liquid sweetener of choice ( I use 1 Tbsp. of Organic Agave Nectar)
spices (Cinnamon, etc)
1. Blend together soaked almonds and water.
2. Strain through a nut milk bag (what I use) or a couple layers of cheese cloth. Squeeze tightly to get all the liquid out. Store in refrigerator—it will keep for a couple of days.
3. Reserve pulp—you can dehydrate it to make flour (which is what I’m going to do) , or use it in any number of recipes that call for almond pulp.
* Almonds are a healthy, savory snack, packed with protein, fiber and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Most people are aware of their health benefits and how to incorporate almonds into a healthy diet, but it is less well known that soaking almonds can unlock more health benefits and make them easier to digest. Soaking almonds increases the amount of nutrients and vitamins your body absorbs from the food, making it a simple and effective way to improve this healthy nut.
Almonds contain an enzyme inhibitor in their brown skin that protects the nut until the proper levels of sunlight and moisture allow it to germinate. Since the nut does not release its enzymes until those conditions have been reached, eating almonds without removing the inhibitor limits the nutrients your body can absorb and makes the almond difficult to digest. By soaking almonds, you provide the moisture that makes the almond shed its skin and release its enzymes. The process works with most nuts and seeds.
Soaking almonds also changes the texture of the nut and makes it easier to chew. As the almond absorbs water, it becomes softer and less stiff. This is of particular benefit to young children and seniors who should avoid hard, difficult-to-chew foods. Softer almonds are easier to digest, which increases the amount of nutrients your body can absorb from the nut. If you use almonds in recipes such as cakes, breads and muffins, softening the nut makes it easier to break into chunks or crush as needed.
To soak almonds, you need raw almonds, water and a bowl. Purchase raw, organic almonds if possible. Place the almonds in a large bowl and cover them with 2 cups of water per 1/2 cup of almonds. Soak the almonds overnight, then drain and store them in the refrigerator using plastic bags or jars. Almonds will remain fresh for up to a week after soaking with proper storage.
In Good Health,