Do you remember the dairy free sour cream I made last year? Who knew that making a casein free alternative to sour cream was even possible? Inspired by another visit from my gluten free and casein free best friend, I needed an alternative to the milk I use to make Cafe con Leche each morning. I added almond milk to my grocery list and then I remembered that I could make it instead.
I’ve been hearing for years now that making almond milk at home was a simple thing. I found directions here, here, here and here. As it turned out, milking an almond really was almost unbelievably simple.
How to Make Almond Milk
Yield: 4 cups
1 cup raw almonds
4 cups filtered water
pinch of salt
Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla and honey, to taste
Soak the almonds overnight in filtered water. I placed the almonds in a quart mason jar and then filled it with water. Let them soak for at least 8 hours.
Rinse the soaked almonds with water and place in the blender. Add 4 cups of water and blend on high until the water is white and frothy. This took just a minute or two with my Vitamix. In a standard blender it might take a minute longer.
Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and then line it with a thin tea towel, cloth napkin or cheesecloth. Pour the almond mixture through the cloth into the bowl, about 1/3 at a time, allowing most of it to pass through the cloth before adding more.
Carefully pick up the cloth by the corners and wring the rest of the milk through the strainer into the bowl.
You can discard the almond meal now or save it to use in different recipes. I spread mine out on a baking sheet and dried it out in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Then I tossed it in the freezer to use at a later date. (I used the almond meal to make some fantastic casein free brownies that I will be sharing next week.) When you are ready to use the almond meal, take it straight from the freezer to your food processor and pulse a few times. Then use per the recipe directions.
Taste the milk and see if it is too nutty for your tastes. I added a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla to my almond milk. I also added about a tablespoon of honey to sweeten it. (If you are adding the honey, it’s easiest to just pour the milk back into the blender and pulse it once or twice to combine.)
Pour the almond milk into a glass jar and refrigerate until needed. The milk will separate in the refrigerator; simply give it a light shake before pouring. Enjoy!
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