Like many others my husband is lactose intolerant. Though he isn’t a big milk drinker to begin with I would buy almond milk for him from time to time. Now I’m not dairy free or lactose intolerant but I do love to enjoy a nice cold glass of almond milk in the morning. I also enjoy it in my coffee because it adds a little nutty flavor. Sometimes we would enjoy a tall glass of vanilla almond milk after dinner because the sweet creamy drink would satisfy our craving for dessert. The kids on the other hand didn’t like it so much. I tried buying different brands but they never seemed to get into it.
I continued to buy it for my husband and I. That is until I became more aware of the ingredients in products. Have you ever looked at the ingredients of store bought almond milk? Even the organic brands have quite a list. One common ingredient in most almond milks is carrageenan, which is a food additive that is derived from red seaweed and is used as a stabilizer. Because it is made from seaweed it is considered a natural additive but there has been some controversy over whether it is safe or not. Some scientists say it can cause inflammation, ulcers, and bleeding. That’s not very appetizing, is it?
After learning this I started looking into making my own almond milk. I found it to be extremely easy and the taste was 100% better than store bought! The kids even like it. That’s right, they drink it up like crazy.
So how easy is it? Well take a look.
The first step is to soak the almonds overnight. I have had a lot of people ask me why is there a need to soak the almonds. Well there are a few reasons. First reason is that almonds naturally have a type of tannin called tannic acid. Tannic acid is stored in the brown skin of the almond and helps protect the nut from pest, sunlight, and other harmful elements. Tannic acid, when digested by humans, can interfere with the amount of iron the body absorbs. Soaking almonds helps release the tannic acid and you simply rinse them away. Another reason is that soaking will help your body digest the almonds better.
After you rinse the almond good you can place them in a blender. No need for a fancy $500 Vitamix. I have a regular $30 blender and it works great for this. Add 3 cups of filtered water and 2-3 pitted dates. Turn the blender on the highest speed and run it till the water becomes milky and the almond become very fine. Take a container, place a strainer over the opening, and a nut milk bag over the strainer. I use this nut milk bag here. Pour the almond milk into the nut milk bag and strain the liquid. Sorry I forgot to include a blender and strainer picture.
When you are done straining add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to the almond milk and save the almond pulp for later use in recipes. You could dry it out and you will have your own almond meal or almond flour.
See, I told you it was easy. I encourage you to make your own and taste the difference too. There really is no comparison. I will never buy almond milk from a store again.
1 c of whole almonds, raw
3 c of filtered water (and more to soak)
2-3 pitted dates
1 Tbsp of vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1. Soak the almond overnight. When ready drain and rinse.
2. Add almonds, water, and dates to a blender. Turn blender to highest setting and run for a few minutes. Water will become milky and almonds will be broken down to very fine pieces.
3. Take a container; place a strainer over the opening and a nut milk bag over the strainer. Pour almond milk into the nut milk bag and strain the liquid out.
4. Once strained add vanilla and salt to the almond milk. Use the almond pulp for recipes or dry out it out for homemade almond meal.