The new alternative milk craze (almond/cashew/hemp/coconut and good ‘ol rice or soy) is in full gear. These products take up nearly an entire aisle of Whole Foods (or your local equivalent)! This is a good thing for those of us who don’t do well with dairy - it allows us to try different varieties of nut milks and have some non dairy milk on hand in case of a culinary emergency. However, the commercial brands, even the best of them, contain some or many undesirable preservatives (think carageegan) to keep them fresh for a longer shelf life. It really is incredibly easy to whip up some homemade almond milk if you have a good recipe and a high-powered blender. And trust me, once you go homemade, you will never want to go back to commercial.
EASY AND SUPER DELICIOUS HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK
YIELD: 3.5 CUPS
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water
3.5 cups filtered water
1-2 pitted Medjool dates
1 whole vanilla bean chopped (or 1/2-1 tsp vanilla extract)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
small pinch of fine grain sea salt, to enhance flavor
Place almonds in a bowl and cover with filtered water. It’s preferred to soak them overnight (for 8-12 hours) in the water, but you can get away with soaking for 1-2 hours.
Rinse and drain the almonds and place into a blender along with 4 cups filtered water, pitted dates, and chopped vanilla bean.
Blend on highest speed for 1 minute or so.
Place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the bag. Gently squeeze the bottom of the bag to release the milk. This is a tad labor intensive and messy, but trust me, it is worth it.
Rinse out blender and pour the milk back in. Add the cinnamon and pinch of sea salt and blend on low to combine.
Pour into a glass jar to store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Shake jar very well before using, as the mixture separates when sitting. Enjoy!
Bonus: The leftover almond meal is great for gluten free baking recipes- I also use it as a filler for homemade veggie burgers and salmon patties.