It’s all health, health, health in January isn’t it. I know I’m doing my best right now to lose weight, get healthy and coax myself back into some sort of fitness routine (albeit somewhat reluctantly!). One of the things that I have actually been doing for the past few months is cut back on dairy and I have replaced normal cows’ milk with my own homemade almond milk.
While we in the west have been brought up to think that drinking milk in the b all and end all and that you should be guzzling the White Stuff (as it is constantly advertised to us here in the UK) morning, noon and night, it has been clearly documented that the human body is not actually built to consume dairy in the quantities we subject ourselves to. Most mammals give up milk after weaning when they are very young, humans are the only ones who carry on drinking milk and we are the only species who drink the milk from other mammals.
A great many people have difficulties digesting milk due to the lactose it contains and this can cause all manner of digestive ailments from sinus problems to hmmm, erm shall we say more basic problems…..
I tried soya milk once and hated it so never really bothered to try any other milk substitute till last year. After trying out a few different milks I decided I liked almond milk best and proceeded to add it to my shopping basket on a regular basis.
It didn’t even occur to be to wonder if I could make my own almond milk, even though I make all my own preserves etc and cook from scratch. Somehow you just don’t think about being able to make something like a milk product, surely this had to be produced in a factory of some sort with all sorts of machinery? A bit of reading and viewing later and I realised I was way behind the times and loads of people made their own nut milks very easily at home.
Homemade almond milk is actually a cinch to make, all you need are some unsalted plain raw almonds (preferably organic if you can get them), fresh clear water and honey or maple syrup if you really feel you have to sweeten it (I don’t think you have to). That’s it on the ingredients front.
What you will need
Now for the tools and kit; the only really important thing you might not have to hand would be a nut milk bag. Now don’t start thinking this is in the price range of a small Mulberry handbag, far from it. A nut milk bag is very simply a little pouch made from very fine nylon. You can make your own or use good old-fashioned cheesecloth/muslin instead (just use a couple of layers of fabric).
The other requirements are a glass or jug to soak the nuts in overnight and a jolly good blender to whazz the whole lot up before straining out any nut bits. Last year I invested in a Nutribullet to make my nut butters, smoothies etc, I have to say it is an absolute dream and whizzes up my almond milk in about 10 seconds flat.
How To Make Homemade Almond Milk
1 cup almonds (unsalted and preferably organic)
1 1/2 cups of water
Maple syrup or honey to sweeten (if required)
Place the almonds in a jug or glass big enough to hold them comfortably with room to spare and cover with cold water.
Set aside for 8 hours, I just leave mine overnight on the kitchen table.
Pour off the water through a normal sieve and toss the almonds into your Nutribullet or blender adding 2 cups (double the quantity) of fresh water.
Blitz till you have a white milk like liquid with no nut pieces.
Strain through a nut milk bag or a double layer of muslin in a sieve. Press well to extract as much of the precious liquid as possible.
Your homemade almond milk is now ready to drink. If you would prefer something sweeter you can now stir in a little honey or maple syrup to taste.
Store in the fridge in a sterilised bottle and shake well before using. It will keep for up to 4 days and just use it as you would any other milk.
So good and so tasty
Almond milk is less fattening than standard dairy and has all the benefit of the almonds themselves.
Now don’t just throw out the nut pulp that you have leftover. You can dry this out in a very low oven and use it as you would almond meal in cooking.
So there you have a little DIY to kick you off this year, something healthy and so easy to do.
How To Make Homemade Almond Milk
- 1 cup unsalted raw almonds preferably organic
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Honey or maple syrup to sweeten if required
- Place the almonds in a glass or jug and cover with cold water.
- Leave for 8 hours or overnight.
- Drain the almonds through a sieve.
- Using a blender whizz up the almonds with 1 1/2 cups of water until no nut pieces apparent.
- Strain through a nut milk bag or double layer of muslin and press to get all the liquid.
- Sweeten to taste with the honey or maple syrup