Feb

25

2011

To Make or To Buy

Comments 18 Comments

Almond Milk

Drinks • Tags: , , , , , ,

Almond Pulp 1-The Duo Dishes

We like to do a lot of things from scratch. That’s why kneading bread, rolling out pie dough, and beating cream into fluffy soft peaks is fun for us. We like to be hands on with foods and figure out how they work. And how they work best. That’s why you see a bowl of ground, watery nuts above. That, friends, is almond pulp. It is what you’ll find left behind if you make your own almond milk. Maybe you’re wondering to yourself, ‘Self, why are these guys making almond milk when it’s at the store?’ Well, there are lots of things that just seem easy to do by hand, so why not do them. At least once. If it’s not worth the time, effort or cost, then feel free to buy it. But at least you can say you’ve tried to do it. And that, friends, is the only answer we can give.

This is one of those, ‘Wow, that was so easy!’ kitchen discoveries that we all like to find from time to time. Yes, almond milk is one of those things that you can pick up from any grocery store, and usually, the cost will not break your bank. No more than buying regular milk, which has seen a deal of price fluctuation over the years anyways. It is full of vitamins, and it is lower in calories than regular milk too. All nice perks. When you make it at home, you can control every single ingredient that goes inside. That means less sugar, miscellaneous flavorings, salt and no potentially funky preservatives. That last one can work against you though if you make a big batch of this stuff. Keep it covered and refrigerated, and your homemade almond milk will last three or four days. Luckily, it’s a quick and simple thing to do, so you can have it anytime. The version below is vanilla flavored with vanilla bean paste and naturally sweetened with a few dates. You can reduce the amount of water slightly if you like your almond milk a bit thicker. Add more vanilla and dates if you like it sweeter, though of course you can experiment with other natural sugars. Hit it a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon or cocoa powder if you want to play around with the flavor. Endless options!

So does this post answer the question ‘To make or to buy?’ Hopefully, though in the end, it’s up to you. Will there no longer be commercially-produced cartons of almond milk in shopping carts? Nope, they’ll definitely be purchased! But this is something you can do when you’re in a bind or just want to take food matters into your own hands, so to speak. Still wondering about that almond pulp above? Once you’ve strained the liquid from the blended nuts, you end up with wet meal. Well, that is some good stuff–too good to waste. Use it in breads, cookies, muffins, cakes, on top of oatmeal, etc. Just whatever you do, don’t trash it! There will be a couple of recipes featuring almond pulp, so look out for them.

Almond Milk-The Duo Dishes
Almond Milk – Serves 8
2 cups whole almonds, soaked in room temperature water for 24-48 hours*
7 cups water
3 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
6 dates, pitted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Drain the nuts well from their soaking water. Place 1 cup of nuts into your blender, along with half of each of the remaining ingredients. Start your blender on low speed, then increase to high and blend until smooth, approximately 2-3 minutes.

2. Set a large, deep sieve** over a bowl. Carefully pour the liquid mixture into the sieve and along the liquid to drip down into the bowl. You will be left with almond pulp in the sieve, which you can dump into a separate bowl.

3. Pour the strained liquid back into the blender, set the sieve on top of the original bowl and pour the almond milk through the sieve again to strain out any remaining bits of nuts.

4. Transfer the bowl of strained almond milk into a pitcher. Repeat this process with the remaining ingredients, and pour the second batch of twice-strained almond milk into the pitcher. Drink as usual. Store covered in your refrigerator for 3-4 days.

*The longer you soak the almonds, the plumper they will become. They will also become softer, which is nice on your blender. You’ll find that some of the bitterness from the nut will have subsided as well. Soaking them also releases the almonds natural enzyme-inhibitor that makes them difficult to digest when eaten raw. If you soak for longer than 24 hours, drain the nuts, cover with fresh water and continue soaking until you hit 48 hours.

**If you’re the kind of person who wants to make almond milk (or any nut milk) often, invest in a nut milk bag! Instead of using a sieve to strain all of the pulp out of the milk, you can drape this guy over your pitcher, pour the blended nuts and walk into the bag and strain everything perfectly.

Click HERE for the printable recipe.

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Comments

18 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Homemade almond milk is terrific, i like your addition of dates & vanilla paste.

    Reply

  2. LOVE THIS! I drink almond milk constantly and it’s so cool that you made it from scratch. I never knew it was so easy! Now I’m going to HAVE to give it a try!

    Reply

  3. I’m always meaning to making my own almond milk but then I always just end up buying it. But it does sounds pretty damn easy–thank you for reinspiring me!

    Reply

  4. Love it! I definitely am of the same mindset as well. It’s great that you can control what it is sweetened with as well as the flavor. I think the only potential downside is that sometimes the commercial varieties are fortified but I guess one can just take a vitamin. Yum!

    Reply

  5. This does sound super easy! There are so many overly processed good we regularly buy that if we made at home would not only be better but more cost effective. Can’t wait to give this a try.

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  6. This is a keeper. Looks easier than I thought it would be, especially in times like these where I’m trying to be healthier. Definitely a money saver.

    Reply

  7. Man you guys are really heading into Thermomix territory now…too bad they are so hard to get in the States..you would LOVE it!

    Reply

  8. I know it’s easy but sometimes laziness trumps! Lazy me.

    Reply

  9. I’ve been purchasing almond milk instead of soy milk for a few months. It’s definitely a delicious treat to my cereals. I understand the need to learning how to make certain ingredients from scratch. Homemade always taste better than store-brought. It’s always worth the effort, and you gain so much from learning from the process.

    Reply

  10. Now this I have been meaning to try for a while now – especially with the inclusion of a few dates in there. Glad to have the reminder that it’s so easy!

    Reply

  11. I’m really happy to have stumbled upon your blog as I have wanted to make my own almond milk for a while. Do you think it is more cost effective to make your own or buy it in the store? Thanks!

    Reply

    • It can be, especially if made in smaller batches. Do remember that there are no preservatives, so this will only last a few days in the fridge. Regardless, it’s definitely something to try. You might be surprised!

      Reply

  12. I so need to make my own almond milk. At the restaurant where I work, we make our own Brazil Nut milk using the same process. It’s incredibly delicious, and so much fresher than boxed nut milk.

    Reply

  13. You hit the nail on the head. I never buy nut milks because they’re usually so full of sugar. While there are some alternative “milks” out there that are so nasty tasting they need all of that processing and flavoring, almond milk is not one of them. Good for you for making your own.

    Reply

  14. By some strange coincidence, I just read a cocktail blog about homemade almond milk in an authentic recipe for Mai Tais. I think my weekend destiny must include almondmilk Mai Tais-thanks for the detailed instructions.

    Reply

  15. yay! you tried making it from scratch! well done, looks great :) great tip btw on using the leftover almond meal for other things — i love incorporating it in tart and pie crusts.

    Reply

  16. Waw!! Home made almond milk!! That’s great! I think all things home made, tastes much better!!

    Good for you & for us! MMMMMM,…!

    Reply

  17. [...] you remember seeing a post for almond milk around these here parts not too long ago. There as a photo of the leftover almond pulp that is the [...]

    Reply

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