What? almonds don’t have udders?
This week I became one of those super irritating people who makes their own milk – you know the sort of person I’m talking about – the person who makes their own Christmas cards and gets them sent in the post by the 3rd December (not me by the way!) I’ve been put off making my own almond milk in the past, having tried the shop-bought health shop carton stuff (very pricey at nearly £3 a litre) and been a little disappointed at the taste and texture – usually thin and watery and not anywhere near like regular milk.
To be honest I’m not usually much of a milk drinker – never have been. In the 1980s when milk was served to infant school children in break-time to up their calcium intake (I wish someone would have promoted the benefits of green leafies instead) I declined on a daily basis, bleugh. I could never stomach a glass of milk on its own, but as I grew older I became partial to a frothy cappuccino or ice-drenched milk poured over my cereal. When I revamped my diet 2 years ago it never really bothered me to cut out milk and I now much prefer my daily coffee black and I don’t like tea – yes I’m that weird. I think I inherited this anti-milk gene as my Mum was never a milk drinker either – always telling us this was because her own mother drunk a banana milkshake everyday of her pregnancy. As a result Mum never liked milk or bananas – is that a pure coincidence? Incidentally I love bananas…
However… Every now and again it is rather comforting to have a milky coffee, and when sampling a new coffee bar in central London a few weeks back (New Row Coffee in Covent Garden) I was astounded to discover they served almond milk as an alternative to standard milk. In commercial coffee shops it is usually just soy and I’m not really into that as a suitable alternative. Coffee with frothed almond milk = lush. Time to have a go myself.
I bulk bought some almonds – £5 for 750g in a large supermarket a few weeks ago and this therefore makes home-made almond milk very economic in comparison to the shop bought stuff. You will also need to invest in a nut milk mag (or a jam straining bag) first, but these can be picked up rather cheaply on Amazon or from kitchen shops.
Here’s how I made my milk;
- 150g Raw Almonds
- 500mls Freshly Filtered Water
- You will also need some cheesecloth or a nut mylk bag
- Place nuts in a jar, cover with water, a lid and leave overnight.
- The following day drain and rinse the nuts, then place in a blender with 500mls of filtered water. (As I don’t have a super duper high powered blender, I first gave these a whizz in my food processor, then re-blended in smaller batches with my handheld blender to ensure a smooth blend)
- Put the nut milk bag over a container fastening with an extra pair of hands or an elastic band. Pour in the almond/water mix. Carefully release the elastic band from the container, and use it to tie up the top of the bag. Take the mass of the bag in your hands and give the pulp a good squeeze and watch the milk drip out.
- You should now have 500mls of creamy white milk which can be stored in a glass jar (Kilner ideal) in the fridge for 3-4 days. Give the milk jar a good shake before pouring as the particles can separate over time. To avoid separation you need to add artificial food additives called stabilises; the very thing eating naturally aims to avoid!
Yet there is more?? Now you’re left with all that nut pulp what do you do with it? Well you could just throw it away but we don’t like waste so the best thing to do is to spread it out onto a lined baking sheet and stick it in a low oven (75degrees C) for 2 hours. This will dry it out.
Then give it a quick whirl in a food processor to ensure it’s finely chopped. This can be stored for future use – just like ground almonds, but with a mottled effect from the almond skins. I’ll find something to do with mine and post a recipe soon. I have a cracking recipe for biscuits I want to try, and this could be perfect !
You could of course make a larger batch if you get through more milk. Since I’m not a massive milk drinker I can’t say I will do this the whole time, but it was fun, and now of course I’m in the I make my own milk smug gang.0