So I’m a little hyperbolic with my post titles – but every little bit helps! As any healthy foodie is probably aware of – almonds are a great staple when replacing dairy, or gluten-laden ingredients. You’ve got your almond flour, almond meal, almond milk, almond butter – basically any form of almond you could want.
But what’s the process like for farming almonds? Well, as most of you know, the California farmers have been dealing with a severe drought for the last few years – including some of my extended family in Northern California. For those almond farmers – water is a precious resource. How precious?
A single almond uses over 1 gallon of water.
Now I used to be a big almond milk drinker – Almond Breeze was my go-to. It is for a lot of non-dairy milk drinkers. But when my good ol’ farmer dad sent me this Mother Jones article, I realized a few important things almond milk:
- The commercial almond “milk” is basically even MORE water with a tiny bit of almond smashed into it, plus a bunch of weird additives.
- The leftover meal is full of fiber and nutrients that get lost in the “milking” process.
- It’s gotta be way better to make your own.
And when I finally did make my own, I realized one even more important thing about almond milk:
- You will NEVER want to buy store brands AGAIN.
Which leads me to the obvious post for today: how to make your own almond milk! (And stay tuned for how to make your own almond meal, using the leftovers!) Obviously, this is vegan and gluten free.
Total Time After Soaking: 15 minutes Makes: 4 Cups
You Will Need:
- 2 C Raw Almonds
- 8 C Filtered Water – Divided
- High Speed Blender
- Cheese Cloth (or nut sack)
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Optional Sweetener
- Optional Vanilla
- Soak the 2 cups of almonds in 4 cups of filtered water for at least 12 hours, and no more than 48.
- Drain and rinse the almonds.
- Add almonds, and remaining 4 cups of filtered water to a high speed blender.
- Blend for about 2 minutes.
- Balance the strainer over the mixing bowl (see pictures below). Line the strainer with the cheese cloth and pour in the blended almonds and water mixture. Pour in as much as you can fit, then lift up the edges of the cheese cloth to create a sack filled with the almond pulp and remaining water. Squeeze gently until all of the “milk” has flowed out into the bowl.
- Save the almond pulp for almond meal later. Recipe to come!
- At this stage you can pour the strained almond milk back into a blender and add sweetness to taste (I used dates) and about 1 tsp of vanilla.
- Funnel into a bottle, or jar, and enjoy! Save in the fridge for up to 4 days.