If you notice food trends you probably are aware of the huge selection of milks that are currently available. It wasn't too many years ago that there were only a few choices to be made in the milk section. You could buy regular old cow's milk in all its variations (whole, skim, 2%, etc), buttermilk, and maybe some Lactaid. You could also buy flavored cow's milk like chocolate and strawberry. Soy milk got added on first, and then all the flavors of soy milk. Now you can buy so many kinds of milk…soy, coconut, almond, almond-coconut, hemp, rice, oat. Some are shelf stable and in the health food section but most are right in the dairy case. So many choices. I used to drink a lot of soy milk, but decided the phytoestrogens weren't great, and I also saw an ayurveda practitioner who called that processed soy milk dead food. Meaning it was highly processed and so far from a living plant that all the energy was gone. So I stopped with the soy and started with almond. If you read the label, almond milk isn't terrible if you chose an unsweetened one.
If you look at this one, there are some chemically kind of things but not too many. So not a terrible choice, but not exactly pure and natural either. Almond milk and actually any nut milk is really easy to make at home and then you don't get all the extra stuff. It seems intimidating but really all you need is a good blender and some cheese cloth. You soak nuts in water overnight until they are soft. Drain them, then put them in the blender with fresh water. Process for about 3 minutes, and then pour through the cheese cloth to extract the pulp. Add in a little flavoring and presto, almond milk. It is so quick and easy that I made it this morning before school. You do have to plan ahead to soak the nuts, but the hands on time is minimal. I add a little vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and a little bit of maple syrup and it is so good. You can drink it as is, heat it up and have it like cocoa (even add cocoa powder if you like) or use it in smoothies. Completely worth the effort!
On another note, Tom and I went on a long walk in the neigborhood this weekend with Beau. There are some woods near here that lead into a long greenbelt where you can hike. It was absolutely beautiful and amazing that it is right in the city. We only saw three other people while we were out there. Beau got to swim, and it is really hilly (the pictures don't show it) so we got really good exercise and Beau ran like a mountain goat. It was his first time to be out in hills like that. It was so pretty I had to share!
Homemade Almond Milk
Prep Time: 5 minutes plus 3 - 12 hours
Cook Time: none
Keywords: blender beverage vegan vegetarian almonds
Ingredients (3 cups)
- 1 cup raw almonds
- water to cover
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- pinch of salt
Place almonds in a medium bowl and pour over water to cover by one inch. Place on the counter or in the refigerator (if only 3-4 hours leave on counter, if overnight put in fridge) until almonds are softened. I do this at night and put them in the fridge until the morning.
Drain the almonds. Place soaked almonds into a blender. Add 3 cups of fresh water. Process for about 3 minutes. Pour through a cheese cloth to remove the pulp. Squeeze the cheesecloth, wringing out all the milk. Rinse the blender and then pour the milk back in. Add the vanilla, maple syrup, and salt. Process about 10 seconds to mix. Serve and enjoy!