When we were young the only kind of milk available was that from a cow. Growing up we lived in a small town in central New South Wales and lots of my friends had farms. When I would have sleep-overs I remember feeling a bit put off by the milk at breakfast which had come straight from the cow. It was so creamy. And warm. With a whiff of animal. I don’t think the farmer’s wife had ever heard of milking an almond and I certainly wasn’t going to suggest it!
Until recently I had never considered drinking anything other than cow’s milk. I don’t have a dairy intolerance and I don’t drink enough milk to really think about it. That was until I researched the world of Dr Junger and his ‘clean’ program. While I was still considering whether I would do the 21 day challenge I went to the supermarket to take a look at almond milk. I was amazed. Store bought almond milk is full of preservatives and additives…and cane syrup?! It didn’t seem right. Then I discovered through a friend just how easy it was to extract milk from the humble almond.
If you need to drink a milk alternative for health reasons or you just don’t like other milks, I really encourage you to try making your own almond milk. It is ridiculously simple and surprisingly it doesn’t require truck-loads of almonds either.
It turns out all you need is a nut milk bag and a cup of almonds. Well almost…here is the recipe.
This recipe will yield about 1 litre of milk. It doesn’t last more than about 48 hours in the fridge so you need to make a fresh batch every couple of days. If the milk starts to separate, just give it a stir.
2 cups raw almonds
water (for soaking)
1 x date*
1 x teaspoon vanilla extract*
filtered water (for milk) see below recipe for quantity
Start by soaking (or ‘activating’) your almonds. They need to soak for several hours so I usually do this step before bed and leave them to soak overnight. Make sure you have plenty of water covering them as they will absorb some water in the process.
In the morning, strain your almonds and discard the soaking water. Leave your almonds to drain while you get everything ready. Your almonds will have swelled during the soaking process making them plump.
Using a cup, measure your plump ‘activated’ almonds and place in a blender with double the quantity of filtered water (e.g. if your activated almonds equal 3 cups, then add 6 cups of water etc). Add a pitted date and a teaspoon of vanilla extract and blend until the nuts are crushed into tiny pieces.
Next strain your almond milk into a clean jug using the nut bag. Gently squeeze the bag to extract all the milk. What is left in the bag is almond meal. You can dehydrate this and use it in cooking if you wish or add some of it to smoothies for extra protein.
And that’s it. Lovely fresh frothy clean almond milk.
* I use a date for sweetness and a little vanilla extract for flavour but these are optional. If you prefer you could sweeten your milk with honey or add cinnamon. Play around with flavours to find your favourite.
In Singapore you can buy nut milk bags at Balanced Living on Bukit Timah Road.