one of our favorite things to make is almond milk. it's easy, healthy, delicious – so much pay off for minimal effort!
when a pal posted about how she makes it last year i had a serious a-ha moment. why hadn't we been doing the same forever? duh. i read her post, stood up, went to the kitchen where everything i needed was already stocked and hopped to it.
now we make it all the time and i love altering the flavor depending on how we're feeling and what we have in the cupboards.
the basics, obviously, are raw, organic almonds and water. that's really all you need. but we like to add a whole vanilla bean, dates or raw, local honey or maple syrup to sweeten it up, and a pinch of sea salt to bring out all the flavor. and maybe the tiniest dash of cinnamon if we're in the mood.
it's the easiest thing in the world to make – the hardest part is just having a smidge of foresight so you can give your almonds an ample soak!
for a small batch we soak a generous cup of raw, organic almonds in water overnight. the next morning we drain and rinse them then toss them into the blender.
(a quick note on equipment. a vitamix has been on my wish list for so long – it may have to take up permanent residence there since i have no idea when a multi-hundred-dollar blender will be in my reality. so, for now, my kitchen aid does the job – albeit not as well as a vitamix surely would!)
then i add 3-4 cups of filtered water to the blender, over the almonds. (to make a larger batch i roughly double the ingredients. this is not a precision-type recipe.)
then i throw in a whole vanilla bean and a medjool date (pit removed) – this is our current favorite.
next, turn the blender on high and let it run for a couple minutes.
the first time i made almond milk, i decided to use one of my drawstring muslin produce bags to strain it – and it worked like a charm so it's still what i use. i dump the contents of the blender into the bag which i set inside a big, stainless bowl, and let it drain until i have to squeeze the last bits of milk from the ground-up almond meal.
then i give the blender a quick rinse and pour the freshly strained milk back in. then i add a small dollop of raw, local honey and a pinch of fine-grain sea salt (and cinnamon, if using) and blend it up again quickly.
last, pour it into a pitcher and enjoy. we can never wait until it's chilled so we pour our first glass over ice. the vanilla bean isn't required for deliciousness but once i tried making it with one, it's been hard to go back. the almond milk gets better as it sits and will last a couple days in the fridge – though we've never been able to keep it in there long enough to know for sure!