I decided to stop buying any shop bought milk around a year ago.
I had been trying to find one without any nasty additives, added sugar or BPAs in the packaging for a long time but the almond milks that were just almonds and water were double the price of the others. In the end I accepted that I should just get used to drinking my tea black and so I stopped using any milk altogether and started buying different tea.
Whilst it will always be difficult to produce a milk at home which is the consistency of cow’s milk, I find that homemade almond milk, made with a high enough almond to water ratio, can produce a pretty good alternative and at a fraction of the price of shop bought. Not only that but it reduces unnecessary waste from packaging and it gives you the satisfaction of having made it yourself. You can use it in tea (though it can have a tendency to separate), you can use it in chia puddings, smoothies, hot chocolate, splash it in soups…anything you want to try really!
It’s really simple to make almond milk yourself and it doesn’t take long to do.
Here’s what you will need:
- 1 cup whole almonds
- 750ml filtered water (I filter to reduce the amount of chemicals in tap water)
- A blender (I used a smoothie maker and blend in two batches)
- Sterilised bottles or jars (I sterilise with boiling water)
- A funnel
- A piece of cheesecloth/ muslin
- A sieve (optional)
To make almond milk:
1. Soak 1 cup of almonds overnight in filtered water (I replace the water once to freshen it up).
2. Boil 750ml filtered water and allow to cool to a temperature that won’t damage your blender.
3. Blend the almonds and water for around 1 minute.
4. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth placed on a sieve. Use can use the funnel to strain it directly into a sterilised bottle or jar. You will need to use the cheesecloth to remove the small particles, a sieve won’t do the same job.
5. Spread the ground almonds thinly on a baking tray and dry at a low temperature (100°c) in the oven for 1 hour or until dry to touch.
Use the almond milk within 4-5 days as it goes off quickly.
So as not to be wasteful, the ground almonds left over after straining can be dried in the oven and used as activated ground almonds. I put them in my energy balls as they won’t be great for baking without much moisture in them. Activated nuts are soaked to remove toxic anti-nutrients which are the nut’s defence against our digestive system destroying them and stopping them growing into a new plant. They are then dried slowly at a low temperature so that they are still raw. It is a long winded job but those of us with particularly sensitive digestives systems can find this a helpful trick especially if nuts are a staple snack.