If you have a dairy allergy like me or you’re avoiding dairy for a health reason, we often go for alternative milks like almond, cashew or coconut milk. Store bought milks are often found with gums, fillers and emulsifiers to keep the milk from separating. Some brands even have carrageenan which is a gut irritant that may cause bloating and irritable bowel syndrome. Homemade versions are fairly easy to make and require a high-speed blender or food processor.
You can use raw almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts or even hazelnuts. I’ve even made a seed milk from raw pumpkin seeds before. The key is to soak them for a few hours up to overnight. Cashews and seeds require less soaking time as they are softer. Soaking the nuts makes them softer and easier to blend, but also easier to digest. Another tool that makes the job easier is a nut milk bag that can be found in local health food stores or online.
Homemade Almond Milk
Makes: 2 cups
1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
2 pitted Medjool dates
3 cups purified, filtered water
Pinch of sea salt
Pre-soak almonds and dates overnight at room temperature. Soak for at least 12 hours and up to 24.
Before blending, drain and rinse the nuts well. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and process on high until fully dissolved (typically 30-45 seconds).
Place a nut milk bag over a large glass bowl. Gently pour the almond milk from the blender into the bag, then squeeze the pulp and milk through the bag until you have extracted as much liquid as possible.
Pour finished almond milk into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Note: You can save the pulp to add to smoothies or to make almond flour, place the pulp on a cookie sheet, in the oven at 200 degrees F for an hour.