September 14, 2013

Almond Milk.... It's Really That Simple?

Back in the day, before I knew better, I made soy milk from soy beans for my first child.  I figured it had to be healthier since it was homemade and I would soak, cook, and strain it regularly in a process that took hours.
This kind of soured me (milk humor) on making any milks, but when I got my Blendtec it came with a recipe book that made a healthy almond milk sound all too easy.
I even asked a friend about it (her blog is great, check it out!) to see if it was really that simple or if I was being deceived.
It turns out, making your own almond milk is incredibly easy.  I do use a Blendtec, but I imagine any blender would do a pretty good job.

I start with raw almonds.  You could use organic as that would be the best option, but go with the best that you can afford.
For non-organic, the price per quart is about $0.56.  Or $1.12 for 2 quarts, the size you'd buy at most stores.  This is much cheaper than what you would pay in the store for the same product and without all the fillers and funky ingredients.
Organic would be about twice that price, based upon your local almond prices.

I use 1/2 cup of nuts to make 2 quarts of almond milk.  This is actually more thinned out than my recipe calls for but is more Trim, Healthy Mama approved (or Fuel Pull).  If I am making almond milk for the kids, I will use 1/2-1 cup of almonds to make 1 quart of almond milk.  They get more fat that way, but I don't miss or need it.

To start,  you need to soak the almonds a few hours, or overnight.  I usually forget at night and will start them in the morning so that I can make the almond milk in the evening.
Just use some filtered/drinking water to completely cover the nuts.
I use a quart-sized glass jar, but any is fine.

After a few hours, strain the nuts and pour out that water.

Now add fresh, filtered water to the blender.   My Blendtec holds 96oz, but I usually just fill it with a quart/32 oz of filtered water then add my nuts.  (I add an extra quart later on, you'll see!)

Process the nuts on the Whole Juice setting, or for a few minutes on high with a traditional blender.

When you are done, strain the milk.  I use a coffee filter, but you can use cheesecloth or a tea towel.  I realize that a white coffee filter is not ideal, but you use what you have sometimes.
Now add a touch of stevia or vanilla, if you like.  I don't as I prefer extracts to be cooked and find that the flavor is fine without the stevia, but you might feel differently.  I also dilute at this time to the consistency I want.  Again, for my kids, I don't generally dilute, but for me, I'm shooting for 1/4 cup almonds to 1 quart of water.
I prefer to store it in a sealed 2 quart glass jar.
The milk should be stored in the refrigerator and used in the next 3-5 days.

Now here's the cool part.  You can use all the left over almonds residue as almond meal (flour).
I just dry it in the oven and it works well.  I heat the oven to 200 degrees and spread the wet and mush almond goo out on parchment paper (I'm out right now and used aluminum foil).  I'm finding it takes about 2-3 hours depending on the quantity.  It is done when it is dried all the way thru.  You might have a substance like bricks, but I just crumble it up and make sure that it is all dry.
You can put this into your Twister jar of the Blendtec, a food processor, or even your coffee mill (not used for coffee, but for grains/herbs) to make it a fine meal.
Store it in an airtight jar or ziplock bag in the fridge and use for your Muffin in a mug recipes with some flax.

This post is shared at Stacy Makes Cents and Gwens Nest as  part of Trim, Healthy Tuesday.


Stacy said...

Putting that Blendtec to good use. Awesome! :-)
Thanks for linking at Trim Healthy Tuesday!
~Stacy @ Stacy Makes Cents

Tina at said...

I'm glad you posted this. I used to make almond milk all the time but then after reading in the THM book that homemade wasn't as suitable for their recipes as store-bought, I got discouraged and stopped. I live in a place where you can't buy it so I didn't know what to do. Thanks for helping me understand about diluting it.

Do you blanch your almonds first or do them with the skin on? Do you find the skin affects the quality of your almond meal?


See the Blue Sky said...

Thanks, Tina!
I do not blanch first. I leave them with the skin on. I've not tried it using them blanched, but it tastes nice,and the almond meal is fine for what i use.
I will add that if I were making a paleo bread, blanched almonds are preferred, but I'm not using them for that purpose.

Donna Vickery said...

Thank you so much for sharing how to make both the milk (both versions) and the flour. Truly, exactly what I needed after discovering that I cannot find even an organic of almond or coconut milk without carrageenan.

Anonymous said...

Is the milk and left over almond grinds THM friendly like is it on the plan?

See the Blue Sky said...

The THM version is what I posted here, 1/8- 1/4 cup of almonds in 4 cups of water. Or to make a larger amount, like I did, 1/4- 1/2 cup almonds to 2 quarts of water.
This makes the almond THM friendly as FP, and the resulting 'meal' is S.