When we were in Spokane last year we had the opportunity to meet and work with a small local organic grocery store. We still remain in close contact and have learned a great deal about living sustainably and locally. One of the things I learned that stayed with me was the thought of "living food." So many of the foods we eat are beyond processed and that included the organic soy milk I drank on a daily basis.
When I learned I could make my very own almond milk at home you can bet I was a happy girl. Best of all it's really easy to make and doesn't take much time, if you don't count the soaking. It's cheaper than store bought and because there is no heating required the almonds keep all their nutrients and what you end up with is a smooth, nutty, lightly sweetened, "living" glass of almond milk.
I use 6 cups of water for my almond milk, I just prefer it lighter, but feel free to adjust the water to your preference. *You can replace the agave with honey or 5-6 dates as a sweetener if you like adjust sweetness to your preference. If you have an aversion to almonds you can make it with many other kinds of nuts, including cashews, pecans, and macadamias. You can also make chocolate almond milk by adding 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or add cinnamon and nutmeg for a chai milk. Yum.
Homemade Almond Milk
1 cup almonds
4-6 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-4 tablespoons agave *see above
Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
Place all the ingredients in a blender. Cover tightly, and puree for a minute or so, until it's milky. There will be some foam at the top from all the blending, but this will recede upon sitting.
To give the milk a smooth texture, place a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth over a large bowl (if using cheesecloth make sure it's tightly secured) and empty the almond milk into the strainer. Squeeze or use the back of a spoon to push through all the liquid. What you will end up with is almond pulp.
Keep the milk in a covered jar or container in the refrigerator, it should last for 5 days.
Instead of throwing the almond pulp out you can add it to cookies, pancakes and breads, eat it like a spread, a la almond butter, or if you have a dehydrator you can even make almond flour.