It's easy to make your own delicious "no waste" almond milk
Easy and frugal, homemade almond milk is richer, tastier, and has fewer ingredients. And, there is "no waste" because the "pressings" composed of nut meal are not tossed out but instead put to good use making a delicious nut cheese, and/or almond flour or meal for wheat-free recipes.
For years I've made my own homemade almond milk. I stopped buying it because I don't like it sweetened.
Unsweetened and without added vanilla and other "flavorings", homemade almond milk is a better substitute for dairy milk for drinking and in recipes.
And, like nearly every other store bought food item most almond milk options are pre-sweetened - seems like everything is sweetened these days! I also wanted to save money, avoid excess packaging, and be able to provide for myself something I like and can make at home.
You can use this delicious almond milk in any recipe to substitute for dairy milk. I use it to make creamy soups and sauces and to add to tea and coffee-like beverages.
To make this milk you'll need the following equipment:
1 regular mesh strainer
1 fine mesh strainer
1 clean cotton cloth
Recipe: Delicious Homemade Almond Milk (makes 3 to 3-1/2 cups)
3/4 cup raw almonds (skin on), soaked overnight
3 cups water
1 tsp lecithin granules, optional but helps prevent separation
Rinse and drain the soaked almonds. Place them into a blender (I use my Nutri-Bullet and divide the recipe into two batches) with water and lecithin. Blend on high for a minute, or so, until things look well liquefied.
Due to less capacity than a standard blender I divide the recipe in half and do two batches when using the Bullet.
Place the regular-mesh strainer over one of the bowls and pour the almond mixture through. You can use the back of a spoon to gently press on the almond solids to push/press out any remaining milk into the bowl. Set aside the strainer containing these first-phase solids as you'll be using them in another application - drying them for almond meal or making almond flour.
Now pour the milk through the second, fine-meshed strainer into the second bowl, straining out the finer solids. Again, press gently on the solids to expel any milk residue.
Use the spoon to scoop these second phase solids into a bowl and set aside for making a delicious nut cheese appetizer.
Line the fine-meshed strainer with a clean cotton cloth that has been soaked in water and well-rung out. Place the lined strainer over a bowl and pour the twice strained milk through for its final filtering.
Stir gently and lightly press any remaining milk into the catch bowl.
Gather up the corners and edges of the cloth and twist the cloth, pressing any remaining milk into the bowl.
After ringing out the cloth, you'll be left with some dregs of very fine almond solids. Scoop them up and add them to the bowl containing the second filterings/pressings. So now you have a strainer and a bowl containing almond solids!
Pour your finished almond milk into a glass container and refrigerate. It will last about a week in the fridge.
You now have delicious almond milk to drink and use in recipes and beverages!
At this point you could discard the solids...but wait! Don't waste them! Instead, why not use them...
The almond solids may be used three ways according to choice. They may all be spread onto a cookie sheet and set aside to dry for several days to make a fiber-rich almond meal or almond flour.
I usually spread the coarser first pressings onto a Silpat- or parchment/wax paper-covered, rimmed cookie sheet which I set aside for several days to dry. I most often jump start the drying process by placing the cookie sheet into an oven set to the "warm" cycle for an hour or two then put the cookie sheet on top of the fridge to finish drying.
The nut solids I've reserved in a bowl are used to make a lovely cream cheese-like appetizer.
If you are pressed for time the solids may be frozen for up to a year until you can deal with them.
I usually keep several containers of the secondary pressings in plastic containers in the freezer to have on hand for making appetizers or adding to recipes. I don't use the coarse first pressings for this use as they are too grainy.
In my next post I will share the nut cheese recipe and the methods I use to make almond meal and flour for baking.