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Monday, 19 January 2015

Almond Milk:
To make almond milk, combine 1 cup soaked almonds (soak overnight) with 4 cups pure water in a blender.  A high powered blender works well for this but is not necessary.  Blend until smooth, then strain through a nut-milk bag or mesh strainer.

Put the “milk” back into the blender and add the following optional ingredients if desired: vanilla, sweetener and pinch of salt.  Will keep in the fridge in a sealed glass jar for 2-3 days.

*I love the almond milk just plain as it is, but some people like to sweeten theirs a bit.  Some ideas for natural sweeteners include bananas, dates, raisins, honey, maple syrup as sweeteners.  You could also add stevia which is a natural sweetener and has a zero glycemic load.  It is very sweet, however so only use a drop or two.  Feel free to experiment to find out what you like best!

A Few Variations:
Chocolate Almond Milk:
Follow the same directions above, but add raw cacao (chocolate) powder or cocoa powder for a delicious chocolate flavour.  Additional sweetener may be added if desired.If you don’t have raw cacao powder, then regular cocoa powder will do just fine.  (Cacao powder and cocoa powder are the same thing, but the term “cacao” powder is usually reserved for the raw, unheated version.)

Carob Almond Milk:
Follow same directions for regular almond milk, but instead of cacao powder, try carob powder.  It will act as both a sweetener and a flavouring.  It will give recipes a chocolate taste, but without the caffeine.

Mexican Almond Milk:
Add cinnamon and nutmeg to your regular almond milk.  If you’re feeling adventurous, add a tiny dash of cayenne to the mix.  Wowsers!

Almond Pulp: The pulp that is left over can be saved and used in a bread, cracker, cookie, or pate recipe, as it provides good fiber.  Alternately, it can simply be composted or discarded.

Cheater’s Almond Milk: Ok, don’t have enough time to make real almond milk?  Try this: Toss 2 cups of water into your blender.  Add a tablespoon or two of almond butter and blend.  Voila!  You have almond milk.  It won’t be as smooth, but if you don’t mind, it is a real time saver!

Freezer Tip:
I have had success with freezing almond milk in a glass mason jar for later use.  This worked well when I first discovered almond milk and was preparing for a camping trip.  I really wanted to take some almond milk with me for the week, and so I tucked a few frozen jars of almond milk into the cooler.  The frozen milk also doubled as an “ice pack” for the rest of our food.  It was delicious on my morning muesli!

Robyn Lilley

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