12 February 2016

Simple Things: Homemade Almond Milk

I stopped drinking cow's milk some time ago now, long before any thoughts of a vegan diet were seriously floating around in my head. My body just started telling me, very clearly, that cow milk was not good for me. Noticeable tummy pains after I drank anything with it, and a growing icky feeling at the thought of using it. And it wasn't even the first time that had happened, I had gone off it previously but ended up drinking it again, for convenience I suppose.

So I have tried plenty of alternatives to the standard cow milk that are available. I'm not so keen on soy milk, rice milk seems to me to be water with a hint of white and almond milk was definitely the best option for me but again, watery and loaded with additives. And then when I got my hands on the My Darling Lemon Thyme cookbook, I read the recipe for almond milk and just knew I had to try making my own. But that was quite a few months ago now, and I have to admit that complacency had set in and I was stuck on supermarket almond milk. This despite having a nut milk bag and nuts in the cupboard. And a blender.

Anyway as happens with these things, necessity is what forced the change. After a big day out, a late afternoon at home, scrambling to get dinner sorted, a tired and cranky toddler, a tired and cranky me, no almond milk in the house and knowing that I would be needing the milk in the morning, that's what finally drove me to do it. And goodness me, it was so ridiculously easy I don't know what I was procrastinating about all that time. That's often how it goes, right?

It was incredibly easy - just soaking a cup of almonds in water overnight, draining it off in the morning and blending it up with another 3 cups of fresh water in the blender, then squeezing it through the nut milk bag and into a jug. Pretty easy. But the part that I love the most is how amazingly good the milk was (is). So creamy! So fulfilling! So satisfying! It made our rice porridge so incredibly smooth and creamy, and my chai tea was all kinds of good, and my sometimes evening treat of a small cacao drink is now the creamy smooth drink I was dreaming of - just no comparison any commercial nut milk. And even the added bonus of all the almond pulp for adding to our porridge and in our baking.

Of all the changes I have made over the years to increase my self reliance and reduce my reliance on supermarket chains, this is a big one for me. I've always found the homemade products to be superior to the commercial product, but the extent of the difference between homemade almond milk to commercial almond milk is just - huge. I don't know how else to say it.

I've been looking and looking for a milk this good for so long, and all that time, I just needed to devote about 10 minutes to the process and I could have done it myself. And now I know. I can't tell you how much I enjoy drinking it, it feels so decadent and now it's become my new normal. And on the cost side of things, I did crunch the numbers a little while back as I thought it would be hugely expensive using all those almonds, but I worked out that over a week, it would cost me about the same to make my own as to buy a commercial product. Plus, the bonus of spending less on buying almond meal for baking is a big factor for me, as I bake gluten free and almond meal features in pretty much everything I make.

Do I sound like I'm raving on about how good it is? I am! It is that good!

Have you ever tried making any nut milks or any other kind of milks at home? What was your experience with it? I'd love to hear.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Jac, so nice to hear you upbeat and excited about trying new things to enrich your simple living. Home made Almond milk is lovely, my son makes it for his family all the time, I enjoy it when I stay with them, they have a cold press juicer, to make theirs and also nut butters and of course juice.

    Sometimes we all put off trying new things, the first batch of soap was cause for worry,but now I just whip one up at 5 minutes notice if I need gifts or a friend wants a demo

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  2. My old one drinki only almond milk. I hope that little one also will be drink. Now he ears porige which I prepare on almond milk. I have try to make own. But still I think that will be good because Kai laika milk only one company. Anyone I try.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My old one drinki only almond milk. I hope that little one also will be drink. Now he ears porige which I prepare on almond milk. I have try to make own. But still I think that will be good because Kai laika milk only one company. Anyone I try.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds wonderful! Had pondered on making coconut milk before, but would need to get a nut bag. Honestly thought homemade milk could never be creamy like dairy, no matter how delicious it is, but this made me reconsider.

    I'd love to make a sweetly spiced, cordial coconut & almond milk with nutmeg and cardamon - Asian rice-pudding inspired, basically!

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