Dairy milk is a delicious, wonderful thing. That is…unless you’re lactose intolerant, allergic, or break out when you drink it.
There are so many options now for milk alternatives, thankfully! There are a variety of nut milks (like almond & cashew), coconut milk, rice milk, and now even oat milk.
However, like most packaged foods, you need to be a careful label reader.Hidden additives abound in milk alternatives. Various gums & carrageenan are often used for thickening or homogenizing the milk. And while these are not always a big issue in general, they can cause digestive issues for some people and are just another processed additive. Additionally, some milk alternatives add highly processed oils like canola or vegetable, which are better avoided. (See my blog on choosing healthy fats here.) Some milk alternatives also contain preservatives to extend shelf life. So if you go with store bought, make sure to read your labels.
OR you can make your own with just a few,
whole food ingredients!
It’s a really easy process too. Just soak, blend, strain, and you’re done! The leftover almond meal can be dried out in the oven (try 200 degrees for 20 min or so spread out on a baking sheet) and then used for baking, to make granola, or as a delicious breading on chicken.
If you have a nut milk bag, this makes the processes even simpler. If you don’t, you can use a wire mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth instead. This is the nut milk bag that I have, but there are tons of choices on Amazon.
Homemade Almond Milk
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 2-4 cups water (plus extra for soaking)
- vanilla extract to taste if desired
- Maple syrup, honey, or dates to sweeten if desired
- Place the almonds in a medium sized bowl and cover with cool water. Cover the bowl and let sit overnight or at least 4-6 hours.
- Drain and rinse the soaked nuts, then place in a blender along with the desired amount of water. Less water will make thicker milk.
- Blend for a couple of minutes until the nuts are really broken down well and it is starting to look creamy. If you have a nut milk bag, place it in a large bowl. Otherwise, line a mesh wire strainer with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Pour the blended milk into the bag or strainer. Squeeze out any excess milk.
- And that’s it! The milk will stay good 4-5 days in the fridge and for a few months in the freezer.
- You can also add a bit of sweetener if you desire as well as a pinch of salt and a bit of vanilla as well. If you want to use dates, chop them and add them to the blender before blending.