You probably know by now that I grew up in Wisconsin. I was raised on all things dairy. I love cheese, ice cream, fresh whipped cream, and yogurt.
I love all dairy products except for one. Milk.
You heard me. I hate milk. It is pure evil. I can’t even smell it without gagging. The only way I can enjoy milk is if it is heavily seasoned as the base of a soup or in hot chocolate.
A couple years ago I discovered store-bought almond milk. It still wasn’t my favorite drink, but it was tolerable. I could enjoy a small glass with cookies on occasion, but I mostly subbed it for cow’s milk in my smoothies or when cooking.
Recently I tried making my own almond milk. Let me tell you it did not last more than a day and a half in my fridge. I enjoyed it with my breakfast, I enjoyed it with dessert.
Homemade Almond Milk really is different than the store-bought stuff. It is creamy and with a nice hint of sweet almond flavor. I love to add a pitted medjool date and a splash of vanilla, but you could sub in honey or maple syrup or leave a sweetener out altogether.
Homemade almond milk is extremely easy to make. It simply takes 8 hours of overnight soaking time and a few minutes in the blender and then passing through a cheese cloth.
Not only is almond milk a great choice for anyone who is dairy free, or simply despises cow’s milk, but it is a healthy choice for anyone. It contains a ton of calcium, omega-3s, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese.
Even if you are a cow’s milk lover there is no reason to not give homemade almond milk a try. I promise that enjoying milk and cookies will never be the same.
UPDATE: 1/22/15: Don’t throw away your almond pulp after making almond milk. It is super easy to make into your own almond flour. See the recipe below.
- 2 cups raw, organic almonds
- 4 cups filtered water
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 pitted medjool date (optional)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
- Soak the almonds overnight or for at least 8 hours in water. Drain the almonds from the water and discard the soaking liquid.
- In a blender or food processor add the soaked almonds, filtered water, sea salt, and optional date and vanilla extract. Blend on high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until most of the almond chunks have broken up.
- Strain the almond milk through a fine mesh sieve that has been lined with a cheese cloth. Squeeze the remainder of the liquid through the cheese cloth and reserve the almond meal for a later use.
- Store the almond milk in an airtight pitcher or jug in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Almond pulp that has been reserved from making almond milk (most of the liquid has been squeezed from the almond pulp)
- Preheat oven to your lowest setting, such as 150 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet (use two baking sheets depending on how much almond flour you are making) with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Spread out your reserved almond pulp into an even layer onto the baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 2 to 3 hours, or a little longer, depending on how moist your almond pulp is. Make sure to stir the pulp every hour for even cooking. When it is done cooking it should be completely dry and crumbly, like the texture of sand.
- Allow the almond meal to cool for 5 minutes. Add the almond meal to a food processor (working in batches if necessary). Process for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the almonds are finely ground into a flour-like consistency.
- Store the almond flour in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 2 months. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months and the freezer for up to a year.
- Use your homemade almond flour in any recipe that calls for almond flour.