It was about 3 years ago that I decided to switch from using regular cow’s milk to almond milk. The switch was partly out of curiosity, partly a step towards consuming less animal products and partly because I’d heard that almond milk was good for you. I don’t drink tons of milk anyway and so I hardly noticed the difference. My cup of tea was the only thing that really tasted any different and everyone knows you can’t mess with someone’s cup of tea! But Almond milk has become my new normal and I actually now prefer it to cow’s milk.
So why almonds?
Almonds contain plenty of calcium to help build and maintain healthy teeth and bones, Iron which is essential for making red blood cells, Magnesium which plays an important role in regulating blood sugar levels, muscle and nerve functions, blood pressure and helping the body to produce protein, and Vitamin B6 which helps to keep blood healthy. So all in all almonds are doing good things for your body and without the cholesterol and saturated fat that is found in cow’s milk.
Naturally when you’re drinking almond milk, you’re not getting the same nutrition as you would from eating a handful of almonds because you’re watering it down but there are still plenty of healthy benefits that make it a worthwhile choice.
After a friend pointed out to me that the almond milk I’d been using that was bought from the shops was only 2% almonds, I decided to have a go at making my own. I found various recipes and faffed about with soaking overnight and straining through muslin cloth and whilst it tasted delicious, it all seemed like a bit too much messing about and effort just for a cup of tea and some cereal once a day! So I went back to shop bought almond milk…
However, I was enlightened by another friend and now have a super quick non-messing about method for making almond milk which is so easy that I’ve been doing it for the past few weeks now and with no hassle at all. So here’s my no hassle homemade almond milk recipe:
What you need:
Boiling water (enough to cover almonds)
750ml cold water
1tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
1 or 2 dates (optional depending on whether or not you prefer sweet milk)
Place 25 almonds in a bowl and add enough boiling water from the kettle to cover them.
Leave to soak for 15 minutes (I have experimented with the time and longer means the almond are easier to work with afterwards but even 5 or 10 minutes will be long enough if you’re really pushed for time)
Once soaked, drain the almonds and peel the skins off. If you’ve soaked the almonds for long enough, the skins will easily slip right off. If you're finding it difficult, they probably need to soak a bit longer.
Place almonds in a blender with enough cold water to cover them and blend on high speed for 2 minutes.
Add vanilla extract, salt and dates (optional), and the rest of your cold water and blend for a further 1 minute.
All done! Just pour your milk into an airtight container and store in the fridge. You can use it straight away and it will last for 3 or 4 days.