One resolution I made when I started the raw journey was to invest time in homemade foods rather than buying them ready-made; that includes making my own raw nut milks and the first I tried was the almond. Since I now add dates to smoothies for sweetness I decided to make a simple almond milk, free of sweeteners and flavourings. When I tasted the homemade version I realised just how much of those two are added to the store-bought milk. Not only is the homemade one healthier, it also takes a lot less time to prepare it than to make a trip to the supermarket.
In a previous post on Raw Brownies I mentioned one of my favourite raw food chefs Chaya Ryvka. In her video on Everyday Dish she demonstrates how to make raw almond milk and talks about its health benefits. The recipe is very simple: 1 part soaked almonds (organic, raw) to 3 parts water (spring or purified).
For my first attempt I used 100 g almonds (soaked, that's about 3/4 cup) - so 3/4 cup soaked almonds and 2 1/4 cups water (I used bottled spring water). Here's how to make it:
- Put the almonds in a glass bowl, give them a good rinse, drain and add 1 1/2 - 2 cups water. Let them soak overnight or at least 6-8 hours. Drain the bitter, dark-coloured water, rinse and drain again. Soaking the almonds starts the germination process, makes them tastier and easier to digest and neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid present in the skin. To make full use of the antioxidant and cholesterol-lowering power of almonds, leave the skin on while blending. On this occasion I wanted a nice white colour for my almond milk, so I peeled the almonds one by one:) I then gave them one final rinse and put them in the blender.
If you have a high-power blender like the Vitamix, just follow Chaya's instructions. For lack of such a blender I made this in 2 steps:
- I put the almonds along with 3/4 cup water (1 part) in a low-power mini food processor and blended for 15-20 seconds until the almonds were broken into small pieces.
- Then I transferred everything to a tall jug, added the remaining 2 parts water and used a high-power immersion blender to make the milk, another 30 seconds - 1 minute (the temperature of the milk will increase a bit, so make sure it doesn't get too warm, as that will destroy the enzymes).
100 g almonds yield about 500 ml milk and 3/4 cup pulp. Pour the milk in a glass jar, close it tightly and refrigerate. It keeps for up to 4 days. The longer the soaking time, the less it keeps. Shake before use. The pulp can be kept in a bowl, covered with cling film and refrigerated for later use. Check out these Chocolate Balls that I made with almond pulp, they are very easy to prepare and absolutely delicious.
Almond milk has a smooth, creamy, silky texture and a neutral flavour. It is great on its own or in smoothies. It provides high quality protein, heart-healthy fats, zero cholesterol and more nutrient density for less calories than most nut milks (more details on the chocolate balls link above).
Enjoy and spread the magic!:)
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