I gave up 98% of dairy products about 2 1/2 years ago. I know that is a weird number, but I still add a little half and half to my coffee each morning and if a little feta cheese falls on my plate, I will most likely eat it.
Don’t judge me…I am a work in progress.
Since I gave up drinking milk, I only recently found a satisfactory substitute. I had no problem adding almond, coconut or hemp milk to smoothies, but I haven’t had a bowl of cereal and milk in quite a while. I have tasted package almond and soy milk and, quite frankly, GROSS.
I have read the labels. Excuse me, but why are almonds way down the list after all these other weird ingredients? Any what is all this other stuff? Stablizers, emulsifiers, preservatives, oh my! At the risk of repeating myself, GROSS.
I gave up. Yes, I was a quitter.
I read an article about making your own almond milk and I thought, why not give it one last try. I clicked a link that connected me to amazon.com and an $8.99 nut milk bag popped up. I have amazon Prime (you know how much trouble that gets you into), so for $9, I can make nut milk in about 24 hours.
You can guess where this story is going. My bag arrived the next day and I made my first batch of almond milk. What a game changer! When you mix almonds with water, dates and vanilla, you have something creamy and tasty. I tried a few recipes and after finding what worked for me, I will share it with you. If I had known it was this easy and tasty, I would have made it years ago.
I find my 13 year old daughter pouring herself a glass quite often just to drink as well as making smoothies with it. My 5 year old will drink almost any form of milk you give her, but I haven’t been able to convert my husband yet. His still loves his Strauss Organic milk in the glass bottles. He is a little slower with change. I, on the other hand, can be found enjoying a nice bowl of cereal from time to time.
I always keep several glass jars of nuts soaking in the fridge. I use a Vitamix to blend it. Once you own a nut bag, the only real expenses are the almonds and about ten minutes of your time. I think it is definitely worth it!
If you want unsweetened, plain milk, omit the dates and vanilla. Here’s my recipe.
Vanilla Almond Milk
1 cup soaked almonds (soak in water for about 8 hrs)
3 1/4 cups water+
2 dates pitted or 2 tbs maple syrup (omit for unsweetened milk)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or scrape the inside of a whole vanilla bean (omit for unsweetened)
1 pinch pink himalayan salt*
Put all the ingredients in a high speed blender. Blend on the highest speed for about 2 minutes. Put your nut milk bag inside a large bowl and pour the contents of the blender into the bag. Strain everything through the bag into the bowl. Once most of it has passed through the bag you can start squeezing it to get the really creamy stuff out. Now you have homemade almond milk. Pour it into a pitcher and chill.
+The more water you add, the thinner your milk will be. Obviously, the less you add, the creamier it will be. I always drank cow skim milk, but find I like my almond milk a little creamier.
*You can substitute any salt you have on hand.
Cashew or Pecan Milk
1 cup of soaked cashews or pecans
3 cups of filtered water
2-4 dates pitted
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 pinch of pink himalayan salt
Put all ingredients in powerful blender and puree for about 1 minute. That is it! You don’t need to filter or strain it.