By no means am I a mathematically gifted person. I prefer to think in ways of movement, emotion and meaning rather than precision, law and absolutes. Not that people who are mathematically inclined are not meaningful. However when it comes to a budget, or as my husband calls it, the johnson family plan for future financial freedom and success... or something long like that, I make cause to be mathematical. We spend a significant amount of money on food. We rarely buy new clothes, when we do they are either hand me downs/ups, gifts, or secondhand. We don't go out to eat, unless it's free or a special occasion. We don't have television, or rather we have a television but no cable (I'd have no idea what goes on in the world except for blogs, twitter + nytimes). We make our own baby wipes, I am no stranger to baking our own bread (usually at the end of the month), are going on year two of a small (very small) garden, and we wait for tax returns, bonuses, etc to do anything "fun"; meaning small trips, saving for a house, and going to the swimming pool or fishing in july.
So when I began making almond milk at home, at first it was for the money we'd save. But just like so many of the other ways we decided to save money it became more than that. I found reasons making almond milk at home was better than buying it from the store in a quality of life sort of way. Without writing a book about the benefits of simplicity in life, I will just say that homemade almond milk is better taste wise, health wise, and sense wise. And on occasion I like to splurge with a bit of hershey's chocolate sauce mixed in.
what? we're not that hippie.
happy weekend friends; hope to see you at brunch!
1 cup whole raw almonds (not toasted/seasoned/etc)
enough water to cover
4 - 6 cups water, more if desired
a pinch of salt
honey, to taste
Soak the almonds overnight in a bowl with enough water to cover.
Discard the soaking water, rinse the almonds, then blend the almonds with 3 - 4 cups water in a high speed blender until smooth.
Lay a linen or cotton towel (not terry cloth) inside a bowl large enough to hold all the liquid. Pour the milk into this towel, and squeeze out the excess liquid. You can also use what's called a nut milk bag, or fashion one yourself using mesh cloth or nylon, a bit of ribbon, and your sewing machine, here's a helpful tutorial.
Add enough water until you have 2 liters of almond milk (about 2 quarts). Taste the milk and add a pinch of salt, and a small spoonful of honey to taste. Store in a glass jar or bottle. The separation that occurs between uses is natural, just be sure to shake it up before each use.
It will be good for about a week.
note: after doing this for over a year, I have found 1 cup of soaked raw almonds to 2 liters of water to be my favorite ratio. However when I know we will not be using that much milk in a week, I soak 1/3 - 1/2 cup of almonds to make 1 liter of almond milk. I reduce the water content when I want a thicker, creamier milk.
- This recipe is more of a method rather than actual measurements. If you want thinner milk, use more water, if you want more cream-like milk use less water.
- You can milk any type of nut. Try cashews for thick creams, hazelnuts, peanuts, brazilnuts, etc. You can also use just about any grain, although I am finding that certain grains are better for milking than others. Try barley, brown rice, steel cut oats, kamut, etc.
- As for the leftover almond pulp, you can air dry it, or dry it in a dehydrator or your oven on the lowest temperature until dry, then blend the remaining bits in a blender. Voila, almond meal. We use it in everything, whenever I'm baking (cookies, cakes, pies, pancakes, etc), for a veggie crust, mixed with hamburgers or veggie sliders, in sauces, smoothies, let your imagination run wild.
- Many raw foodists use the leftover pulp as a "cheese", adding spices and seasonings to it for more flavor; mix a bit of agave, pinch or two of salt, some cocoa powder, and you have "chocolate cheese".