Sunday, March 20, 2011

Vegan Milk Part II: Almond Joy!

Click here for Vegan Milk Part I

With the hemp milk being a success, I was stoked to try the next non-dairy milk: almond. I had done a bit of reading up on almond milk and found a recipe that promises the milk won't separate which is great. Most, if not all raw milks do separate if they are left to sit in the fridge. The hemp milk did, but a quick shake before serving is the easy solution to this.

Almond milk is also really easy to make and a very similar process to making the hemp. There is a bit more work involved because you need to remove the skins from the almonds and soak them for a long time. I wouldn't say it was labour intensive, but I couldn't just whip up a batch of almond milk on the fly.

Even so, I liked this milk a lot. It was rich, smooth and creamy. I found it was much closer to drinking animal milk, so if you are going for something that is close to the consistency of dairy milk, this may be the drink for you.

Homemade Almond Milk
- about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of almonds
- 4 cups of water
- dash of salt
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- cheese cloth

First, you need to blanch the almonds. Pour a large bowl of icy water and set aside. Boil 2 cups of water and then add the almonds. Let boil for about 1 min and be careful not to over cook. You want the almonds to not go soft. Remove from heat, strain and dump the almonds in the cold water bath and let sit a couple of minutes.

Next, you want to remove the skins from the almonds. Super easy to do. Strain the almonds out of the cold water and put back in the bowl. Have a garbage bowl handy. Take an almond and pinch and wiggle it a bit in your fingers. The skin should come right off. Skin the rest of the almonds.

Now cover the skinned almonds with water and let sit for 8 - 12 hours. Strain the almonds from the soaking water and put in a blender. Add 2 cups of water, sweetener and the salt and blend the crap out of it (2 - 3 min on high). While blending, set up the straining station. Have a large bowl that holds 6 + cups of water and rest a strainer in it. Put cheese cloth in the strainer so that the edges hang over a bit.

Once the mixture is blended, pour it through the cheese cloth and then squeeze as much liquid as you can out of it. Once all the liquid is drained, put the pureed almonds in the cheese cloth back into the blender and and add 2 more cups of water and blend again for 2 - 3 minutes and repeat the straining process. If the milk is too thick, then add more water.

This recipe makes consistency of a 2% milk.

Now, if you want to try to make the milk not separate, pour the almond milk into a large pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Then pour into container with a tight seal and chill.

That's it! See how this is a bit more labour intensive? really there is nothing difficult about this recipe, but you need to be thinking ahead. So far this has been my favour of the two. I think the homemade recipe is much better than store bought whereas the hemp was on par with store bought.

Oh, and if you want, save the residue that is in the cheese cloth. If you can dry this out and put it back int he food processor, you will have almond flour! I imagine this will make good cookies. I saved mine and will keep you posted.

I will definitely be making this again. I think next time, I might add some cinnamon to it. I think that would be an amazing addition.

OK - Coming up next... Rice Milk!

I am looking for some other non-dairy milks to attempts, so if you know of any please comment!

1 comment:

  1. I think I might try it this week. I'm almost out of soy milk but have lots of almonds. Eek excited!