Homemade almond milk is a delicious plant-based alternative for vegans, anyone allergic to soy and dairy, and the lactose-intolerant.
Cow’s milk is a staple in my family’s diets. It is an ingredient that is constantly used and bought at my home. That one time when I run out of cow’s milk for my morning granola, I had this idea about making my own milk. I had seen a lot of people on Instagram crazy about making milk from nuts like almonds and cashews as they were great as non-dairy alternatives for cow’s milk. So, I decided to make almond milk as my pantry’s situation only permitted me to make this type of milk.
I was happy to have discovered this homemade almond milk. The ingredients are absolutely simple, you only need raw whole almonds and water. Everything you need to do is to soak them overnight, blend, and strain the pulp. Easy right?
About Almond Milk
Almond milk is not anything new. It is a great alternative for vegans, anyone allergic to soy and dairy, and the lactose-intolerant. Homemade almond milk has a creamy texture with a nutty and slightly sweet flavor. You can find it in supermarkets, but I found out it can be pretty costly. Therefore, I choose to make my own milk for health reasons as commercial milk contains added sugar, stabilizers, preservatives, and other not natural ingredients. Besides, I like to control my own almond milk by adjusting its sweetness and creaminess to my preference.
I find that almond milk actually contains fewer calories compared to cow’s milk. It is naturally low in saturated fat and has no cholesterol and a great option for those who have a high blood sugar level. The downside is while almonds are nutrient-rich, almond milk is not as beneficial as it does not have as much protein and calcium as cow’s milk. It is also rich in several healthy nutrients, but almond milk is watered down and missing most of the fiber and much less concentrated source of nutrients than whole almonds. If you are looking after low calories milk, almond milk is your match. Meanwhile, if you are after milk that’s nutritionally rich, cow’s milk is the better option.
Tips on Making Homemade Almond Milk
1. Use raw unseasoned almonds
The taste of almond milk reflects in the taste of the main ingredients: almonds. You need to start with raw unseasoned almonds. Roasted almonds will make less creamy milk and have bitter undertones.
2. Almonds’ alternatives
You can alternatively use any nuts if you want to try out other nut milk, like peanuts, pecans, or even pistachios. The only that changes are the soaking time.
3. Soak almonds overnight
Soaking the almonds for at least 12 hours before blending will saturate the nut from the inside-out, resulting in a smoother and creamier texture. Moreover, fully saturated nuts blend better and leave less pulp behind.
4. Adjust the ratio
I like the ratio of 1 cup of almonds to 2-3 cups of water. If you want your milk a little thicker and creamier, simply use less water. Meanwhile, if you like thinner milk, just use more water.
How to store almond milk
You will realize that after some time, your almond begins to separate. It does not mean it has gone bad. The main reason for this is that the milk does not contain stabilizers and emulsifiers to help it maintain a uniform consistency. Just shake the milk before pouring. Homemade almond milk only lasts a few days in the fridge, so just make what you think you will drink in this time period. You can heat the milk to pasteurize and extend the shelf-life. However, I recommend making it in smaller, more frequent batches every time you need it.
Utilizing almond pulp
Making almond milk at home leaves you with the leftover strained pulp. You can use the almond pulp for all kinds of things like oatmeal, granola, smoothies, cookie, muffin, pancakes, and crackers. You can also dehydrate until it becomes an almond meal by spreading it out on a baking sheet and baking it at a low temperature.