I can't imagine many people getting as excited as I did when I made homemade almond milk for the first time, but something tells me Sarah Britton of My New Roots would understand. Her blog has quickly become a new favorite of mine. Maybe you are already familiar with her. A wealth of knowledge on the health front, she delivers amazing recipes and eye opening nutrition facts, all with a sense of humor and beautiful photography. A holistic nutritionist and vegetarian chef living in Denmark, Sarah touches on everything from probiotics to homemade cleaning products. When I saw her post for making homemade nut milk, I just had to give it a try. She even created a catchy video that breaks down the surprisingly easy process. Be sure to take a look. If the thought of making a homemade nut milk seems time consuming and daunting, not so. It is so, so simple. Seriously.
I chose to highlight almond milk, since I reach for it as a healthier alternative to dairy quite often these days. I've also made cashew milk, which is delicious served warm with a little cinnamon and nutmeg. I think many people are looking for dairy alternatives lately for one reason or another. I myself was never one to drink dairy milk as a kid, and happily moved onto other substitutions, including almond milk once I found it in stores. However, I was always a little squeamish about the preservatives on the ingredient list. Little did I know, I could make almond milk at home with just two ingredients, cheesecloth, and a blender. I have in fact become so captivated with this process that I purchased the nut bag pictured here for all my future milk making endeavors. If you are going to make nut milk on a regular basis, it might be worth purchasing one, especially since it's reusable and sturdy.
I chose the unsweetened route, but you could certainly sweeten it with maple syrup, honey, agave, or vanilla extract. It's great on it's own, ice cold and refreshing from the fridge. It has a wonderful nutty quality (stating the obvious here), goes down smooth, and has just the right amount of creaminess for my liking. It can also be substituted for milk in all your cooking and baking recipes. Now go ahead and try a glass while you peruse Sarah's blog. Neither will disappoint.
~Homeamde Almond Milk Recipe~
1 cup almonds, covered with water for soaking
4 cups water
Soak a cup of almonds overnight in water in a bowl, ensuring they are covered. Drain and rinse plump almonds in the morning. Blend almonds with 4 cups of water in your blender on its highest speed for about 30 seconds. Cover the top of a pitcher or container with cheesecloth. I would use a rubber band around the mouth. Allow the liquid to strain through the cheesecloth as the pulp separates on top. I also used the back of a spoon to spread the pulp out along the cheesecloth and to release more liquid. You might find you need to change the cheesecloth halfway through the process. Just be sure to give it a real good squeeze to release all the additional liquid before changing it. Store it in an airtight container (I use a mason jar) for 2-3 days and give it a good shake before drinking. It naturally separates while resting. Makes 1 quart.
What to do with the leftover pulp? I haven't yet created a recipe for it, but in the meantime, it makes an excellent exfoliant for your skin. No kidding. Slather some onto your face and body, and you'll be silky smooth in no time.