How to Make Almond Milk
Hello! Do you know how sometimes you get behind on returning a phone call or writing a thank you note, and days turn into weeks. Suddenly it is months later and you start to feel that making the call would be more embarrassing than not? Yes? Well please forgive my extended absence from this space. It wasn’t planned. The longer it went on the more I floundered for words to share and felt embarrassed by the passing of time. I have thought of you daily and am still cooking like crazy but the words have been absent. Life with a toddler is busier and more wonderful than I imagined. We have had some good things happen in the last few months and some not so good things. Luckily the good have outweighed the bad and this summer is a vast improvement over the last. One of the good things is learning how to make my own almond milk.
Stepping into the world of nut milks has made giving up regular milk a lot easier than I expected. The versatility of flavors and simplicity of ingredients makes something as basic as milk exciting again. Store bought almond milk has a long list of not-so-natural sounding ingredients; emulsifiers, thickeners, sweeteners, gums, and who knows what else! It is far tastier (and cheaper!) to make your own. All you need are raw nuts, a few dates, a pinch of vanilla, and water. The nuts soak in the fridge for several hours until you are ready to make the milk. A quick hot soak for the dates plumps them up too and then it all goes into the blender.
The only special equipment required is a very fine mesh bag. You can buy specific nut milk bags or even use a paint straining bag (make sure it is new and washed!). The blended liquid drains for a while and then you get your hands in there and squeeze out the rest. The result is a pitcher of fresh nut milk with a subtle sweetness and vanilla undertones. Excellent on granola, stirred into hot chocolate, or mixed into an iced latte, almond milk has quickly become one of our kitchen staples. I keep mine in a cute pitcher that fits in the fridge door and make a new batch every 4 days or so. If you have a favorite nut or seed (sunflower seeds work too!) it is a snap to turn it into a creamy and delicious milk.
This is the summer of salads. I have been making grain and vegetable based salads almost every day. For a peek into what I have been cooking and am planning on cooking you can find me on Pinterest. I am hoping to feature a few of the greatest hits here soon!