I recently discovered that I am mildly lactose intolerant. This was sad news to me since I am a dairy FIEND! Lucky for me, I think Soy and Almond milk alternatives are delicious! But getting the $2.99 generic half-gallon of almond milk and reading all the crazy additives has been sobering (and expensive):
Ingredients: purified water, almonds, tapioca starch, calcium carbonate, sea salt, potassium citrate, carrageenan, soy lecithin, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, d-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin E)
Yikes! The whole reason I stopped drinking dairy was to make a healthy change for the better of my body right? Goodbye nasty chemicals! Hello fast and easy freshly made beverage!
You think it’s expensive? Not if you bargain shop for the almonds. Here in Nebraska they’re typically $5.99 per pound. But I kept my eye out for them to go on sale at all stores and right now Walgreens has them on sale for a couple more days for $3.99 per pound. If you are willing to bargain shop for just some almonds, you can have about 2 gallons of almond milk for the price of ONE HALF gallon of store-bought.
Now if you are like my mom, you would say something like, “but what about calcium? You need calcium!” Well, if you are eating enough green veggies, you should be getting a good dose of that already, but chances are, you’re not. So, let me be the one to tell you: DO IT! Eat your veggies! Tired of feeling like crap all the time? Eat more veggies! Unfortunately, homemade almond milk isn’t fortified with calcium, so you wont be getting as much as you would with cow’s milk. Take a good plant-based multivitamin, and eat your veggies and call it good! If you’re really worried about it, get those chocolate candies that are calcium supplements. (they’re yummy)
So, as I was drinking my store brand almond milk and reading the label, I remembered reading on Jorge Garcia’s Blog (the actor who plays Hurley on LOST, and Diego Soto on Alcatraz) about how he makes his own almond milk! So I read his recipe, Googled several others and decided that it’s super easy! and that the amount of ingredients is all just a matter of preference. amount, texture, thickness, sweetness, etc. So here is my version of Almond Milk. If you are willing to try this out with me, just remember if you don’t like it the first time, change it to make it how you do like next time! trial and error folks!
AND! For the love of Pete, DO NOT throw out the leftover pulp/meal of the almonds! there are SEVERAL uses for it, as I will cover that in my next blog post. Cover and refrigerate, or, spread out on baking sheet to toast them, then freeze them in airtight container until next use!
RECIPE TIME! about 20 minutes total.
–In the pictures I only made enough for one serving, (shown) just for visual aid.–
(if your food processor doesn’t fit a half gallon of water, then do this in two batches. Also, some say it’s better to let almonds soak in water a few hours before using instead of blanching, but that requires planning ahead. If you blanch them, it’s done in a snap. results are not very different.)
- blanch 2 cups of almonds. If you want it to go further, 1 cup is sufficient, but most people like theirs thicker/creamier.
- pop them out of their skins (you can literally pop them out, by pinching them, or slowly snapping between fingers…be careful, they might fly across the counter!) discard the skins.
- add half gallon of (preferably filtered) water and the skinless almonds to the food processor.
- pulse until water is off-white and frothy on top.
- OPTIONAL: add a tablespoon or two of PURE VANILLA, and the same amount of local honey.
- pulse for one more minute.
- use a cheesecloth, or thin dishtowel, or clean pantyhose, or a metal mesh strainer and strain into container. (you can buy a good strainer for nut milk on amazon for about $9 but I like to be thrifty and improvise with what I have. squeeze the pulp to get as much liquid out before storing for later use.
- some people prefer to strain the liquid twice, but I haven’t felt the need to.
- save the almond meal/almond pulp for later use.
- That’s it! You’re done! Now, you can let it chill in the fridge, or enjoy a glass right away! Cheers to you and your thriftiness, your new life skill, your new favorite dairy milk alternative–and of course, to your health!