We like to do a lot of things from scratch. That’s why kneading bread, rolling out pie dough, and beating cream into fluffy soft peaks is fun for us. We like to be hands on with foods and figure out how they work. And how they work best. That’s why you see a bowl of ground, watery nuts above. That, friends, is almond pulp. It is what you’ll find left behind if you make your own almond milk. Maybe you’re wondering to yourself, ‘Self, why are these guys making almond milk when it’s at the store?’ Well, there are lots of things that just seem easy to do by hand, so why not do them. At least once. If it’s not worth the time, effort or cost, then feel free to buy it. But at least you can say you’ve tried to do it. And that, friends, is the only answer we can give.
This is one of those, ‘Wow, that was so easy!’ kitchen discoveries that we all like to find from time to time. Yes, almond milk is one of those things that you can pick up from any grocery store, and usually, the cost will not break your bank. No more than buying regular milk, which has seen a deal of price fluctuation over the years anyways. It is full of vitamins, and it is lower in calories than regular milk too. All nice perks. When you make it at home, you can control every single ingredient that goes inside. That means less sugar, miscellaneous flavorings, salt and no potentially funky preservatives. That last one can work against you though if you make a big batch of this stuff. Keep it covered and refrigerated, and your homemade almond milk will last three or four days. Luckily, it’s a quick and simple thing to do, so you can have it anytime. The version below is vanilla flavored with vanilla bean paste and naturally sweetened with a few dates. You can reduce the amount of water slightly if you like your almond milk a bit thicker. Add more vanilla and dates if you like it sweeter, though of course you can experiment with other natural sugars. Hit it a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon or cocoa powder if you want to play around with the flavor. Endless options!
So does this post answer the question ‘To make or to buy?’ Hopefully, though in the end, it’s up to you. Will there no longer be commercially-produced cartons of almond milk in shopping carts? Nope, they’ll definitely be purchased! But this is something you can do when you’re in a bind or just want to take food matters into your own hands, so to speak. Still wondering about that almond pulp above? Once you’ve strained the liquid from the blended nuts, you end up with wet meal. Well, that is some good stuff–too good to waste. Use it in breads, cookies, muffins, cakes, on top of oatmeal, etc. Just whatever you do, don’t trash it! There will be a couple of recipes featuring almond pulp, so look out for them.
1. Drain the nuts well from their soaking water. Place 1 cup of nuts into your blender, along with half of each of the remaining ingredients. Start your blender on low speed, then increase to high and blend until smooth, approximately 2-3 minutes.
2. Set a large, deep sieve** over a bowl. Carefully pour the liquid mixture into the sieve and along the liquid to drip down into the bowl. You will be left with almond pulp in the sieve, which you can dump into a separate bowl.
3. Pour the strained liquid back into the blender, set the sieve on top of the original bowl and pour the almond milk through the sieve again to strain out any remaining bits of nuts.
4. Transfer the bowl of strained almond milk into a pitcher. Repeat this process with the remaining ingredients, and pour the second batch of twice-strained almond milk into the pitcher. Drink as usual. Store covered in your refrigerator for 3-4 days.
*The longer you soak the almonds, the plumper they will become. They will also become softer, which is nice on your blender. You’ll find that some of the bitterness from the nut will have subsided as well. Soaking them also releases the almonds natural enzyme-inhibitor that makes them difficult to digest when eaten raw. If you soak for longer than 24 hours, drain the nuts, cover with fresh water and continue soaking until you hit 48 hours.
**If you’re the kind of person who wants to make almond milk (or any nut milk) often, invest in a nut milk bag! Instead of using a sieve to strain all of the pulp out of the milk, you can drape this guy over your pitcher, pour the blended nuts and walk into the bag and strain everything perfectly.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.