In an effort to heal some health stuff that I’ve had going on, I’ve dropped dairy like a bad habit. Okay, that’s not true at all. But I’ve cut back on anything that’s not cultured (at our house we really believe in the goodness that is some great bacteria, so yogurt and kefir are welcome anytime! Also, butter. Because butter. But usually grass-fed, and I’m on a quest to make my own). I got more into almond milk a couple years after Nolan was born and I was trying to help my spitty boy. We’ve had it in the fridge off-and-on since then, and I’ve really come to enjoy it.
There are plenty of links and recipes out there that explain how to make almond milk, so I’m sure it’s hardly news that it’s a possibility. Part of the beauty of making things at home is how much less expensively you can usually do it yourself. As far as cost goes, the cheapest I can get half a gallon of almond milk for is $3.69. Now, nuts are expensive. At the cheapest I’ve found almonds, half a gallon comes out to $3.74. Paying $0.05 more and doing all the legwork yourself may not be worth it to everyone, but the fresh, super creamy taste of homemade almond milk, as well as the lack of filler ingredients makes it so worth it to me! And seriously, making two batches of almond milk (to come out to half a gallon) takes about ten minutes of time. It’s easy and quick.
I really like the recipe for almond milk found here. It’s an adorable blog with a knowledgeable author, tons of fun to comb through! I alter the recipe a bit by not adding vanilla (usually) and occasionally taking her suggestion to sweeten it with maple syrup rather than dates. And I usually forget the salt at the beginning…whoops!
Also, I’ve found regular raw almonds, rather than blanched, to be far more cost-effective than purchasing blanched. And I’ve found peeling the almonds once they’re soaked to actually be a lot of fun! I pinch/squeeze the narrow end and pop the almond out of the skin fat-side-first. Like a baby out of his mama.
I purchased an inexpensive nut bag, but wasn’t impressed with the pulp that was left in the bottom of my bowl or mug after using that batch of milk. It was like drinking flavourless dirt. So I resorted to using a dish cloth, and was much happier with the result. If you just use a tea towel or something equally smooth, the pulp should rinse off easily (my primary concern with using a towel). My mom more recently gave me another nut bag that’s fabulous! We use this one. Recommendation: don’t super cheap-out on the nut bag. The good ones don’t cost that much more and you’ll actually use it.
Now that I’m not drinking milk at all, I’m using almond milk on my granola, in smoothies, and in my near-daily chai tea fixes, and I’m never going back to store-bought after the goodness that developed in my kitchen while making that recipe!
Stay tuned for ideas on what to do with the almond pulp/meal that you’re left with after making the milk!