A few years ago, while doing an elimination diet due to a soy allergy, I read a lot about additives, stabilizers, and preservatives that go into our food, including many ingredients that are in seemingly innocent products like almond milk, such as carrageenan, which has recently been under the health radar. In order to avoid many of these ingredients, I started making my own almond milk, and started including it in many foods, both savory and sweet, that I now make. Making almond milk is shockingly easy, much less expensive than buying it already packaged, and incredibly more healthy than those brands found in the store – even Whole Foods!
I like using Hamilton Beach’s new WaveAction Blender for my juices, smoothies, and smoothie bowls. It is also great for making soups, sauces, or salsa. Ordinary blenders spin contents around the walls of the jar, which can leave whole chunks untouched by the blades. The Hamilton BeachWave~Action® System is designed to continually force the mixture down into the blades for consistently smooth results. And, this blender is a steal at $34.99!
My recipe for home made almond milk is below, as well as some great and healthy recipes using almond milk.
Yields 4 cups of almond milk
1 cup of raw, unsalted almonds
3 – 4 cups of water, depending upon use and consistency preference. 1 cup of almonds yields about 4 cups of almond milk. So, depending on how much you plan to consume over 3-4 days, make it accordingly. Use less water to make almond milk creamer.
Soak almonds in filtered water for 8 – 10 hours, or overnight.
Drain and rinse the almonds after soaking.
Put one cup of almonds and about 3-1/2 cups of filtered water into your Hamilton Beach WaveAction Blender. Use more water if you want a really thin consistency, or less if you want to use it as a creamer. I find that a little more than 3 cups is perfect.
Blend for 1 minute.
I like plain almond milk, but if you want to add anything, such as cinnamon, dates, vanilla, or honey, add them at this point.
Blend for 30 more seconds.
Layer a strainer or sieve with cheesecloth or a nut bag and place the strainer over a bowl. Slowly pour the contents of the blender into the cheesecloth covered strainer. Let it strain for about 30 minutes. I put mine in the refrigerator while it strains to get cold. If you do not use cheesecloth or a nut bag, you will have chunks of almonds in your milk, and it will be very difficult to drink.
If you do not want to wait for the liquid to strain, squeeze out all of the liquid until you are left with dry almond meal.
You can then either let the leftover almonds dry (putting them in the oven on the lowest setting quickens the process) and then use a food processor to turn it into almond flour, or throw it away. You can also wash and reuse the cheesecloth.
I pour my almond milk into mason jars, and drink it straight or use it in recipes over the next few days.
Banana Breakfast Bowl
Yields one bowl
1/2 cup homemade almond milk
1 cup Greek yogurt (I like 2% Fage)
1 handful of spinach
2 tbs chia or ground flax seeds
1 handful of ice
Your favorite toppings, including nuts, nut butters, and fruit
Add ingredients to your WaveAction blender in the order listed. Blend together until smooth. After pouring into a bowl, top with your favorite ingredients. In my version, I used one handful of blueberries, a sprinkle of goji berries, a tablespoon of walnuts, and cinnamon. Yum!
Yields one 16 oz. serving
Green smoothies are so easy and fun to make, and allow for various combinations of ingredients, depending upon what you have in your refrigerator or freezer. Here is one version of a green smoothie that I often make for breakfast:
1 cup home made almond milk
1 cup spinach
1 cup kale
1 small banana
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tsp Matcha green tea powder
1 pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 handful of ice cubes
Add ingredients to your Wave Action blender in the order listed. Blend on high for about 1 minute, or until smooth. If the ingredients are not yet incorporated into a liquid, blend for about 30 more seconds. Poor into your favorite tumbler! I always use this fun tumbler, made in the USA by Sequins and Lace Design. It is dishwasher safe, and how can you not love the saying?!?
What are your favorite uses for almond milk?
I received a complimentary blender to facilitate this post. However, all opinions expressed herein are my own.