Delicious, Creamy, Frothy, Healthy, Home-made Almond Milk
My love of almond milk started about 5 years ago. When my daughter was born, she had acid reflux and I had read somewhere that it might help if the mother does not have dairy in her system and it is not getting transferred through her breast milk. I was willing to try anything before having to give my sweet baby girl medication for her reflux! I also discovered that if I held her ALL the time the reflux was not as bad, of course I still had to explore some other avenues. I gave up dairy. I could only have done this for my daughter because I never would have had the strength to say “no” to Brie and ice cream on my own! It worked, I was also holding her 90% of the time but her reflux was noticeably not as bad after I had gone off dairy. Not only that but I lost my baby weight quicker than I had imagined and I felt great. My skin felt great and looked great. I have no allergies or intolerance to dairy but I realized that my system simply functioned better without it. I was also quite happy to go down a road of exploring other options and finding new and exciting recipes.
Here was my discovery of almond milk. Awesome!
The Benefits of Almond Milk
Almond milk has no cholesterol or saturated fats, it is high in healthy Omega fatty acids that we need, it has Calcium, Fiber and vitamins D, E and B.
So yummy and so easy, just buy a carton of almond milk and away we go… until I did a little more research about what was in the almond milk that I was buying. I found that unless you are cautious about getting unsweetened, it has gobs of added sugar, the vitamins that are added are sometimes synthetic and then there is carrageenan. Oh my goodness!
I started to make my own! When you are making your own nut milk you have complete control over what is going into it. It is also surprisingly quick and easy to make. Let me not forget to mention how truly satisfying it is to know that you have just made this amazingly healthy, super delicious home-made almond milk! Everyone will think you are an absolute rock star in the kitchen and you will be tempted to not tell them exactly how quick and easy it is!
What is Carrageenan?
a substance extracted from red and purple seaweeds, consisting of a mixture of polysaccharides. It is used as a thickening or emulsifying agent in food products.
Sounds harmless right? It comes from seaweed so it must be good for you right? Unfortunately, the answer is NO.
One of my favorite health professionals Dr. Andrew Weil, MD. has been questioning the use of carrageenan for over 10 years. Read the following link for his insight.
Prominent carrageenan researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD has this to say:
“Although derived from a natural source, carrageenan appears to be particularly destructive to the digestive system, triggering an immune response similar to that your body has when invaded by pathogens like Salmonella. The result: Carrageenan predictably causes inflammation, which can lead to ulcerations and bleeding.”
Concerns over food-grade carrageenan are not new. Beginning in the 1960’s, researchers started linking the ingredient to gastrointestinal disease in lab animals, including ulcerative colitis, intestinal lesions, and colon cancer.
Referenced from The Wellness Mama website. Here is the link for further reading on the subject, definitely worth it!
The following is a link to a shopping guide for foods that do and do not have carrageenan in them:
On to the delicious part!!
It is Simple…
Basic Almond Milk
1 cup raw almonds
4 cups of water
2-3 dates (pitted and soaked for at least one hour).
Vanilla (I do love ground vanilla bean powder).
-Place almonds in a bowl and cover completely with water.
-Let soak for at least 8 hours or over night.
-Drain the almonds and rinse thoroughly.
-Place the almonds in the blender ( any old blender will do, no need for fancy kitchen devices here!)
-Add 4 cups of water.
-Blend! Just about a minute will do.
-Strain through a nut milk bag (you can use a tea towel, a muslin cloth or nylon if you do not yet have a nut milk bag)
-Squeeze out every drop of this delicious treat.
-Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 5 days.
I often make almond milk with only almonds and water; however, if I am to entice my 2-year-old and my 5-year-old over to my side I add a few cheeky dates for sweetness. I cannot lie, I do appreciate the sweetness on occasion as well! Simply make the almond milk as above, strain, put back in the blender and add the soaked dates and or vanilla, blend again. I use ground vanilla bean powder, it is so delicious and can be added to almost anything.
Almond milk is great on its own, in smoothies, in cereal, used in baking… so many possibilities!
Of course you do not have to stop at almonds, Brazil nut milk is gorgeous and let’s not forget about coconut milk.
Decadent Chocolate Almond Bliss
( You could even have this in the morning, what a way to star the day!)
1 Frozen banana
1-1 1/2 Cups of your awesome home-made almond milk ( start with 1 cup then add to desired consistency.
1-2 Tbsp Cacao powder
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp hulled hemp hearts
2-3 Pre-soaked dates
-Put it all in the blender and blend away.
This frothy treat is a super protein booster. Great for an after work out re-fuel!
I hope this inspires some creative nut milk making for the wellness of you and your families!
Thank you Lorissa, for inspiring my nut milk passion :o)