I must warn you, once you start to make your own plant-based milk it really is hard to go back to the carton stuff. It’s so much more vibrant and alive, you can feel the difference.
Homemade nut milk contains very simple ingredients and the process is remarkably fast, taking only a few minutes to make (as long as you remember to soak your nuts in advance). Homemade nut milk also uses a lot fewer resources and much less packaging than the commercially produced ones too. Big bonus.
Today I’ll be showing you an easy way to make plant-based milk with almonds, dates and (optional) vanilla.
At the time of writing, I am staying in the Canary Islands, up in the mountains at about 850 metres above sea level. The other day I was walking in my local neighbourhood. The trees in my locality mainly comprise of pine trees, almond trees. Rather pretty, I must say!
The almonds are just coming into blossom (late winter here), growing all over the place at this elevation. I’ve been spotting a few unharvested ones from last years crop. Very tempting.
Ever the opportunist, I decided to forage some. And so I had my first wild almond experience…
I cracked them open with a rock. Oh my goodness, talk about vibrant! They had an incredible ‘almond’ taste (the taste that is interestingly usually lacking from commercially produced varieties).
As well as eating them right out of the shell, it’s beneficial to soak almonds and rinse them before using. When it comes to nut milk, this serves a couple of great purposes. It makes them softer and easier to blend for a start. Another reason that it is good to soak them, is that it releases the enzyme inhibitors and washes away the tannins (which in simple terms means makes the nutrients in the almonds more bio-available and easier to absorb into the body).
So when making almond milk, to start with we are going to soak them overnight in water (or at the very least for a good few hours). I soak my almonds along with the dates.
Then in the morning I pop them all into a strainer and give them a good rinse through.
The next step is to pop them into a jug blender. I am using an inexpensive jug blender, so pretty much any one will do for this.
You will need to fill the blender with water and then blend for 90 seconds. This gives enough time to breakdown the nuts and dates, turning them into a white milky drink. You can also add vanilla (a good quality vanilla extract is fine) at this stage.
Once you’ve blended the ingredients, you will need to strain them through a nut milk bag. Nut milk bags are easy to find online. My favourite one (which I got in the UK) is here: Lovetree Nut Milk Bag
Find a large bowl and then open up the nut milk bag over the bowl before carefully pouring the milk though.
Once you’ve poured the contents through then you’ll need to squeeze the bag to get out as much of the liquid as possible. This is really good fun.
Some people use the pulp for other recipes. I do this occasionally although I tend to return the pulp to Mother Earth for composting, a thank you gift for sharing with me her beautiful bounty.
Then I pour the milk back into the blender, which makes it easier to pour into a glass bottle (rather than attempting to pour from the bowl into the bottle haha, which would very likely cause a bit of a splash – ‘been there – done that’!).
It tastes best if refrigerated first if you can wait. It works nicely on cereal, added to porridge, smoothies. I particularly enjoy it all by itself.
It also works very nicely in milky drinks like my milky turmeric drink or my milky matcha. It’s important not to over-boil the almond milk though (which would cause separation). It works perfectly if you simply heat to that perfect hot temperate and then use immediately.
The almond milk will keep for a few days chilled in the fridge.
Please do check out my video VLOG from La Palma here for more information and a quick visual guide on how to make this. I shot this whilst on a daily walking adventure when I foraged the almonds and then show a super quick demo making almond milk back in my cabin…
- 100g almonds (1 cup)
- 5 pitted dates
- 800ml water (3 1/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Soak the almonds and dates overnight (or for at least a few hours).
- Next day, rinse and drain thoroughly.
- Put dates and almonds into a jug blender.
- Add the vanilla along with the water.
- Blend on high for about 90 seconds to give the nuts and dates time to breakdown nicely.
- Pour though a nut milk bag into a large bowl.
- Squeeze nut milk bag until you get as much liquid out as possible.
- Pour the milk back into the blender. This makes it then easier to pour into a clean glass bottle for storage.
- Refrigerate before serving for best taste.
- This keeps for a few days in the fridge.
- Enjoy and please do check out my video above.
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