YUMMY IS THE WORD!!!! You haven’t really had almond milk – until – you’ve made it yourself! It’s creamy, smooth and amazingly delicious! Store-bought almond milk is good in a pinch, but if you want the Bentley of almond milks – you’ve just got to make it yourself – there is no comparison.
To begin with, you start out with truly “raw” almonds. As some of you may have heard, the FDA, USDA and California Almond Board deemed it necessary to pasteurize or irradiate all commercially sold almonds on the account of a few alleged cases of salmonella. Now all commercially sold almonds are either heated to extreme temperatures which kills the almonds dead or exposed to radiation to supposedly eradicate contaminants which also kills the almonds dead.
The good news? There’s a grower here in California who sells raw unpasteurized, non-irradiated organic almonds direct to the public. They are D&S Ranches, their link is: http://www.almonds-from-california.com/. The almond harvest begins in September and is available through the year depending how supplies last. I’ve had no problem so far obtaining them throughout the year.
Each pound of almonds makes about three quarts of almond milk. I make one quart at a time since it will sour after 4-5 days. I use organic coconut palm syrup to lightly sweeten along with a splash of vanilla and a couple dashes of Celtic sea salt (exact recipe follows). You will need a high-speed blender such as the KTEC HP3 Total Blender, VitaMix, VitaPrep, etc. (these blenders range about $300-$400 new, keep eye on craigslist/garage sales for deals). You will also need a nut milk bag (optimal method to extract pulp from milk, nut milk bags are available online), or several layers of cheesecloth (rather messy, available at grocery store).
I know the price tag on the blenders is steep for many. It’s a lot less than a stove, takes up less room, easy to clean, and will probably be the last blender you’ll ever buy. You’ll be amazed how many good raw foods can be made into delicious nutritious meals and beverages that actually support your body’s daily biochemical needs for a vibrant mind & body.
Homemade Raw Organic Almond Milk
1 cup Raw Organic Almonds (soaked a minimum of 4 hours in pure filtered water)
1/4 cup Raw Coconut Palm Nectar (I use just a little less than a 1/4 cup)
Splash of vanilla
2 dashes Celtic or Himalayan Sea Salt
4 cups filtered Water
1. Cover 1 cup almonds in 2 cups filtered water and soak for a minimum of 4 hours – I usually soak overnight. After soaking, drain almonds and rinse well in filtered water.
2. Place almonds and 4 cups of filtered water into a high speed blender for 2 minutes on high (use timer – do not under or over blend). When done, the almond milk will be slightly warm due to friction, but not so warm as to kill enzymes.
3. Get a large glass pitcher (or large bowl) and place nut milk bag inside. Pour about half of the almond milk into the bag within the pitcher or bowl. Cinch bag with the tie at the top, then slowly squeeze the almond milk into the pitcher. Once all the milk has been squeezed through, empty the bag of almond pulp into a small bowl and set aside. Place the bag back into the pitcher, pour the remaining almond milk into the nut milk bag and squeeze through as before, then again empty almond pulp into small bowl.
4. Pour the pitcher of almond milk back into the empty blender, add the coconut palm nectar, vanilla, and sea salt and lightly blend on low setting for just a few moments to mix.
5. Pour almond milk back into glass pitcher, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. To sample immediately, add almond milk to glass of ice – it’s so good – and good for you. I like to drink it, put it in my smoothies, pour it over some flax cereal, etc..
Makes 1 quart.
Helpful tip: Organic Coconut Palm Nectar is an all natural low-glycemic sweetener. It’s available online and possibly at a health food store near you.
Now, what do we do with the almond pulp? That’s where a dehydrator comes in handy. I have the Excalibur 9-tray which is a restaurant quality product (costs around $225). A dehydrator is best used in a well-ventilated room where constant fan noise and humidity is not an issue. To dry the almond pulp into flour, simply break the pulp down into small crumbles with your fingers. Spread the crumbles over a Teflex sheet on a dehydrator screen. Place in dehydrator and set temperature to 105 degrees and dehydrate till dry (maybe 5 hours or so). Once dry, you may leave the flour in a course crumble or place in a high speed blender and pulverize into a fine flour. It is best stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and used soon.
Remember, the more raw organic foods you eat – the more “alive” your body will be. Raw foods contain bioluminescence which is life-promoting photonic energy and they transfer that life energy to you when you eat them. Cooked foods do not contain bioluminescence as evidenced in Kirlian photographs of raw and cooked vegetables. Choose more raw foods for your healthy lifestyle.