Tuesday, 26 March 2013

So, just what's in that nut milk anyway?

In life, and particularly in groceries, I prefer to stick to things with ingredients I don't have to google to find out what they are and where they came from. You know, shop the perimeter and all that jazz. However, I try not to rely on animal products for everything alllll the time. For instance, I like to use my chia egg replacement formula and nut milks in my cooking and baking adventures sometimes. Something has always bothered me about pre-made nut milks though. Actually a few things. Just what is gellan gum? Also, did you ever wonder what is a 'natural flavour' and if it's so natural, why don't they call it by its proper name? Last I checked there wasn't a 'natural flavour tree' with 'natural flavour seeds' growing on it. All kidding aside... These things aren't going to kill you, I think you're ok to drink mass produced almond milk in moderation (just like everything else). However, I wondered: how hard is it REALLY to make your own almond milk? Also, because I'm a control freak about certain things in my life, like for instance, I like to know exactly what I'm tossing into my gullet and there are no questions if I made it myself out of whole ingredients.

So, guess what folks!! Almond milk really isn't that hard to make. At all!!! If you want to try it, here are the instructions:

1. Soak desired amount of raw almonds in water for 8-12 hours. They should be covered and have an extra inch to account for absorption. 1 cup of almonds will make about 1 litre of almond milk.

2. Drain and rinse almonds thoroughly and add to a blender. Add water. For this, the general rule is 3:1... That's 3 parts water to 1 part almonds (or cashews, or whatever nut you'd like to make milk out of, really!). So if you're blending 1 cup of almonds, add 3 cups of water. That said, once you've done this, you may decide you like it creamier... Or less creamy. The solution is simple: more creamy = more nuts/less water, less creamy=less nuts/more water.

3. Blend for about a minute.

4. Strain through a mesh strainer into a jar/bowl (Bonus: You can keep the remaining almond meal for other recipes :-)

5. Strain again through a strainer lined with cheesecloth into another jar. Or use a nut bag, if you happen to have one of those lying around (my bet is that you don't... And you'll use the cheesecloth...).

6. Optional, put back in the blender and add honey.. Dates... Vanilla... Chocolate... Chia seeds... Whatever you want. And blend. Chia seeds will thicken it up a bit.

... Et voila!

Home made nut milk will keep for about 4 days in the fridge. I blast through over a litre in about 4 days.

Have a happy day!

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