After months of being completely consumed with clients and stress, I am back to blogging regularly for my readers and subscribers! I’ve missed you guys more than I can put into words!
Tonight I’m going to tell you about my favorite recipe at the moment:
Homemade vanilla bean almond milk
Doesn’t it sound delicious? When my family switched over to a vegan lifestyle several years ago, we were searching for the perfect milk alternative. Soy was out due to hormone sensitivities within the females of our family despite its creamy texture and sweet taste. So we began the hunt and discovered almond milk. Its creamy, perfect for cooking, and vanilla/chocolate almond milk? Don’t even get me started. Its so tasty!
Coconut and hemp milks are now a major part of our diet, but for an additional option (especially for cooking and for cereal) we turn to almond milk. It quickly became the children’s favorite, and we were buying a carton or two every few days.
Then it hit me. (Though I wish it had sooner!)
Why wasn’t I making this myself? Making it myself would mean I could cut out any added sugar, keep a bit more almond meal in it for additional protein, and flavor it however I want. Yes, please!
So I gathered the materials to make my own almond milk and went to work!
I’m so excited to share this recipe with you guys, so be sure to let me know how it turns out for you!
What you will need
• 1lb of raw almonds without the shell (yields about 1.5-2 liters of almond milk)
• Fresh water
• A cheesecloth, mesh bag, or fine strainer
• A blender
• 2 bowls for soaking almonds and for straining
• A 2 liter container to hold finished milk
• Sweetener of choice (for this recipe, I’m using 1 split vanilla bean)
How to make it!
1.) First, you have to soak the almonds overnight- anywhere from 12-24 hours. Take one of your bowls and pour 1-2 cups of almonds in and cover with fresh water. Make sure to cover them completely and provide enough room for the almond to swell.
2.) After your almonds have soaked for 12-24 hours, strain out the murky water in the bowl. Pour the almonds into your blender and add 3 additional cups of water with them and your one vanilla bean (or sweeter of choice) and blend until you have a milk-like almond purée. Depending on the strength of your blender, it may take a few minutes of constant blending.
3.) Now, take your almond purée, your second bowl, and your strainer of choice. (Cheesecloth is preferred, however if you like bit of almond meal in your milk, a fine strainer would work as well!) Hold your strainer/cheesecloth over your bowl and slowly pour the almond purée into it. You will notice how what is held back by the strainer is very thick and mealy. If you’re using a strainer, continue to pour the mixture until the holes are completely covered with almond meal. At this point, you may choose the keep the almond meal (I’ll throw in some ideas below) or discard it. Continue the process until the purée is gone. If you’re using a cheesecloth or mesh bag, fill the cloth until full, or until the mixture is gone. Now you must squeeze the cloth until no remaining milk drips out. If you want to make sure that you have no remaining almond meal in your almond milk, I suggest using a coffee cone filter as you pour your milk into your final container. If you don’t mind a few small almond pieces, this step is not needed. Your almond milk should last 5-7 days in your refrigerator!
Ta-da! Almond milk!
4.) This step is strictly for those who want to use up the remaining almond meal.
thekitchn.com originally inspired me to use up my remaining almond meal with these delicious ideas, so I just had to share them! Try some out for yourself!
1. Fruit Crumbles: Summer is crumble season! I love the crunch and nuttiness that almond meal adds to fruit crumbles. Just work some sugar and butter into a cup or so of almond meal until it makes a thick paste. Crumble this over your fruit and bake until bubbly.
2. Cookies and Baked Goods: Cookies, scones, and mufffins made with almond meal will have a slightly denser and chewier texture than those made with all flour, but I’ll take the trade off! Try subbing some almond meal for a quarter to half of the all-purpose flour in your favorite baking recipes. (Shaking the meal through a fine-meshed strainer before using it also helps remove any larger pieces and keep the flour light.)
3. Crust for Fish, Chicken, and Pork: Panko is so yesterday. Almond meal is where it’s at when it comes to a crispy, crunchy crust. (Or even better, a mix of both!) Dip your piece of fish or other meat in beaten eggs, then roll in almond meal. Pan-fry until golden and perfect.
4. Homemade Crackers: Almond meal gives homemade crackers a tender texture and a nutty flavor — perfect for pairing with cheeses and dried fruits for an appetizer. Sub it in for up to half of the flour in your favorite cracker recipe.
5. Gluten-Free “Bread Crumbs” for Casseroles: If you’re avoiding gluten and looking for a little crunch for your next gluten-free mac n’ cheese or vegetable gratin, look no further. Toss with butter, sprinkle, and bake. Yum.
There you have it!
Deliciously sweet, creamy, unprocessed almond milk. Its so easy to make right in your own kitchen, isn’t it? I know that I was shocked when I learned exactly how easy it is to milk an almond! Ha! I hope you guys love it as much as my family does!
I want to hear from you! How did this recipe turn out for you? Were you surprised by how simple the process is? What other vegetarian/vegan recipes are you interested in seeing? Make sure to share this post to inspire others!