Thursday, March 3, 2011

Homemade Almond Milk - easier than you think!


I am crazy about making homemade almond milk for our family.  It is so good.  Once you try homemade almond milk, I just dare you to even try to enjoy the store-bought stuff again.  I'm sorry, but this recipe will ruin that for you.

Our entire family loves this recipe, although I must say that Caleb might be the biggest fan.  For a while, he was telling everyone that he loves to drink his "mama's milk" and that his "mama's milk" is the best milk ever.  That turned a few heads and raised a few eyebrows... hehehe!   

Most friends I talk to are convinced that making almond milk would be difficult.  That couldn't be farther from the truth.  It's really very simple.

If you do a little looking around online you'll find tons of almond milk recipes.  After playing with many, the following is what we've altered to make our own and like best.

Homemade Almond Milk by A Little Spinach

1 cup raw almonds
4 cups water
2-3 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash sea salt

Step 1:  Soak raw almonds in water for 4 hours

Step 2:  Drain and rinse

Step 3:  Blend raw almonds, water (fresh water - not the soak water), agave, o.j. concentrate, vanilla, and sea salt in blender for two minutes.
*  I start the blender on low and gradually turn up the speed as the almonds begin to blend.  Once I reach a high speed setting, I set my timer for 2 minutes.

Step 4:  Strain
*  This can be done a few different ways.  I have nut milk bags that I purchased on Amazon.  They are very inexpensive - about $3-4 a bag.  They are reusable and easy to wash and take care of.  It makes it very simple to make homemade almond milk.  Note to crafty friends:  I bet that you could make your own nut milk bag easily too!
*  If you want to try to make almond milk but you're not sure that you're "nut milk bag" excited yet, feel free to use a colander and a cheesecloth for straining.
In both cases, you'll want to do a little squeezing to get all of the yummy milk into your container.  You should just have some very dry pulp left once this step is completed.  Ditch the pulp.

Step 5:  Refrigerate

raw almonds that have been soaked, drained, and rinsed

nut milk bag

ready to blend

while blending - starting to look like milk to me!

pouring the milk into the nut milk bag

straining into container

the very dry pulp that remains


MODIFICATIONS: 
Adjust the water to suit your tastes.  You could use as little as 3 cups if you want it very creamy or as many as five cups if you want a much lighter taste.
Play with the agave.  Make it as sweet or unsweetened as you like.
You can use almond extract rather than vanilla if you prefer.
Orange juice concentrate is not necessary.  It does not make the almond milk taste "orangey".  As strange as this sounds, I think it really brings out the almond flavor even more.
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