Lightly-Spiced Almond Milk

March 16, 2012 § 3 Comments

About a month ago, I came across this video by Sarah Britton, blogger of one of my top three favs: My New Roots.  Since then, I’ve watched this little flic nine more times.  I’ve graduated from a noodle strainer to a cheesecloth to a fine mesh “nut milk” bag.  I’ve drunk a few gallons of nut milks.

Why go to the trouble?  Certainly, there are plenty of health benefits: Nuts are spankin’ healthy. Also, in most packaged almond, rice, oat, hemp and some soy milks there are added ingredients like carrageenan, a thickener (seaweed derivative) that can be rough on sensitive tummies and may have longer-lasting detriments.

These are good reasons to buy a few cups of raw nuts and dust off the blender. But I like making nut milk for two other reasons (the purported health benefits being a mere kick in the pants).  First, making this drink makes me feel delightfully resourceful.  Second, you can make oodles of variations.  I spice each batch differently, depending on my mood.  For instance, if I want a sweet nut milk, I’ll add medjool dates (soaked in water for a half hour to soften) or a tablespoon of honey to the blender.  If I want a plain milk, I won’t add any spices; it’s still creamy, the flavor is more subtle.  Below, I’ve put my favorite combo of late.  I use the leftover nut “pulp” to make cookies like these. I nibble on one or two for an afternoon snack with a cold glass of almond milk.

Ingredients:
1 cup raw almonds
8 medjool dates, pitted
water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional

Equipment:
fine mesh bag
blender
air-tight jars for storage

Method:

1. Pour raw almonds into a large glass bowl and cover with water.  Soak for a minimum of 8 hours, up to a day.  A half hour before blending, add dates to soften.  Drain almonds and dates and place in a blender with 4 cups of water and spices, if using.  Blend.

2. Place a fine mesh bag or cheesecloth in a pitcher.  Drain and squeeze the almond pulp.  Reserve pulp for a fun recipe.  Pour almond milk in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Diet Notes: SCD-safe, vegan, gluten-free

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