Recipe Review: I put off making my own Almond milk for almost a year! I've finally done it and it's really not hard at all. You just have to remember to soak the almonds the day before you need the almond milk. I have an abundance of Almond Meal at home so I don't need to keep my grounds at this time, but given how expensive Almond Meal is I wish I had started doing this ages ago!
Cooking time: 5 – 10 minutes plus soaking time Serves: about 2 cups
Preheat oven: only if making Almond Meal with leftovers (see below)
- Cheese cloth, for milk extraction
- 1 cup raw almonds, preferably organic
- 2 cups water, plus more for soaking
- honey, sugar, agave syrup, or maple syrup, to taste, (optional)
1. Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with about an inch of water. They will plump as they absorb water. Let stand, uncovered, overnight or up to 2 days. The longer the almonds soak, the creamier the almond milk.
2. Drain the almonds from their soaking water and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water. At this point, the almonds should feel a little squishy if you pinch them.
I never realised the benefits of soaking the almonds until I decided to see what they looked like side by side.
Soaked on the left
Raw almonds on the right
What a difference!
4. Pulse the blender a few times to break up the almonds, then blend continuously for two minutes. The almonds should be broken down into a very fine meal and the water should be white and opaque. (If using a food processor, process for 4 minutes total, pausing to scrape down the sides halfway through.)
5. Line the strainer with either the opened nut bag or cheese cloth, and place over a measuring cup. Pour the almond mixture into the strainer.
I had visions of almond milk ending up all over the kitchen if I tried to get it into a measuring cup.
So... I used a big cake/muffin container that let my strainer rest in it whilst I carefully poured the almond milk onto the cheese cloth.
This meant I had a hand free to make sure the cheese cloth didn't collapse into the liquid as I poured.
I don't have very strong wrists/hands so I just kept squeezing the mix down to the bottom then I'd give it a big twist until I couldn't twist any-more.
Then I'd unravel the twist a little bit, push the meal to the bottom and twist again.
I continued doing this until I couldn't see any-more liquid coming out.
3. Store the almond milk in sealed containers in the fridge for up to two days.
Using the Leftover Almond Meal: The leftover almond meal can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, and muffins as it is. You can also spread it out on a baking sheet and bake it in a low oven until completely dry (2-3 hours). Dry almond meal can be kept frozen for several months and used in baked goods.
I always make this plain without sweetners to use in smoothies and baking. I assume that if a recipe called for sweetened almond milk or vanilla almond milk I can simply add this to the recipe at that time.
I did make my first batch into almond meal however I have so much store bought at home to use up that I've skipped the drying process for the following batches (food wastage I know!)