Almond Milk

At a year old we had a hunch that our littlest one had a milk sensitivity/allergy. I felt like we were bucking popular convention when I said no to soy and goats milk—the most common cows milk substitutes. Instead I opted to start making nut milk. I started with almond, began adding pumpkin and sunflower seeds, moved on to macadamia, cashews, pecans and most recently, pine nuts. The options for combining are endless. Homemade nut milks are far superior in taste and texture to store-bought. I’ve included some ideas for fortifying and flavoring.

The formula for making milk can be found in numerous places on the online so I feel like I am being a bit redundant here. But so that you don’t have to go digging here we go:

Puree in high-powered blender for 1-2 minutes:

1 cup raw ALMONDS (soaked overnight and rinsed well)

3 cups WATER

Pour into a nut milk bag, (see Notes below), squeeze gently into a wide-mouthed bowl to extract milk. Return to rinsed blender carafe, add the following and blend for 10 seconds:

2 tbls HONEY (or to taste)

2 tsp pure VANILLA EXTRACT

Pinch of SEA SALT

Optional Add-ins:

2 tbls FLAX SEED (blend with nuts, adds an extra bit of creaminess)

1 tsp SOY LECITHIN granules (blend with nuts, acts as an emulsifier)

1 tsp pure ALMOND EXTRACT to replace vanilla (add in with agave and salt)

3-5 soaked, PITTED DATES to replace honey (soak and blend with nuts)

Done! Now you’ve got some lovely, creamy, fresh almond milk. Refrigerate and use up within a few days.

NOTES:

Soaking Nuts and Seeds: Soaking not only softens nuts and seeds for better blending, it also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and reduces Phytic acid, allowing for better digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals. Soaking times vary for nuts and seeds—usually the harder the nut, the longer the soaking time.

Nut Milk Straining Bags: There are a few “nut bags” on the market. The one I bought did not last very long. I ended up popping a seam open—squeezing gently is advised. An affordable alternative to a nut milk bag (buy a pack of three for under $10), are reusable mesh produce bags. You can find them at most health food markets. They are tough and durable. For clean-up, just rinse and toss into the laundry. And, buying a 3-pack ensures you always have a clean one on hand! I will say that these produce bags do allow a tiny bit of the fibrous pulp to slip through, but not enough to bother me. If you’ve been making nut milk, tell me what kind of bag has worked best for you, I’d love to hear.

Demonstration Video (CLICK HERE): Watch a pro! Let Elaina Love at PureJoyPlanet show you how to make nut milk. I think I need to pick up one of her raw cookbooks!

MODIFIED DIET CONSIDERATIONS:

SOY LECITHIN:  Soy lecithin rarely affects those with an allergy or intolerance to soy. As with anything, use in moderation.

SWEETENERS: If your diet does not allow honey, a few drops of liquid stevia will work—or better yet, no sweetener at all!