Got {Almond} Milk?

31 01 2011

We’ve talked about how to make peanut butter from scratch. MP900407429But what about making nut milk from scratch?

It’s easy.

It’s cheap.

And, oh, it’s good.

When 2Chili asked what I was blending now, with that unmistakable “I can’t believe you’re blending again,” tone, I told him quite simply. “Almond milk.”

And there was a pause. And then, a typical 2Chili retort. “Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just buy it?”

Well, as a matter of fact, no. And it wouldn’t be as fun.

Depending on where you live, a quart of almond milk is probably around $3, give or take. For us, it’s $2.79. Making your own requires just a few ingredients and about 2 minutes.

Are you sold yet? imageI am.

There are lots of formulations for DIY almond milk out there, and this one is an adaption from Ani’s Raw Food Essentials. This formula will work for pretty much any nut milk – almond, pecan, cashew – whatever floats your boat or dunks your Oreo.

For almond milk, you need:

  • 1/2 to 1 cup almonds, soaked in water overnight. I made a batch with 1/2 cup, and a separate batch with 1 cup. Both worked and I couldn’t tell a significant difference in taste between the two. The 1 cup version was just a little richer.
  • 3 tablespoons honey, agave or even pure maple syrup. This is not essential if you are watching sugar, though it sure makes it good! You could scale it down, too, if you wanted a little sweet but not too much.
  • Dash of salt
  • 3-5 cups water, depending on how thick you want it. I went with 5 cups, as I am used to drinking skim milk. If you plan ahead and soak your almonds in the amount of water you intend to use, you can use the water you soaked the almonds in, as it will have all the almond “extract” in it.
  • A blender (any blender will do)

Add all the ingredients into your blender, and blend on “high” for 1-2 minutes. I blended on level “2” on the Ninja for about a minute.

almond_milk3

While you technically don’t have to do this step, I recommend it. Much like my little juicing experiment a while back, I felt it was necessary to strain the almond bits out of the liquid.

image

After the straining, you’ll be left with nice clean almond milk. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

I am saving the “pulp” to use in oatmeal or recipes that call for almonds (after a quick taste test confirmed it still tastes like almonds). That means there is zero waste, as the plastic bag that the almonds came in went into the recycler.

As a side note, this plastic container holds 8 cups of liquid so you can get a gauge of the volume output.

almond_milk5

I had a glass with some freshly baked mini pretzels. Y-U-M.

image

For 2Chili’s sake, here is the cost breakdown, based on 1 cup of almonds and 5 cups of water.

  • Almonds: $1.12  ($4.49 for a 4 cup package from Trader Joe’s)
  • Honey: $.42 ($4.49 for a bottle of honey with 32 tablespoons from Trader Joe’s)
  • Water: We’ll say this is free, as 3-5 cups in the scheme of your water bill is pretty insignificant
  • Total: $1.54 

So, take that, 2Chili. Almost half price and more than double the fun!

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