Friday, March 12, 2010

Homemade almond milk

Allow me to be crass for just a moment, please. I try to keep this blog family-friendly, but today, I just have to tell you that sometimes, a girl needs nuts. Yes, that’s right; there are just those times where nothing sounds more delicious than a shot of fresh, creamy nut milk. You could pay for someone else’s nut milk, but why would you do that when you can make your own at home? Sure, it takes a little manual labor, but it’s so worth it. All you need is a blender, a nut milk sack, er, bag, and some almonds, agave, and vanilla. Not only is it cheaper, but you get to experience the joy of squeezing the nut milk straight from the nut milk sack, freeing the sweet, velvety liquid from the rich nut meat left behind. When you’re done, you can remove the nut meat from the sack and save it for later uses as you enjoy your entire batch of fresh-squeezed nut milk in everything from cereal to baked goods. You can also whisk just a dab of nut milk into the nut meat and voilĂ ! You’ve just made nut cream, a wonderful topping to drizzle on scones, pound cake, or fresh fruit. Ladies, there are so many ways to enjoy nuts and their tasty contents. As with this metaphor, you are only limited by your imagination!

1 cup raw almonds
3 Tbsp agave nectar (or to taste)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Soak the almonds in plenty of (filtered) water for 8 hours or overnight.

The next day, they’ll be swimming in a murky stew of enzyme inhibitors. Drain the almonds and rinse them well.

Place the almonds in a high-speed blender with 4 cups of cold (filtered) water. My Vitamix rocks! As you can see, some of the nut skin came off my almonds when I rinsed them, but it makes no difference.

Cover and blend into a frosty nut-blizzard! It’ll take a good minute or two to get smooth.

Pour the nut milk into a large bowl through a nut milk bag. I got mine here—it was cheap and shipping was free! If you don’t have a nut milk bag, you can use a fine sieve, just be prepared for it to take quite awhile to strain.

Squeeze and wring that nut milk bag – be gentle, but not too gentle – until all the milk is extracted, and you’re left with nothing but nut meat inside. (Alternatively, use a large spoon to help force the the nut milk through a fine sieve.) Transfer the nut meat to a small container to use in other treats—you can dry it out in the oven to turn it into almond meal/flour, or you can just add it to cookie dough or cake batter as-is. You can also stir it into oatmeal, blend it into smoothies, or (my favorite) top with a splash of honey or agave and eat with a spoon. Mmm, who doesn't love a nice big hunk of nut meat?!

Pour the nut milk from the bowl back into the (rinsed) blender. Add the agave and vanilla, and cover and blend for several seconds, until incorporated. Transfer the fresh ‘n frothy nut milk to a container and refrigerate for up to one week.

I love using it in recipes, eating it with cereal, and simply guzzling a tall, cold glass of it at my kitchen counter. Every mouthful is such a creamy treat, you wouldn't dream of not swallowing it all down! Make sure to share your nut milk with friends, too. If they like it, offer to let them try your nut meat as well, or to show them the perfect technique for massaging the nut milk from the sack. If the men in your life are squeamish about drinking nut milk, just tell them that real men eat nuts. This is simply too good to keep to yourself, people. Nut milk: all-natural, nutritious, and delicious.

Ok ok, I’m done! But truly...that joke will never get old.

Yield: about 1 quart. Per 1-cup serving: I’m not sure! There is no good way to calculate how many calories and fat/protein grams are left behind in the nut meat. If commercial almond milk is any indication, though, you can estimate that 1 cup will have roughly 40-50 calories and 3-4 grams of fat.

Use your nut milk or nut meat in…
Overnight steel-cut oatmeal
Rotini with walnut sauce
Cherry almond muffins

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  1. lol. this was hilarious! i don't have a nut milk bag but now i really want to get one and make this! i guess i always wondered if it really WAS cheaper. thanks for the easy-to-follow demo!

  2. Talk about food porn...! I'm amazed that one measly cup of nuts yields that much nut milk....but I suppose having never been milked before, the nuts would be quite packed (ahem).

    I will definitely have to try this out! Not being vegan myself, I was wondering if honey can be used instead of the agave?

  3. Who would have thought you could make that much milk out of nuts & water (more or less)...?

  4. Hillary—I'm sure honey would work just as well; in fact, the honey-almond flavor combo could be really excellent.

  5. Yum! Thanks for the tips! I've made almond milk before and didn't have a nut bag...I can see why you need one! I'll have to go get one.

    Oh..and thanks for the comment on my blog. The breakfast quinoa does well for leftovers, but maybe for only a day or 2 because of the milk.

  6. Nice! Haha, I would like to try some! Do you still have some left?

  7. Rachel—Not at the moment, but I'll try and milk another batch of nuts by this weekend so you can try some ;]

  8. Hahahaha! Love it. Though it got a bit less appealing at "murky stew of enxyme inhibitors"...

  9. Almond milk is wonderful, but have you tried making pecan milk? Talk about decadent! I like to toast the nuts first to get more flavor from them, too; It makes the milk so rich and almost buttery... Yum!

  10. Aussie-abroad-Hannah—Hehe, no one likes enzyme inhibitors polluting their sweet nut milk.

    Bittersweet-blog-Hannah—I think you may be telepathic; I actually have a pecan milk post coming up in the next few weeks! "Buttery" is quite right, which must be why it's so divine with maple syrup and cinnamon...hint hint!

  11. Pecan milk! Now there is an idea.

    I am about to write a series of recipes using my soy quick machine.

    Amber - I honestly had never sniggered at nut milk before. Now I have snorted coffee down my nose. Thankfully it was only coffee - imagine snorting nut milk!

  12. Helen—I thought I'd all but exhaused the hilarity of nut milk, but snorting? HAHA!