Almond milk….It is rich, creamy, and absolutely delicious. It is so awesome to make this milk at home, and the best part is, you know exactly what went into it! Of course I don’t have the time or the energy to do this always, but when I do it is my preferred method. Making almond milk at home is actually super simple, and the taste is incomparable to the store bought stuff…totally worth a try.
Why almond milk rather than cow’s milk? Well, this is a “to each his own” answer…not sure if I am ready to go down that rabbit hole, but I will say that I prefer the taste of almond milk over cow’s milk. I like drinking a plant based product that has good nutrients and lots of calcium. I like the fact that I don’t need to worry about antibiotics and hormones or how many cows contributed to my one glass of milk. And simply, I like almonds!
Almonds are rich in Biotin, Vitamin E, Calcium, and Magnesium. All of which contain numerous health benefits. The B vitamin, biotin, is notorious for strengthening and beautifying hair, skin, and nails. Although some of these effects have not been scientifically proven, we do know that it plays a major role in nerves, metabolism, and cell health. Preliminary research suggests biotin may improve insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It promotes overall inflammation reduction and is thought to aid in immune function. It may postpone heart disease onset and age-related cognitive decline while preventing dangerous blood clots. It is important to note, that it is recommended to consume Vitamin E through food rather than supplements (unless directed by a professional) as any hazard associated with Vitamin E supplements are still unclear. Calcium is known for its role in bone health, but also may aid in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Like Vitamin E, taking calcium in supplement form is a little controversial. Magnesium is thought to play a role in the reduction of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and even migraines. Almonds also have good protein, fat, iron, zinc, folic acid, and many other vitamins and minerals. It is always better to get your nutrition from foods because as I stated previously, experts are still unsure of the risks and benefits associated with vitamin and mineral supplements.
Okay, now for the nitty gritty…the milk itself. I purchase organic almonds and soak them overnight. Most recipes agree that they should be soaked but disagreements arise as to why they should be soaked. I soak to soften them and remove any impurities that may be lingering on their skins. Simply blend them up with clean water, a few dates for sweetness, and strain. Viola! You have almond milk (see recipe below)! Remember this milk has NO preservatives so drink up quickly. I would give it three days in the fridge…maybe four if you’re lucky. It freezes great so if you aren’t sure how quickly you will drink it, freeze half of the batch.
The only truly tricky thing about this recipe is the straining. You have a few options. You can strain through a sieve and cheese cloth, cheese cloth alone, a fine mesh strainer, or a nut milk bag. I have tried every which way and each has pros and cons. I like the fine mesh strainer simply because I don’t always have cheese cloth lying around, but this can be time consuming. My favorite method is by far a nut milk bag. This is a super fine mesh bag that is used specifically for nut milks (but can also be used for anything that needs a good straining). It is inexpensive and completely reusable. If you enjoy making almond milk, and believe that you will continue to make it in the future, the bag is the way to go. Nut milk bags can be found here.
Chill and serve!
- 1 Cup Organic Almonds
- 2-3 Medjool Dates
- 2-3 Cups Filtered Water
- Soak almonds in water overnight, changing the water at least once.
- Add almonds, dates, and your preferred amount of water. I like mine rich and creamy, so I usually use only 2 cups of water. If you like it thinner, use three.
- Blend until almost completely smooth- at least one minute.
- Strain through preferred straining method- see above for options.
- Chill and serve!
Almond milk will stay good for at least three days in the fridge...but probably won't last that long anyway!