I always buy raw almonds from the store with the intention of making homemade almond milk, but we usually end up eating them before I get a chance to make it. This week, I saw the bag and remembered to measure out a cup of almonds and soak them in the fridge overnight. Actually, I measured out two cups of almonds, so I could make two batches and have my kids taste test and approve their favorite batch.
Homemade Almond Milk with Raw Local Honey / Almond Milk with Dates
It’s hard to believe I don’t make my own almond milk regularly because it’s so easy, creamy, healthy, delicious, and there are no added unpronounceable ingredients like Carrageenan, which is found in dairy and non-dairy products alike. Here is a Shopping Guide that will help you stay away from this controversial ingredient.
Homemade Almond Milk
- 1 cup raw almonds (I use Trader Joe’s brand because they are not processed on equipment that processes other tree nuts or peanuts, which is very difficult to find in a nut product.)
- 2 cups filtered water (for soaking)
- 3 1/2 cups filtered water (for milk)
- Optional sweetener: 2 dates or 2 T. raw local honey
- nut milk bag or cheesecloth (for straining)
- Soak almonds in 2 cups of filtered water overnight. I’ve read that the longer you soak them, the creamier the end result. You can soak them for as little as 1-2 hours or as long as 24 hours. Drain once the desired soaking duration is reached.
- Add soaked almonds to a high speed blender, and cover with 3 1/2 cups of water. Option: Add either 2 dates or 2 T. raw local honey to the blender as a sweetener.
- Turn on the blender and let it run at maximum speed for one minute. (I used a Vitamix.)
- Strain the blended mixture through a nut milk bag or a cheesecloth. Gently press out all of the milk from the bag until the almond pulp inside is very dry and void of any moisture. Don’t use a strainer, as it will not remove enough of the almond pulp, and the end result will be very gritty.
Helpful Hint: Save the almond pulp! It can be used in my homemade Gluten-Free, Vegan Almond Biscotti that I made from scratch that I’ll talk abut later this week!
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for 2-3 days, making sure to shake the milk before each serving.
My kids tasted a batch with dates, then a batch with raw local honey, and the honey mixture was the winner for drinking a large cup of almond milk. However, both batches were delicious for smoothies and cereal, which are the two reasons we use non-dairy milk the most. Try it with or without the sweeteners and decide what you prefer best!
Our studio, The Dailey Method Willow Glen, began a 30-day workout and clean eating challenge this weekend. Here is my contribution to starting the morning with a delicious, creamy protein smoothie after a 6am workout!
Chocolate Protein Smoothie
1 1/2 cups almond milk (I used a homemade batch sweetened with dates)
1 scoop protein powder (I use Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder, Vanilla)
2 tsp raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Optional: handful of raw spinach leaves for extra calcium, four ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender. Enjoy!
My favorite, favorite go-to smoothie is a chai-flavored one that I found in a recipe book a couple of years ago that tastes so much like my drink of choice from Starbucks, a grande soy chai latte, but without the $5 price tag and all that extra sugar. The gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and vegan recipe below is the smoothie I drink right after my morning workout. I prefer to make a large batch of the spices and store it in an air-tight container, so I can quickly measure 1 tsp of the entire spice blend without measuring out five separate spice jars.
Chai Smoothie topped with chia seeds
- 1 cup plain non-dairy milk of choice
- 1 banana
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp ground coriander
- 1/8 tsp ground gloves
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 T raw local honey or 1/8 tsp stevia (but be sure to read this article to learn how to buy the most natural brands, or see the image below to learn how to make your own stevia extract)
6 ice cubes (or 6 frozen chai tea cubes for the caffeine kick)
Pour the milk into a blender and add the banana, spices, sweetener, and ice. (As an option, you can pour steeped chai tea into an ice cube tray and add frozen tea cubes to your smoothie.) Blend on high speed until smooth. Serve immediately.
For extra protein:
For extra calcium:
- Add a handful of fresh spinach leaves with all the other ingredients
For extra electrolytes:
- Add 1 T chia seeds to your already blended smoothie (pictured above)
To make a large batch of the chai spice blend:
- Add 4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cardamom, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp ground black pepper – Combine in a small container, and use 1 tsp for each smoothie serving!
Finally attempted a homemade non dairy milk today. It was so easy, I don’t know what I was waiting for!
I soaked 2 cups of oat groats the other night, then drained them and added the soaked groats to my Vitamix, along with 3 cups of filtered water. Then I set up a nut milk bag and strained the blended mixture to get the oat pulp out. I put it back in the Vitamix and added 3 more cups of water, 2 heaping tablespoons of raw, local honey, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and 5 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Blended it up again and poured it into mason jars to store in the refrigerator.
Play with the above measurements until it satisfies your taste buds. I figure that the bit of honey I used must be way less than what’s in commercially produced non dairy milks that use cane sugar/juice and many other unpronounceable ingredients.
The baby loved it, and it should be perfect for adding to cereal, pancake batter, and baked goods.