Homemade Almond Milk
A study in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution shows that organic nut production supports monarch populations. This study sampled milkweed (the host plant for monarchs) from a range of locations in and around California’s central valley agricultural region. Researchers found in all sample areas chemicals that are lethal to monarchs in their caterpillar and adult stages, particularly insecticides and fungicides that are used in conventional tree nut production. Organic doesn’t allow the use of these chemicals, and therefore does not contaminate the plant host for migrating monarchs. So, when you choose organic nuts, you are also helping to conserve important biodiversity!
If you have a blender and something to strain the milk with, then you may try this recipe and never go back to store-bought nut milk again! The flavor is very different when freshly made, and can be cost effective as 1 cup of almonds turns into 3 cups of milk. You can completely omit sweetener, but almonds are naturally bitter and some sweetness helps counteract this bitterness.
- Straining material like a nut milk bag, cheesecloth folded several times, a clean nylon stocking with a knot tied at the closed end for reinforcement.
- 1 cup raw almonds
- Water for soaking
- 3 cups water for blending
- Sweetener to taste (e.g. 1 tsp. maple syrup, agave syrup, or granulated sugar)
- ¼ tsp salt
- Optional: other flavorings like vanilla extract and cinnamon to taste.
- Place the almonds in a medium-size bowl and completely submerge with water. Soak for 9 hours or overnight. This soaking process increases digestibility of the almonds. Pour off soaking water—do not save.
- Combine the soaked almonds, 3 cups water, salt and sweetener in a blender and blend on high for about a minute (or however long it takes your blender to pulverize).
- Pour the blender contents into the straining material of your choice while holding over a large bowl. If using a nut milk bag or stocking, gently squeeze or “milk” until you can’t squeeze any more liquid out. Save the almond meal for another use or discard.
- Transfer the almond milk to a storage container such as a jar to save in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Banner Photo and Almond Milk Photo Credit: Sandi Benedicta; unspash.com
Almonds on Tree Photo Credit: Marcia Cripps; unsplash.com