Homemade Almond Milk
Recently I’ve started to try almond milk in my everyday cooking rather than normal milk, but after coming across a simple recipe for homemade almond milk I thought I should try one myself. Not only is it easy to change the amount of almond milk you yield from the recipe but I can be sure of the exact ingredients that are going into it. This recipe yields just over a pint, but this will vary depending on how much water you add and how well you strain the blended almonds. I altered it to just make a small serving, perfect for using at breakfast time.
Nuts are championed for their health benefits and are sources of nutrients such as Vitamin E, healthy unsaturated fats, B vitamins and fibre. This makes them good for skin health, neurological function and improving the digestive system. Many studies claim that eating a handful of nuts everyday (about 10g) can considerably reduce the risk of mortality from diseases such coronary heart disease, dementia, diabetes and even some cancers. In 2015 an investigation by Ros. et al. found that eating a handful of nuts each day could reduce diabetes incidence by 50% and cardiovascular disease by 30%. Which is amazing! Considering some of these are the leading causes of death in the western world, it’s a wonder this isn’t being shouted from the rooftops. Or is it..?
In his recent campaigns regarding introducing super foods into every day eating, Jamie Oliver has promoted nuts as a brilliant way to protect our bodies from cardiovascular diseases and related health issues. He also suggests ways to easily include them into your diet such as, nut butters, milks, using them in pestos or in baking as nut meal/flour. Homemade nut butters are much, much healthier than shop bought ones. Some studies have found that the health benefits of whole unsalted peanuts are not replicated by store bought peanut butters as the added salt and saturated fats effectively “cancel out” any health benefits.
This quick and easy recipe means you can make almond milk at home with only 3 ingredients! The creamy, nutty flavour is a great addition to both my morning porridge and cuppa and having recently got a new food processor to play with, I do prefer almond milk in smoothies! The sweetness comes from the Medjool dates so no sugar is added, making it perfect for reducing your sugar intake or watching your waistline. Also it is a tasty lactose-free alternative to cow’s milk so can be used in vegan and dairy free cooking.
This recipe calls for soaking the almonds in water overnight to make them plump and juicy, you can definitely tell the difference! This makes it easier for the processor to blend but also makes it nice and simple for our bodies to digest.
To make almond milk you will need:
- 130g almonds
- 650ml water
- 2-4 Medjool dates, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1. Soak the almonds in a bowl of water for 8-12 hours, preferably overnight so they become plump and juicy.
2. Drain the almonds and put them into a food processor along with the water and pitted dates. Whizz it all up for about 1 minute.
3. To separate the almond milk from the pulp you ideally need to strain it through a cheese cloth or a nut milk bag, but if like me you don’t have one you can pass it through a fine sieve a few times and gently squeeze it to catch the solids.
4. Rinse the blender and pour the almond milk in along with the cinnamon and blend on low to combine it all.
And there you have it, homemade almond milk! Store in a glass jar in the fridge and this should keep for 3-4 days. Don’t be alarmed if the milk separates whilst resting, just shake well before using.