Those who know me probably consider me to be a fit and healthy person. I go to the gym regularly, run, and I like to eat healthily. But today I have a confession.
Behind closed doors, in the dark of the night, I become a crazy, insatiable sugar addict. I do not class a treat to be one piece of dark chocolate – I like to do things properly. My “Dr Jekyll” is a kitchen banshee, tearing open the fridge door with wanton abandon, hurling aside drawers full of fruit and veg, to devour it’s prize of a king-size pack of peanut butter cups and a handful of chocolate chip cookies.
My Mr Hyde, together with a big case of sugar-guilt, returns the very next morning. So back to the healthy diet of limited carbs, 5-a-day, and lean meat and fish. However, the one healthy habit that I really enjoy is drinking almond milk. Cow’s milk has never really agreed with me and I love the creamy taste and texture of almond milk, plus it’s packed full of the vitamins and health benefits of the nuts, right? Imagine my horror when I opened up my laptop this week only to be faced with this headline…
Leading Almond Milk Brands Contain Only 2% Almonds
…and the news only got worse. The remaining 98% of the milk is mostly made up of water and SUGAR!!!!
Once I had overcome the initial shock, which was softened greatly by a large serving of vanilla ice-cream (ice-cream is clinically proven to help in such situations!) I immediately researched how to make REAL almond milk at home.
I can honestly say that I had NEVER tasted Almond Milk quite like it before. The difference in taste between home-made almond milk and the stuff you buy in the supermarket is shocking. Fresh almond milk is extremely tasty and has a delightfully creamy texture that is perfect for use in smoothies, milkshakes or frothy cappuccino, and best of all, it is extremely easy to make. I will never buy Almond Milk again!
All you need to do is place your Almonds in water and leave them to soak overnight, or for up to two days (Tip: the longer you leave them to soak the creamier the milk).
Drain the water from the almonds and rinse them thoroughly under the tap. Add the almonds to your blender with two cups of water and blend at high speed for two minutes. You can also add a couple of medjool dates if you prefer a sweeter milk.
Now you will need a nut bag, cheese cloth, or a piece of muslin to strain the milk. The easiest way to do this is to line a mixing bowl with the bag/cloth, tip the mixture from the blender into the bowl, then pick up the bag and press and squeeze the milk directly into the bowl. Be careful if using a nut bag, if you apply too much pressure it can cause the seams to split (I found out the hard way!).
Once strained, you can store your almond milk in the fridge for up to two days.
It is easy to experiment with this recipe too. I like to add a couple of medjool dates to add sweetness, but you could also add cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla, or even almond essence.
Rather than waste the left-over almond meal, try adding it to porridge, overnight oats, smoothies, or muffins. Or if you enjoy baking, spread it over a non-stick baking mat and dry it in an oven at 200°F for 2 hours to make almond flour.
Home-Made Almond Milk
1 Cup Raw Almonds
2 Cups Water + water for soaking
Optional: Medjool dates, cocao powder, maple syrup, vanilla, or almond essence to taste.
Place almonds in a bowl and leave to soak overnight, or for up to two days.
Drain and rinse the almonds thoroughly.
Place the almonds and water in a blender and blend on the highest speed for two minutes.
Using a nut bag, cheesecloth, or a large piece of muslin, strain the blended almonds over a bowl.
Store the milk in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two days.
(Recipe adapted from the kitchn)