I milked an almond for the first time a few weeks ago. Who knew such a thing was possible?
I’ve hated milk with a vengeance since I was a child. I had a milk allergy as an infant that, as was conventional wisdom, I supposedly “out grew.” I know all about waiting to “out grow” allergies. I’ve been waiting. Fifty two years.
Of the cow variety, I have memories of pouring my milk down the kitchen sink. I’d always get caught. Mom would know because of the white ring left around the rim of the drain. At some point she gave up.
Sure, I’ve tried the store bought almond milk. It was better than that rice stuff and was good enough for my morning smoothies. But drink it? Not going to happen.
One of my favorite new food and health blogs is Sarah Britton’s My New Roots. Sarah’s pretty incredible. I actually found her blog through her inspiring Ted Talk in Amsterdam where at the end she makes almond milk right up there on the stage and shares it with the audience. Instead of being told how easy it is to milk an almond, she showed me.
Yes, sometimes I need to be snuck up on and pounded over the head with how easy something is. A couple of months later, I’m a total convert and can’t imagine not making my own almond milk a couple of times a week.
Now for the process.
So you don’t milk an almond the way you would a cow. Put aside those visions of me squeezing milk from whole almonds. Although in the last step that is kind of what you do.
Recipe for Fresh Almond Milk
What you need:
- High powered blender
- A nut milk bag (less than $10, available at health food stores and on Amazon)
- A big bowl and/or a bottle with an airtight lid for storing
- 1 cup of whole raw almonds (Sarah also talks about how you can do a blend, using pretty much any nut or seed. Today I added 1/4 cup sunflower seeds)
- 3-4 cups filtered water
- Optional extra flavorings: I’ve been adding a teaspoon of vanilla and a tablespoon of raw local honey. Other ideas include dates, maple syrup, and a whole vanilla bean (which I’m wanting to try – I haven’t found them locally, but I’ve seen them available online)
Take 1 cup of almonds (or your chosen blend) and cover them completely with clean water and soak overnight. The next day they’ll be all plumped and ready for milking. Drain nuts/seeds and put them in the blender. Add 3 -4 cups of water and any optional ingredients. Blend for about a minute.
Pour the mixture into the nut milk bag over a bowl with a large opening. Start milking! Gently squeeze the milk into the bowl through the nut milk bag. I’ve heard about people using cheese cloth, or even as Sarah suggest, old pantyhose, but as a sometimes kitchen spaz, I know the right equipment usually exist for a reason. Be sure to be gentle with your nut milk bag –squeezing really hard isn’t necessary and you don’t want to bust the seam.
And yes, it’s hard not to giggle when talking about squeezing your nut milk bag.
Transfer the milk into an airtight container. The milk last 2-3 days in the fridge. Nutritional facts
The leftover almond meal left in the nut milk bag can be used for baking. I made some tasty crackers with mine for the first time the other day. I don’t like wasting food and my 21 year old daughter is in the process of going gluten free – once I perfect the recipe a little bit, I’ll share it with you. Have you ever made your own almond milk?