i hate that milk, butter and eggs are for the most part unprocessed (although you do have to go through quite a bit of cruelty to get the final product), but their vegan analogues had to be invented. have you read the ingredients on the side of a nondairy milk lately? there should only be two ingredients, really: water and almonds. that’s not so shelf stable, so manufacturers add preservatives, sweeteners, artificial flavors, thickeners, conditioners and a few other things we probably shouldn’t be drinking just so the stuff gets to our houses without spoiling.
i’ll admit that i do love my light original silk soymilk though.. i drink a little too much coffee for my own good and i’ve found it’s one of the few things that doesn’t curdle immediately in a hot mug of it (the trick is to put the milk in first, but really who hasn’t figured that out yet?). however, when i decided to make my own nondairy milk, i purposefully did not choose soybeans. i thought it would be a little too beany and instead opted for almonds.
this is almost too easy, people.
YOU WILL NEED…
raw almonds (blanched/skinless almonds are great but keeping the skin on works too)
straining device (dish towel, cheesecloth, nut milk bag, very fine metal strainer, etc)
vanilla bean or extract
spices (i used cinnamon and nutmeg)
sugar, agave or other sweetener
soak your almonds overnight (6-12 hours). in the morning, drain the almonds and put them in the blender with some fresh water. i used a 1:3 almond to water ratio and wound up with a slightly thin milk (something like skim), so adjust your water level to suit your taste. less water makes a creamier milk, more water makes a thinner one. blend for 2-3 minutes or until the almonds are completely pureed and the mixture is nice and smooth. now strain the contents of the blender into a bowl with your method of choice. it seems like most people use cheesecloth, but two layers of clean dish towel worked perfectly fine for me.
squeeze all the milk out of the puree and you’ll be left with a nice hunk of almond pulp. don’t throw it away!
but first finish the milk.. add any sweeteners and flavorings you like. i used a teaspoon of sugar and probably less than a quarter teaspoon of spices for my three cups of almond milk. it keeps in the refrigerator for a few days, but it probably won’t last very long anyway. just don’t try to put it in your coffee 😦
now the pulp.. crumble up the hunk onto a baking sheet and dry out in a warm oven. it took mine two and a half hours on 150ºF to dry completely.
when it’s completely cooled, whiz it in a food processor to get it down to a fine almond meal and store in an airtight container. use as you would any other almond meal or flour.