I realize that there are lots of folks who are crazy for almond milk. I, personally, had never tried it until I found yesterday's recipe for Banana Oatmeal Muffins. And, I wanted to make them. Right then. Not after I'd been to the store to buy my first-ever carton of almond milk. So, I looked up how to make it from fresh almonds and proceeded. Maybe patience doesn't always win out. If I'd been patient and just added almond milk to the grocery list, I'd have never known how easy it is to make!
Don't know about almond milk? Livestrong.com (I know, I know, but they have some great healthy eating articles) says, "Almond milk . . . is an alternative to cow's milk. This fortified beverage, made from almonds, has a surprisingly rich and creamy taste. Lower in calories and fat than regular cow's milk, it is high in vitamins, such as vitamin E. Like cow's milk and fortified soy milk, almond milk boasts an impressive dose of bone-building calcium."
Yep, it has even fewer calories than skim milk!
Measure out 200 grams of raw almonds. Soak them in 3 cups of filtered water for at least 8 hours ( or overnight).
Throw almonds and water into the blender and process until smooth (2-3 minutes).
Pour mixture into a bowl topped by a strainer. Press the almond pulp around to get all the liquid to fall through to the bowl. Save almond pulp to use in another healthy recipe (I wish I could help you out here, but I've tried 2 so far that have been AWFUL!).
Strain your milk through a butter muslin or cheesecloth (or maybe coffee filter).
Store your milk in a mason jar in the fridge for use within 3 days. Shake well before pouring.
To make vanilla almond milk, add some sweetener (your choice -- I used agave nectar) and a splash of vanilla.
Now, you know I've recently gone through a major kitchen purge. But, two items used here will have a home in my kitchen forever: butter muslin and a kitchen scale.
I got my scale for use in soapmaking, but since then I've come to wonder how I ever did without it. If you're trying to do away with processed foods and canned goods, you need a good scale. How else are you going to sub in your own tomatoes for the 12 oz. can the recipe calls for?
I bought butter muslin (a tighter weave than cheesecloth) to use in cheesemaking. But, I've also used it to strain chicken broth, yogurt, juice for making jelly, and now almond milk.
These two simple tools can be added to your kitchen aresenal for less than $15.