A few days ago I was talking to someone and it came up that they had never tried almond milk before, or any non-dairy milk for that matter. After getting over my initial shock, I realized that sometimes I forget that I really do live in a bubble. I forget that people drink soda, go through drive thru's, and overall just eat differently than I do. So that conversation inspired me to tell my story about almond milk.
About 6 years ago, just before I was fully into this whole "health" deal, I stumbled upon a restaurant in Oklahoma City selling homemade almond milk. My sister and I had already made the switch from cow's milk to almond milk a few months prior, but we had never heard of homemade almond milk! We just thought it came in a carton from the store.
Long story short, we bought their almond milk and absolutely fell in love. It was nothing like the store bought kind, and there were only 3 ingredients (compared to the paragraph of ingredients on the back of what we had been drinking). We liked it so much that we decided to buy ALL of our milk from them, ordering gallons at a time, when normally they only sold it in 16oz jars. We were purely doing it for the taste, but after a few weeks we noticed how much of a difference it made in our overall health and energy, it was seriously amazing! We knew it had to be because we were no longer consuming all of the preseratives and weird ingredients that come along with eating processed foods. So we decided to learn how to make almond milk ourselves!
Needless to say, we have been enjoying our own homemade almond milk ever since! Sometimes we will switch it up and use cashews or hazelnuts, but almond milk still seems to be my favorite :)
The best part, and probably most surprising part, is that it only takes about 5 minutes to make. ANYONE could make their own almond milk, it's that easy. All you need is a good high-speed blender, a nut milk bag or a cheesecloth (both of which cost under $10 on amazon), and a glass container to store it in.
2 cups of almonds, soaked for 4-12 hours in water
6 cups of purified water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
Sweetener of choice, if you want to make a sweet almond milk. (maple, honey, dates, etc)
Put 2 cups of almonds in a medium bowl. Cover with water and let sit for 4-12 hours.
Strain and rinse your soaked almonds.
Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes.
While holding your cheesecloth or nut milk bag over a large bowl or container, slowly pour 1/2 of the almond milk into the bag and let it strain until all of the milk has come out. You will probably have to squeeze or firmly press the bag in order for all of the liquid to go through. Repeat with the remaining almond milk from the blender until finished.
Pour all of your strained almond milk into a class container (with a lid) and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
You will be left with almond pulp in your nut milk bag or cheesecloth. You can toss it, compost it, or look up recipes that use almond pulp. I've done a lot of baking with it before!
If you're asking yourself why you should drink almond milk, or any non-dairy milk for that matter... here's the scoop..
Dairy is a highly inflammatory food, which therefore causes inflammation in the body. Even if you don't have a dairy intolerance or an allergy, it still causes inflammation, and inflammation is the pathway for all diseases.
Most dairy is loaded with antibiotics and hormones, because that's what cows are given in factory farms. Which means you are now ingesting those same antibiotics and growth hormones. Causing your gut bacteria to die off at an accelerated rate, decreasing the strength of your immune system.
Some studies show that the human body cannot actually digest dairy, and that we weren't meant to consume it. Though this is a controversial topic, I urge people to try cutting it out to see if they notice a difference.
The FDA tells us we should drink milk to get strong bones, but most research shows that the calcium found in cows milk actually has an adverse affect and can strip the calcium from your body. Causing weaker bones and low calcium levels. (I was told in high school I had low calcium, I then switched to a completely plant based diet and my calcium levels sky rocketed, go figure!)
Most skin issues such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc., are all directly related to the consumption of inflammatory foods, such as dairy and gluten.
When young children are prone to ear infections and have to get tubes in their ears, that's an early sign of a dairy intolerance.
If you have questions, please ask! But I hope you love your homemade almond milk as much as I do :)