Thursday, February 06, 2014

Homemade Almond Milk 自制杏仁奶

This is my first attempt making a nut-based milk at home. In my to-do list, there was another milk - soy milk, that I wanted to experiment (that bag of organic soybeans has been sitting in my pantry for months!). But, the process to make almond milk seems relatively more straight-forward than soy milk (one-step less* for almond milk using the same "equipment and tools"), so let's make some almond milk today.

You would not know what milk is that till you taste it

Almond milk may not be comparable to the level of proteins in cow's milk but it contains other vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin E, Vitamin D, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, iron, and zinc. In case you are lactose-intolerant, almond milk can be a "dairy" substitute.

Raw almonds, before and after soaking

Homemade Almond Milk 自制杏仁奶
1 cup raw almonds, soak in water overnight. You will notice that the almond plump up a bit after soaking. Drain and gently rinse before use.
3-4 cups warm filtered or spring water

You will need a blender (I have used my Ninja blender for this), and a strainer (I have used the traditional coconut squeezer/coffee strainer cloth but you can opt for a Unbleached Cheesecloth). If you own the very popular Vitamix, you may have the "luxury" to skip the straining step as the Vitamix blender blades may be powerful enough to "crush/blend" the almonds completely and make very smooth (texturally fine) almond milk.

Directions: Add soaked almonds and warm water into blender. Blend till smooth. Strain into bowl. Enjoy warm milk and store any remaining milk, covered, in the fridge for at most two days. Be reminded to stir the almond milk again before drinking to re-mix the liquid.

1 cup of raw almonds to 3 cups of water does not yield many servings of almond milk. If using as a creamer for other beverages, it may last a few days. However, if drinking at its best, it will be gone within the same day.

So, if you drink milk regularly, you (1) either make a big batch - use more almonds --> that will NOT be cheaper than store-bought almond milk as raw almonds cost about $4.99/lb based on sale price; however homemade is definitely of superior quality without any use of preservatives -OR- (2) use it to alternate with your your main dairy staple.

The remaining pulp (almond meal) can be used for baking (check Little Corner of Mine for steps/tips on how to store).  If you do not bake, the next easy way to go without any drying or roasting step is to stash the remaining pulp (almond meal) in the fridge overnight and add them when you cook breakfast oats the next morning.


*For making soybean milk, there is an additional boiling step of the liquid (milk) after straining.

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