Milk has been a global staple for centuries, but over that time, for various reasons, people have backed off from drinking cow’s milk. Whether for ethical, nutritional, or digestive-health purposes, many people have actively sought substitutes for traditional cow’s milk, leading to the rise of some interesting replacements.
Giving up on cow’s milk isn’t easy. After all, most of us have had it since we were kids, but bodies, nutritional needs, and points of view do change, so the market for alternatives is ripe with opportunity. However, achieving milk's satisfying taste and texture in such an alternative is another story altogether. That being said, certain substitutes have risen to the challenge, with almond milk being chief among them.
The rise in popularity of almond milk has been persistent in this regard over the last couple of decades, with most major retailers carrying almond milk brands stacked in the dairy isles, ironically, quite often right next to traditional dairy products. People purchase these regularly and enjoy them.
However, to keep up its freshness, the almond milk offered for purchase does need to be made with at least some preservatives and often includes taste-enhancing additives to make the product that resembles traditional milk.
With the knowledge base of health-related matters richer than ever in human history does point to evidence of diminished benefits or outright drawbacks of consuming such chemically “enhanced” products. For that reason, people often seek out methods of creating their favorite products at home. But how does one make fresh almond milk?
It turns out that making fresh almond milk is actually quite simple. This great dairy substitute tastes great from store shelves, especially from top brands, but as most things are homemade, the latter tends to taste even better. In fact, we would wager a bet that correctly homemade fresh almond milk tastes so good and is so simple to make you might reconsider ever bothering with the store-bought variant again.
So, how does it get made? First, here are the things you will need to put together before you start:
If you have all of the necessary ingredients (and as you can see the list is not excessive by any means), we can go through the process of making fresh almond milk. The best part is, that there isn’t much to the process, with the prep work being the most time-consuming part. This prep-work essentially involves soaking the raw almonds in fresh water. If you soak it in cold water, they need to soak overnight. If you need a faster turnaround, boiling some water and soaking them in that only requires about 2 hours of waiting.
Once the almonds are sufficiently soaked, the water needs to be drained as much as possible. Then, it's time to set up the blender and dump the almonds you have prepared into it. Then add fresh water into the blender. The amount of water depends a bit on how creamy or thin you want your almond milk to be. The general rule of thumb is to add 5 cups, but you can decrease or increase that amount based on your preference. Finally, add a pinch of sea salt to the mix. (If you want any additional flavorings such as those from cocoa, vanilla, or berries, as well as pitted dates, you can add them in as well).
To get the most out of your mixture, set the blender speed to high and start running it, continuing for at least 1 or 2 minutes to achieve a maximally efficient mixture. Once the blending process is complete, pour the mixed contents into the nut milk bag.
Through the hole at the bottom dispense the liquid “milk” substance into a container of your choice, while the bag retains the mix’s pulp. What you should have as a result is almond milk of the desired consistency. If you are not overly concerned with the fineness of the consistency, you can use a regular fine strainer instead of the nut milk bag too.
Before you toss the pulp left in the nut milk bag, consider that you can utilize it for various other healthy dishes such as almond hummus You can do this by simply placing the remaining pulp in the blender with some half a cup of raw tahini, a tablespoon of ground cumin, a quarter of a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 minced garlic cloves, some virgin olive oil, and another cup of water, then run the blender once more.
You can also get double the use out of the almond pulp by baking almond-flavored brownies using the remains of the almond milk. You can do so by combining half a cup of the almond pulp with some unsweetened apple sauce, coconut oil, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, cocoa powder (about 1/2 cup), a quarter teaspoon of baking soda, 2 large eggs, and about a quarter teaspoon of sea salt in a mixing bowl. Once you stir them into a creamy consistency, pour them into a parchment-lined cooking dish and put them in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 F. Make sure to allow the delicious brownies to cool before you serve them.
The additives and preservatives of almond milk you buy at stores red-
uce the flavor. The product may still be delicious, but it does tend to be quite watered down. The contents of homemade almond milk will not only have a combined cost that is lower than purchasing the store container, it has a richer, more succulent taste. Plus, with the leftover pulp, you can make additional products. That is getting the most value for your buck.
If you are someone who has dietary sensitivities to dairy but do enjoy dairy products or consumables that call for milk as an essential component in the recipe, consider trying homemade almond milk. Not only will it help you get around the dairy-related problems, but you might also just find that you enjoy its flavor a lot more.