Almond milk has a clean, nutty-sweet flavor, one you might find hanging out with iced frappés or chai or horchata. You can use it as you would regular cow’s milk (over cereal, in your coffee, frozen into a semifreddo) or drink it by itself, chilled or over ice. I’ve never been much of a milk drinker (except when washing down chocolate chip cookies) but I can swig back gallons of this stuff. It’s surprisingly refreshing, the sort of beverage you might crave after the gym or on a hot day, and I have to figure all that vitamin E is doing something good for me. (Store-bought almond milk is fortified, meaning they add vitamins & minerals during processing, with as much calcium and vitamin D as cow’s milk. I like Almond Breeze’s unsweetened vanilla flavor, for what that’s worth.)
Almond milk is also incredibly easy to make at home, provided you have a blender on hand. Slightly less easy if, like me, you don’t. (I have a well-loved food processor that spewed almond milk all over my kitchen counter. Not my most graceful moment in the kitchen, but it was well worth the mess.) Now how about you, friends…got milk?
adapted from Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It by Karen Solomon, 2011;
makes about 3 1/2 C
- 1 C raw or pasteurized almonds (unsalted and unroasted)
- 4 C water
- 1 tsp agave or maple syrup (optional)
Soak the almonds in water to cover, by one inch, for at least 6 hours or overnight; they’ll plump up by about 30%. Drain the almonds and place them and 4 cups of water in the blender. Blend on the highest setting for 2 minutes. Pour the milk through a fine mesh strainer (lined with cheesecloth, if you have it), pressing down on the solids to release as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids and re-strain the milk, this time without pressing on the solids. Discard solids (or reserve, if you’re thrifty; dry out to use in baking). Add the sweetener, if using. Serve over ice or as is.
Almond milk will keep in the fridge for about 5 days, or up to 4 months in the freezer.