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  • Quick & Healthy Recipes: Almond “Milk”

    july-09-almond-milkAlthough almond milk is becoming widely available in supermarkets across the country (especially now that Silk sells its own variety), nothing beats the taste of a homemade batch.

    Almond milk recipes have been around for decades and can be found in a variety of books and websites.  By no means is this an original concept of mine.

    That said, the version below is the one I have found to be ideal for me in terms of taste and texture after much experimentation.

    YIELDS: 4 cups

    INGREDIENTS:

    1.5 cups soaked raw almonds (see note about soaking after recipe)
    4 cups cold water
    1/8 teaspoon salt

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    Combine almonds, water, and salt in blender.  Process for at least one minute.

    Place a cheesecloth, fine sieve, or nutmilk bag over a large container.  Pour “milk” into cheesecloth, sieve, or nutmilk bag.  For smoothest results, repeat this step one more time.

    That’s it!

    VERY IMPORTANT NOTES:

    • You can make this with any nut or seed.  I have made pecan milk (delicious!), cashew milk, hazelnut milk, and hempseed milk.
    • The ratio of nuts/seeds to water determines the texture and consistency of the final product.  For a creamier milk, decrease the ratio.  For a thinner liquid, increase it.  Experiment!
    • Try different flavorings!  One of my favorites for this recipe is to add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and half a teaspoon of cinnamon before blending.  For chocolate nutmilk, add 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder.  Strawberry milk?  Throw in a small handful of strawberries into the blender after you’ve made the milk.  Other sweet suggestions that I have used in the past: half a banana; one or two figs/pitted dates.
    • The fat and fiber content in this milk is not equal to the amount in the number of almonds used to make it.  After you strain the milk, you will have a significant amount of solid almond lump left behind (which, by the way, you can combine with cocoa powder, a tablespoon of the sweetener of your choice, and some shredded coconut in a food processor and then spread over a baking sheet and bake for a delicious granola-like snack).
    • For easier blending in conventional blenders (and for better flavor), I highly recommend soaking the almonds in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours first (any container will do, just make sure to completely cover the almonds in water).  If you are using soaked almonds, drain the soaked liquid from the container, rinse two or three times, and then go ahead and make your milk.
    • Almond milk lasts 3 days in the refrigerator.  It is super versatile; I have used it in coffee, over cereal, and in smoothies.
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    16 Comments

    1. Marianne said on April 1st, 2010

      If you only have a food processor (no real blender), do you think it would still work? Or should I finally give in and buy a kick ass blender? ;) I’m mostly just looking for an excuse to buy a good blender. LOL.

    2. Andy Bellatti said on April 1st, 2010

      Kick-ass blender is the way to go. :) Not only for making different kind of nut/seed milks, but also a variety of other recipes you can’t make in a food processor.

    3. Daniel said on April 1st, 2010

      Is there any possible way to calculate the nutritional information when making homemade almond milk, such as calories, fat, fiber, etc.? It’s been asked across the web a few times and I was wondering if maybe you knew of a way to do so.

    4. Andy Bellatti said on April 1st, 2010

      I haven’t done calculations myself, but here is how it would work, in my opinion:

      1) Look up nutritional information for whatever amounts of almonds you put into blender (ie: 1 cup)
      2) Measure how much almond meal is left at end of process
      3) Look up nutritional information for that amount of almond meal, keeping in mind that since there is some water in that meal, figures are going to be slightly lower (ie: 1 cup of almond pulp may be 80% meal and 20% water or so).

      In any case, fat content is significantly lower (I would say 80 to 90% lower). Fiber content is negligible in almond milk.

    5. Lynn Nappari said on April 1st, 2010

      Timely posting of this, Andy — I just bought a half-gallon of Almond milk last week (Diamond Almonds brand) and I love it! I got the plain, unsweetened variety and was thrilled to see that it contains half the calories of skim milk. Like the poster above, I have to get myself a blender, then I’ll definitely try my hand at making my own.
      Thanks for the terrific service you provide with your blog and on Twitter… so much good nutrition info! Keep up the great work!

    6. Andy Bellatti said on April 1st, 2010

      Thank you, Lynn!

      I always keep a a container or two of Almond Breeze (unsweetened vanilla) in my refrigerator for those times when I do not have a homemade batch handy. Love to put some in my coffee, along with a splash of So Delicious Coconut Milk creamer.

    7. Eric said on February 16th, 2012

      What is it about the commercial almond milks that allows them to stay fresh for way more than 3 days?

    8. Andy Bellatti said on February 16th, 2012

      Eric,

      They are pasteurized.

    9. judy said on February 17th, 2012

      If you are using soaked almonds, drain the soaked liquid from the container, rinse two or three times, and then go ahead and make your milk.

      Andy,

      As someone who can’t allow myself to throw away the water that beans have pre-soaked in, I am wondering why you advocate throwing away the pre-soaking water for almonds? Wouldn’t that water have some valuable nutrition?

      And thanks for suggesting uses for the filtered “solid almond lump” that’s left over. I have never made almond milk, because the recipes I have seen seem to advocate throwing away most of the almond. Is my thrifty nature showing? :-)

    10. Heide said on February 17th, 2012

      What do you do with the nut residue? Can it be used for anything? Does it have nutritional value? Thank you!

    11. Andy Bellatti said on February 17th, 2012

      Heide

      You can refrigerate it and then use it in any recipe that calls for almond meal.

      Or, you can mix it with some oats and olive oil for a body scrub.

      It does have nutritional value; the pulp has fiber, healthful fats, vitamins, and minerals.

    12. Andy Bellatti said on February 17th, 2012

      Judy,

      Water from soaked almonds has some enzyme inhibitors in it, which turn the water brown and can yield a slightly bitter.

      All the nutrition remains in the actual almond. In fact, soaked almonds are easier to digest for many people.

      Perhaps you can find some non-food uses for the water left over from soaking almonds?

    13. Marco said on February 19th, 2012

      Well said Andy! However, Good luck on finding any “Real” almonds! The “Raw, organic” almonds I purchase from Whole Foods, will not sprout! They still make a tasty almond milk though… Still searching for real, unpasteurized almonds…
      Stay healthy everyone!
      Marco/

    14. Andy Bellatti said on February 19th, 2012

      Marco,

      Yes — as of 2007, all US-grown almonds have to be flash pasteurized. To get truly raw almonds, you have to get them from Italy or Spain.

      Nevertheless, flash pasteurized almonds are still a wonderful source of many nutrients and healthful fats.

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