All Natural, Easy and Delicious – Homemade Almond Milk

In yesterdays post I mentioned my homemade Almond milk, although I hadn’t planned on posting my recipe I figure… I’m getting a lot of questions about it so I can’t hold back on y’all! Now I ranted and raved about nuts in last weeks post about Real Food Resources. I will spare the additional rant but the low down is this: Nuts have become a really popular health food, they are nutrient dense powerhouses but you may or may not be getting a preservative called BHT with your nuts. (sometimes it is labelled such as with big name brand products.) Nuts labelled as raw may not actually be raw, processed almond flour products may or may not contain the BHT. (Did you read the previously mentioned article? They are using BHT to try and cure AIDS and Herpes. Yummy!) I twice tweeted a popular almond flour brand asking if they used BHT and I got no response. Maybe I will try again? – Or maybe I just won’t buy their products. 

So last week I posted this question on the Weston A. Price Foundation Facebook page:
“The nut issue is new to me. Do you have resources that talk about BHT and inaccurate labeling of products in the US?” (With This Link for Reference)

I did not receive any response however, they did post this link yesterday night. I guess it’s safe to assume that whatever nuts I have around are in fact not raw. There are health benefits to consuming raw, soaked nuts however in my eyes the biggest concern is the preservatives. 
We are a Raw Milk household, when we can’t get our hands on raw milk we get whole milk from the grocery mart and recently I started making my own almond milk. Homemade almond milk is not like anything from any supermarket. It is thicker, creamier and much better tasting. Without straining, homemade almond milk has a stellar whippy texture that is perfect for desserts, cereals and baked goods. There are a million brands of Almond milk available, none that I have found are natural. My #1 Real Food Rule – Find foods that are whole or minimally processed,  preservative and chemical free. Natural food can often be hard to come by, Coconut milk is another good example. Usually coconut milk in the tins contains guar gum, I can live with guar gum need be. I have made coconut milk in the past and the method is pretty much identical to making almond milk. The exception: cracking coconuts. I found this awesome video that demonstrates easier cracking of coconuts but lets face it… I REALLY HATE dealing with coconuts entirely. My husband occasionally buys them just to annoy me. (Sadly, I’m not kidding.) Almond milk is super easy to make and I don’t have to bust out a hammer to do it. WIN! I found skinless, “raw” almonds in the bulk bin at my grocery mart. They were specifically labelled preservative free. -Good. -Better. – Best. I might not ever find a best option here, the only real way to know you are getting preservative free, raw almonds is to grow them yourself. 
I used my new favorite family member to make this, the vitamix! I made coconut milk in my regular beehive blender. It can be done but it does workout better with a high powered blender. The main difference is texture, you will have a coarser texture with a standard blender. I don’t strain mine, for drinkable milk you will want to strain the mixture no matter what blender you use. You can purchase a nut milk bag, or I’ve found re-usable produce bags to work just fine. ($8 for one, or five for $10?) Use skinless almonds for best results. 
Cover almonds with cold water. Cover and allow to rest overnight at room temperature for 24 hours. I added my dates to the water to help soften them as well. The following day place dates, water and almonds into the blender. Blend for 2-3 minutes or until mostly smooth. Blend together with a pinch of salt, vanilla and cinnamon. (optional- For unsweetened, plain almond milk omit the dates, vanilla and cinnamon) For drinkable milk strain with a nut milk bag or cheesecloth. Un-strained milk will thicken in the fridge much like coconut milk. 
Note: You can make alternative milks with any raw, skinless nut. Cooked brown rice, oatmeal and many other things can also be used. We have nut allergies in my home and almonds are the only nut that won’t cause chaos. Use whatever suits you and your family.
Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, phosphorus, iron and magnesium. They are said to: Regulate blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetis. Since they are a good source of folic acid, magnesium, iron and riboflavin they are the perfect food for pregnant women and small children. They are a low GI food that helps to regulate your appetite and also it is said they can suppress physical aches such as head aches and cramps.