why bother?: homemade almond milk

So…homemade almond milk. I’ve been wondering if it’s one of those worth-it-to-make items, or just another project for mildly to extraordinarily obsessed DIYers. We made some this weekend. While the kid was way into it (both project and result), I’m still on the fence. It’s tasty, straightforward to make, and allows you to control the thickness. It also doesn’t have any of the added ingredients of refrigerated almond milk. “Added ingredients” generally get a bad rap, but in the case of almond milk, they add vitamins. No idea how bioavailble they are, but ya know, there’s that. It’s also not significantly less expensive to make, even w/ the super cheap bulk almonds I bought ($4.50/lb). It becomes a better deal if you use the resulting almond meal, but I don’t ever buy that…so can’t really calculate it as savings. Maybe I’m ambivalent b/c the nutritional and financial benefits aren’t necessarily clear, or maybe because I read a ton of posts by people who love it, so was expecting some kind of emancipatory milk. Tho I suppose food posts are skewed…not sure how much people write about items they feel underwhelmed by. Heh.

Anyhoo, all you need are almonds, water, sweetener, a blender and cheesecloth. I did 1 cup almonds:3.5 cups water. But it’s easy enough to play around w/ the ratio.

Almond Milk (yield: just under 3.5 cups)
1 c. raw almonds, skin on
3.5 c. filtered water
maple syrup (or whatever)
blender (or stick blender or food processor)
cheese cloth (or super fine mesh sieve)

Soak almonds overnight or up to 2 days. Mine soaked for about 15 hours. I left skins on, tho might remove next time.

don’t eat them like this. so gross.

 

Prep your cheese cloth. I used 6 layers, one for each year of my cooking buddy. (Not really, but that would be a super precious, step-mama-blogger, reason, right?)

cheesecloth optical illusion…child looks like old guy

 

Drain, rinse, and put in blender. Add water. You can do it in batches, all science-like, or just dump it in. I opted for the later. Whir it for about two minutes, you’ll get a uniform liquidy pasty substance.  Make sure you don’t have big chunks of almond. Now place cheesecloth over big bowl, pour almond goo into cheesecloth, squeeze out the almond milk.

mmmm

 

I had to refill cheesecloth w/ goo twice. You’ll end up w/ a bunch of solids (i.e. almond meal*), which you can dehydrate and use later.

Add sweetener to taste. I used about 2T of maple. It killed the slightly bitter aftertaste, which I think was from the skins. Chill. Drink. Put on Cereal. Whatever.

milk in a wine glass

 

*Almond Meal – Spread wet almond meal on baking sheet. Bake in 200 degree oven for a few hours until it’s dried out. I stirred mine periodically so it didn’t stick to the pan. Cool. Place in freezer bag. Freeze. I’m planning to use mine for an almond meal cake…maybe one w/ lemon.

almond meal for later…