Do you love using an alternative to processed cow’s milk? I do! Several years ago I learned that I have a lactose issue and immediately I began buying almond milk from the store. It took me some time and studying to understand what some of the ingredients were….gums, sugar, carrageenan (though more are removing it lately), and added nutrients.
As someone with gut issues, I was concerned about consuming something on a daily basis with different gums on the ingredients list. Gums are used as thickeners, stabilizers, or emulsifiers and can cause digestive issues.
Carrageenan, which comes from red algae or seaweed, is something that is also used as a thickener, stabilizer, or binder but is indigestible. It can cause inflammation, liver problems, insulin resistance, and digestive issues.
Sugar….oh sugar. Almond milk is delicious plain but for those who want more flavor, they also get more sugar. I remember the first time I tried almond milk, it was vanilla. So I got hooked on the sugary kind and then made the switch to the unsweetened over time. When you make your own, you can control what you put into it and how much.
And finally, almond milk is basically water and almonds….actually that is all that is. Many store bought brands are fortified with some vitamins as well. I take supplements and eat a whole food diet, so I am okay with skipping the added nutrients from unknown sources.
Are you ready to make your own almond milk? Besides soaking the almonds, it doesn’t really take any longer than reading this email.
- 1 cup organic, raw almonds
- Enough purified water to cover almonds overnight
- 4 cups purified water
- 1 tsp pure maple syrup, raw honey, or one (soaked & pitted) date
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Dash of cinnamon
- Soak almonds overnight
- Drain and rinse almonds
- Blend soaked almonds with 4 cups of purified water
- Add flavoring (optional) and blend
- Cut cheesecloth. I do enough to cover the top of a large bowl that can be folded into a sack as the almond milk flows through it.
- Begin to pour the milk through the cheesecloth. You should begin to see pulp in the cheese cloth. If this doesn’t occur, you may need to double up the cheesecloth.
- Work all the liquid through the cheesecloth with your hands
- Set the pulp aside and re-use in a recipe later
- Bottle the almond milk
- Store in the fridge for about a week
Why organic almonds? In 2007, the USDA began to require that all almonds in the US be sterilized but still allow them to be labeled as raw. This was done after there were 2 outbreaks of salmonella reported from almonds. Organic almonds cannot be pasteurized using a chemical called PPO or propylene oxide, which is a possible carcinogen. Steam is a common way to pasteurized organic almonds and the grower cannot use PPO. But for those seeking true “raw” almonds, you will need to purchase an unpasteurized brand. Check out our store for options.