- Food and Cooking
How to Make Almond Milk - A Healthy Dairy Alternative
Got Almond Milk?
Almond milk is a tasty, low calorie alternative to dairy or soy milk that is delicious in cereals, oatmeal, smoothies or just by itself. Almonds are also packed with heart helping nutrition, antioxidants and more, and these benefits remain intact during the almond’s transformation to a pleasantly sweet and smooth liquid.
Almonds are packed with good nutrition. A quarter cup (about 34 grams,) contains about 200 calories, 8 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrates and about 18 grams of fat; but don’t worry, most of it is monounsaturated-the good kind.
The almond skin is packed with at least 20 powerful antioxidant flavanoids, which help reverse the damaging side effects of our metabolism. It is also high in vitamin E, B2, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.
Best of all, almond milk contains no casein or cholesterol, and is the perfect solution for people who have a problem digesting cow’s milk.
Now that we know almonds are good for us, how on earth do they make milk with them? In a commercial operation the process may vary, but it is common practice to use water and an almond ‘base,’ in addition to, or as a substitute for raw almonds. Some commercial products are artificially sweetened and are fortified with vitamins D and E.
Factory made almond milks may contain thickening agents as well. The fortification and thickening processes are intended to make this product more acceptable as a direct substitute for milk. It if pours over your cereal just like dairy milk, you might be more willing to keep buying it, right?
Homemade almond milks are nutritious and easy to make. No nutrients are substituted or lost, natural flavors can be added with ease and all you need to get started is a good blender.
Try the following recipe and multiply it for larger quantities:
1/3 cup almonds (organic preferred)
2 cups water.
To make this recipe, simply soak the almonds for several hours (or overnight) strain and blend with fresh water until smooth. Add any flavoring (agave nectar and vanilla extract are two popular choices) straight to the blender.
As a quick alternative, blanch the almonds in a cup or two of boiling water for about 3 minutes. Then strain and blend with water as before.
Although it is not as popular as dairy or soy milk yet, almond milk has been around for centuries and was preferred to dairy milk because it kept better. Considering how easy it is to make, why not try your own homemade creation today? Once you have had a taste, you may never need to milk a cow again!