If you’ve been looking around for healthy, dairy-free alternatives to cow’s milk, perhaps due to allergies or digestive intolerance (pain, gas, bloating), your research might have led you to either brown rice or almond milk, both of which I recommend. That said, while the store-bought nut milks aren’t bad, they often contain additives such as carrageenan (often irritates the gut) and soy lecithin (many people are intolerant or sensitive to this additive) and preservatives such as excess sodium. Almond milk is a source of protein, vitamin E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
Homemade almond milk sounds like a time-consuming luxury, but it’s surprisingly easy. In fact, you can have creamy, rich nut milk for your granola as early as tomorrow morning if you follow these five easy steps:
Almond Milk Ingredients:
1 cup raw almonds, (preferably organic) unroasted, no salt
4-5 cups of filtered water (depending how concentrated you want your almond milk)
2 tbsp of maple syrup or 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
You will also need a blender or food processor and a fine strainer or cheesecloth.
In the morning, drain all the water and rinse the almonds thoroughly, at least two-three times. Soaking overnight releases the enzyme-inhibiting substance in the brown skin that is to blame for making them hard to digest.
If you have a large food processor/blender, place all the almonds in and blend to a fine texture (do it in batches if your food processor/blender is small). See note below*
Add three cups of water to the almonds and blend for another one to two minutes. Pour the blended mixture of almond milk through a fine strainer or cheesecloth and strain the almond milk into a bowl.
Return almond fibre (or “grit”) to the food processor or blender, add remaining two cups of water and blend again. Strain once again. Add maple syrup or vanilla to add a touch of sweetness and voila – homemade almond milk!
The recipe makes five cups of almond milk that you can keep it in your fridge for three to five days.
This whole process (minus the soaking) will take you under 30 minutes to complete and it’s well worth the end product. I’m quite confident you will love the taste so much you will never want to buy almond milk again.
You can use your homemade almond milk in a variety of ways:
- Make a smoothie and combine it with your favourite protein powder and fruit.
- Add it to your morning granola or cereal.
- Use it anywhere in place of cow’s milk.
And if you’re wondering what to do with the leftover almond grit, you can use it as an exfoliation in the shower (just be careful the grit doesn’t clog the drain)! If you have kids, they will just love this idea for the bath. Or use the grit to bake cookies.
NOTE: If you have a Vitamix or a super powered blender you can combine Steps 3 to 5 by putting all the water and almonds in at once, blending, then straining — homemade almond milk in 1 minute!!