DRINKS + SMOOTHIES,  RECIPES

ALMOND MILK

HELLO! This post is a bit different for me as I’m starting to share a new interest I’ve developed, making a lot more of my own products! This is ranging from my own milk, sauces, cheese and even into everyday products such as hand soap and makeup!

Why you may ask?! Well, one I like to try and challenge myself to see if I can stick with it and keep up the challenge I’ve put forth, but more importantly to reduce my eco footprint! Now now, I encourage you to keep reading. As a native Calgarian everyone told me I’d become a treehugger once moving out to Vancouver, and I have to say I’ve definitely been influenced. I started to read more, watch more and do more to save what I could and educate myself on what easy changes I could make. An obvious one is recycling and more importantly composting but what about REDUCING!

Now you may think how is making my own milk reducing? I’m still making something, using energy to produce it and will have to repeat this process weekly if not more. BUT you can save on the container, know what is going into your milk and also save the resources and energy that are required to create the chemicals in some almond milks. Not to mention any transportation resources i.e. gas and car maintenance to deliver the product to the store and your time to pick up the product from the store.

Almond milk = almonds + water. That freakin’ simple! Yes Mom I’ve become more of a treehugger and someone who creates her own things, but it’s so easy, customizable AND you can add whatever flavouring you want!

To start making the almond milk, soak approx. 1 cup (makes one batch) of raw almonds (such as these, or buy in bulk) (no salt or flavouring on them) in water for 8 – 12 hours. If you’re like me and always forget this step to do ahead of time, you can cheat it by adding boiling water to the almonds and let it sit for approx. 30 – 60 minutes.

Once soaked, add the almonds to a high speed blender (If you have a Vitamix I hear it’s amazing), any blender will do even my Black and Decker! Add 4 cups of water and blend on low, then change it to high!

You will notice some foam start to develop and slowly the almonds will break down, combine with the water and create your milk!

This is the fun part, flavouring! I love a lightly sweet and vanilla almond milk as my main use is for my morning coffee (you can see me drinking it almost every morning on my Instagram story feat. bedhead, ha!)

I include approx. 2 tbsp of pure honey into the milk. A special friend of mine gifted this to me from a local farm, how lucky! Try your best to not only buy honey from Canadian bees but to support Canadian businesses which will likely reduce the amount of resources used to get the honey to your grocery store. You also want to try and get pure honey, not a combination of two different bees’ honey. Wow, the things you learn once you read the label!

I add in approx a tsp or two of vanilla extract. I’ve been using the Kirkland aka Costco brand for some time now mainly for cost purposes, would love to switch to organic when the budget is bigger! Wink wink nudge nudge any organic vanilla extract companies out there want to partner?!

Blend your almond milk on high again to combine your flavours!

If you have a wicked awesome blender like I hear the Vitamix is, you may be okay skipping this step. For myself once the almonds look like they’re broken up as much as possible, I pour it over a cheese cloth to strain any almond chunks. I got mine from my local No Frills, I’m on a hunt for one that is compostable once it’s been used! I like to double it up, poor the milk over a container and SAVE the pulp! Yes you heard me 🙂 

I’m in the process of discovering more ways to use the leftover almond chunkies/pulp, but my current favourite way is adding it to smoothies! A little added protein without evening knowing it’s in there, voila!

And there you have it my friends, your very own homemade almond milk! I’ve tried this recipe with cashews as well and it was great. I’ve also heard of friends adding cinnamon, but that’s not for me so let me know what you think if you give it a try!

Here’s a step by step video to help you through the process!

Almond Milk

1 c. almonds
4 c. water
Optional honey, vanilla, cinnamon or any other flavouring you’d like
Optional cheese cloth

Directions:
1. Soak almonds in water for 8 – 12 hours. If you don’t have time soak with boiling water for 30 – 60 mins.
2. Add almonds to high speed blender and 4 c. water
3. Add desired flavouring. My favourite is approx. 2 tbsp of honey and approx. 2 tsp of vanilla extract 
4. If you have no chunks of almonds, skip this step. Otherwise pour your almond milk over a cheese cloth to take out any almond chunks.

Enjoy!

UPDATES
July 16, 2017 I used freshly made almond milk keeping a little bit of the pulp in, in my biscuits recipe and it was delicious!
September 9, 2017 I bought a reusable nut bag from The Soap Dispensary in Vancouver, BC and it is working VERY well. Easy to wash and really captures all the pulp, woo hoo!

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