Nourish

Almond Milk

 

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For the longest time, I had been wanting to make homemade almond milk to replace our store-bought variety. With all of this cold weather that we have been experiencing (and by cold I mean 45 degree mornings), we’ve been eating a lot of oatmeal for breakfast. I couldn’t think of anything better to top it with than fresh, homemade almond milk. According to my husband, you can’t “milk” an almond and he believes it should be called almond “juice”. He does make somewhat of a case for himself, as the process of making almond milk leaves behind a pulp. However, that is neither here nor there. For the sake of this post, I will continue to refer to the beverage at hand as “almond milk”.

Okay, back on track… While store-bought almond milk contains stabilizers in the form of gum, this recipe simply calls for raw almonds, dates, and filtered water. Almonds are considered to be a “healthy” fat, as they contain unsaturated fats. Almonds are also high in vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and other antioxidants. Dates are also packed with nutrients – selenium, potassium, magnesium, and copper. In this recipe, dates are used to slightly sweeten the milk and give it a more rich, caramel flavor. Some people like to add a vanilla bean or cinnamon but we prefer ours rather plain. Enjoy this nutrient-packed beverage – whether you refer to it as milk or juice – mixed with oatmeal, along side your favorite cookie or energy bite, in your coffee, or all by itself!

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Almond Milk

1 cup raw, organic almonds

2 dates, pitted

5 cups filtered water

Soak almond overnight or for 8 hours. To do this, place almonds in a deep bowl and pour enough water over to cover. Place a clean dish towel over the top of the bowl. If you’re pressed for time, you can pour boiling water over the almonds and allow to soak for 1-2 hours.

Drain the almonds. Place soaked almonds, pitted dates, and filtered water into a high speed blender and blend until the mixture becomes liquid – about 1-2 minutes.

Ideally, you’ll want to use a nut milk bag (go ahead, laugh!) to filter the pulp. However, if you don’t have one, a fine-mesh strainer will suffice. Place the strainer over a bowl and pour mixture through. You may have to press the pulp with a wooden spoon to assure that all of the liquid has been strained. Once all of the pulp is strained, you are left with rich, flavorful almond milk! Place in a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Now what to do with the pulp… You can add it to your oatmeal or to smoothies for an extra nutrient boost. There are a lot of ideas online for what you can do with the pulp – dehydrate it to make almond meal, hummus, pancakes, cookies, etc.

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