Thursday, May 28, 2009
(pictured: entire batch of almond milk after straining)
I decided to make my own almond milk because I do not want any chemical additives or cane sugar in my beverages.
I don't believe all the hype of soymilk being bad for you that is flying around the net these days. However, I do believe that too much of anything isn't good for you. I have decided to use other milks, in addition to soy, to order to maximize our consumption of different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients from the different milks.
Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats and are associated with a reduction in heart disease. Consuming almonds in also associated with a reduction in cholesterol. Since the whole almond (with its skin) provides the most nutrition I save the residual nut pulp that results from making almond milk and add it to my veggie burgers.
(pictured: almond pulp on silpat, before drying)
Since part of the almond that goes into the milk is removed, I don’t think the numbers the cookbook program calculated are correct which is why I didn't post them. I have included the nutritional numbers for the Original Unsweetened Almond Breeze instead.
Makes about 6 ½ cups - serving is 1 cup
1 cup of almonds, soaked for 24 hours in 4 cups of water
7 – 8 cups of filtered water
1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
Dates or agave for sweetness - optional
Drain the almonds of the soaking water and rinse well. Put ½ the drained almonds and ½ the salt in the blender and cover with 3.5 cups of filtered water. Process until no chunks of nuts remain. The amount of time you need to process will depend on the power of your blender. Taste the milk checking for consistency and salt level. If you think the milk is too thick add more water and blend again.
Pour the almond milk through a fine wire mesh strainer. While the first batch is straining process the second half of the almond milk in the blender.
Move the drained almond solids to a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat and put it into a very low oven (150 degrees), until all the liquid has evaporated. I save the dried almond solids in the freezer and add it to veggie burgers.
Taste the strained almond milk and add additional sea salt if necessary. You can add agave if you like your milk sweeter. I did not add any sweetener to my almond milk since it will be used in smoothies or on cereal. If you would rather use dates to sweeten your milk return the milk and a couple of dates to the blender and puree until the dates are combined. I would strain the milk another time to remove any bits of dates that may remain after processing.
The milk may try to separate in the refrigerator. Be certain to shake the milk well before pouring.
Nutritional Information (taken from Unsweetened Almond Breeze):
Amount per Serving
Calories - 40
Calories from fat (75%) - 30
Total Fat - 3g
Saturated Fat - 0g
Cholesterol - 0g
Sodium - 150g
Potassium - 190g
Total Carbohydrates - 2g
Fiber - 1g
Sugar - 0g
Protein - 1g
Making almond milk was much easier, and faster, than I expected. I thought the taste was very clean and fresh. It makes me wonder what they put in the packaged nut milks. I will definitely be using this milk a lot more in my cooking.