- Food and Cooking
Homemade Almond Milk and Recipes
What is almond milk?
Almond milk is milk made out of almonds and water. It is nutty in flavor and creamy in texture. Its color is usually an off-white and it is most suitable for vegans, vegetarians and people who are lactose intolerant. Since almonds are rich in nutrients including fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, phosphorus, copper, and calcium - its milk is highly beneficial too!
Since it is rich with many elements it and can be substituted with regular milk in almost everything. Due to its growing popularity it can now be found in various flavors on store shelves. Though all these flavored almond milks are amazing to taste, I still prefer making my own at home.
How I got to it.
My encounter with almond milk happened when the doctor recommended a 'low-iodine diet' for 2 weeks before a radiation therapy for a member in my family. This being my first time ever I was sort of clueless on what could be eaten during this diet. It came as a shock to me that milk was one of the MANY things that could not be consumed. Milk? Really? I couldn't think of how to function for 2-3 weeks without it! But what had to be done, had to be done! So with no egg yolks, milk, bread, grains, meats - and possibly everything you can think of - I began my research and found possible substitutes; the best find being Almond milk!
We are very particular about having milk (in any form) on a daily basis. So my next possible option was homemade almond milk. I never realized that this treatment was leading me to discover how amazing almond milk really is.
Benefits of Almond Milk
Lesser calories: 1 cup of almond milk contains 60 calories compared to 150 calories in whole milk and 130 calories in 2% reduced fat milk. Even when compared to skimmed milk, it has lesser calories and tastes much better and creamier. Almond milk makes a great alternative and helps you lose/maintain weight.
Good for bones: Almond milk offers 30% of the recommended daily amount of calcium. This is definitely lower than cow's milk but there are so many other components that it offers. It contains Vitamin D which helps strengthen the immunity system. Together these benefit the teeth and bone structure.
- Glowing skin: Made from almonds, this milk is the best for skin. It contains Vitamin E which is essential for skin health. It contains antioxidants which gives younger looking skin.
- Reduces risk for diabetes: Pure almond milk is low in carbs and has a low glycemic index, which means it won’t significantly increase your blood sugar levels, it will reduce the risk for diabetes and your body will use the carbs as energy so the sugars aren’t stored as fat.
- It keeps your heart healthy: There is no cholesterol in almond milk. It is also low in sodium and high in healthy fats like omega fatty acids, which help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Vitamins: Almond milk contains elements like Vitamin B, D, E and Iron, all necessary for healthy growth.
- Lactose free: This milk is best for vegans and also for people who are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is having difficulty digesting the sugar in cow’s milk. This makes almond milk the best substitute.
- Does not require refrigeration: Almond milk stays fine at room temperature which makes it a convenient to store and carry.
- Easy to make: Almond milk is incredibly easy to make. You primarily just need 2 ingredients - almonds and water, and you get fresh almond milk everytime.
How to make almond milk
- 2 cups Almonds
- 2-4 cups Water, (according to desired consistency)
- 1/4 tsp Sugar, (optional)
- Soak 2 cups of almonds overnight in water.
- Peel off the skin of the almonds. This may take some time and effort but it is worth it! Also, this step is optional but I prefer my milk without the skin because it tastes much better and the texture comes out creamier.
- Take a blender and pour in 2 and 1/2 cups of water into it. Add in the almonds and blend on high.
- Keep blending till you see the almonds have blended well and starts to look like milk.
- Add in 1 more cup of water if you want a thinner consistency. Blend.
- Take a big container or jug and line it with cheesecloth and a strainer with a very fine sieve. I usually strain using both.
- Pour through the strainer to separate the almond chunks from the milk.
- Repeat this step to strain out the finer pieces that went through the first time.
- What you have left in the container is fresh and healthy almond milk.
- Add in a pinch of sugar for taste (optional)
Almond milk vs. Cow's milk
Milk (1 cup)
Orange Strawberry Almond Milkshake
One of the recipes I tried with this milk during the low iodine diet was 'Orange Strawberry Almond milkshake'.
It is easily one of the lightest and yummiest milkshakes I have ever had. I still make it every now and then and my family enjoys it a lot.
Preparation time: 5 mins
Yield: 1 glass
1/3 cup Fresh orange juice
2-3 Fresh strawberries
1/2 cup Almond Milk
- In a blender put in the chopped strawberries, orange juice, almond milk, ice cubes and sugar.
- Blend well on high speed till the ice cubes are crushed well.
- Serve cold.
This drink is perfect for breakfast or even in the evenings since it is healthy and filling.
Mocha-chino Iced Coffee
I like to play trial and error with my almond milk. And believe me, I haven't had an error yet. I truly love my everyday coffee, so I tried one with almond milk.
'Mocha-chino Iced Coffee' - It is heavenly! Give it a try:
Preparation Time: 5 mins
Yield: 2 glasses
1 cup cold brewed coffee
1 cup almond milk
2 tbs cocoa powder
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- Blend everything except ice in the blender for 1-2 minutes until thick and frothy.
- Fill 2 glasses with ice cubes and pour the coffee.
- Serve immediately.
Rate the recipe!
Harmful for some
Although almond milk is packed with nutrients and is very beneficial, it can be unsuitable in some conditions. It can be harmful for children under 2 years of age since it is low in protein. Children in this age bracket should only stick to breast milk or cow's milk. Also, people with thyroid problems should avoid almond milk.