Almonds have become a staple ingredient to many insiders among the health-food revolution. Donned a "whole food", a mere handful of these delicate nuts are equipped with a range of health benefits: fiber-filled + protein-packed; zero saturated fat yet high in unsaturated fat; and strong in a host of anti-oxidants, vitamins + minerals like Omega-3, Vitamin E, Copper, and Magnesium. Regular consumption of almonds may reduce the risk of colon cancer, coronary heart disease, and osteoporosis; lower bad cholesterol, aid in weight loss, and alkalize our bodies. Thus, we continue to see this precious nut introduced into the food-supply in new, innovative capacities so that we may incorporate it seamlessly in our lifestyles: almond meal, almond milk, almond butters + oils, almond crusts + toppings; buried in granola, coupled with vegetables, balancing desserts, and of course, the pure, raw almond snack.
As an aspiring health-food gastronaut, and lover of all things almond, I have made an attempt at my very own home-made almond milk. Below is the recipe. The amount of water used ultimately comes down to an individual preference. One recipe I used called for 6 cups of water for every cup of almonds which was far too thin for my Midwestern palate. I found my preference to be around 2 - 3 cups of water per 1 cup of almonds, creating a nice, creamy consistency closer to whole milk.
*1 Cup Raw Almonds
*2 - 3 Cups Water, plus extra for soaking
*Optional: Organic Sugar or Honey
*Mesh Strainer, Cheesecloth or Nut Milk Bag
Place raw almonds in a container and fill with water, enough to cover the almonds. Place in refrigerator for 6 hrs or overnight (almonds may continue to soak for up to 2 days).
Strain almonds, do not save the soaking water. Almonds will expand and have a slightly spongy texture post-soak.
Place almonds in blender with 2 to 3 cups of water, and purée until almonds appear finely mealed. I did this in batches with a half cup almonds at a time, using 1 cup of water per batch.
Strain mixture into a glass or jar using cheesecloth, milk bag, or mesh strainer. Press almond meal firmly against strainer to extract as much liquid as possible. Serve or save in airtight container for up to 2 days.
*If you like sweetened milk, start with 1 or 2 teaspoons of preferred sweetener in the blender before straining and work your way up to desired sweetness.