Making your own Almond milk at home

Using almond milk in espresso based drinks is getting more popular with customers by the day. I had a look at one of your local brands in South Africa and this is what I found on the label…
Ingredients:
Water
Almonds (2.5%)
Vegetable oil (Almond)
Corn Maltodextrin
Acidity Regulator (Dipotassium Phosphate and Potassium Citrate)
Sea salt
Emulsifier (Sunflower lecithin)
Stabeliser (Carrageenan and gear gum)
Flavouring

Perhaps I am not reading the label correctly, but I was shocked. This lead me to Google how to make your own and I base my method on a recipe found at www.thekitchn.com. Using a strainer combined with my Aeropress helped me not only to get all the liquid from the almonds, but also to get fairly dry almond solids which I could use in an Almond based banana bread, good for gluten free diets.

Equipment:
Blender
Strainer
Aeropress or cheese cloth

Ingredients:
1 cup of almonds
Enough water for soaking
2 Cups water for blending

Steps:
1. Soak the almonds for one to two days in enough water. Fill container to double the level of the almonds and you know you are covered

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2. Drain the water and rinse the almonds in fresh water. The soaking water will contain phytic acid, which inhibits the body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

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3. Blend the almonds as with the two cups of water for around 3 minutes. If you are using a spice chopper as I do, you can do in smaller batches for around 45 seconds. I like to have the almonds chopped very fine for later use in Almond flower banana bread. See recipe here

4. Drain the almond milk from the blended mix by straining for 10 minutes, shaking the solids from time to time. Note: if you are not going to use a mechanical press such as an Aeropress, place a cheese cloth in the strainer before placing the blitzed almond mix in it.

5. If using a cheese cloth, twist the cloth closed and squeeze the last possible precious drops from the solids. If you have an Aeropress, skip this step and go to step 6.
6. Only do this step if you are using an Aeropress. Using the inverted method and add small amount of solids in the Aeropress and squeeze as firmly as possible until no more milk is expelled. After each batch, open the filter and pop out the almond “cookie” until all solids have been processed.  Afterwards, I also filter out the strained milk bit by bit as it still contains some solids.

 

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Depending on your needs, you can sweeten with honey and/or add a few drops of vanilla extract. Decant into a clean container and it should last you two to 4 days. For Cappuccinos, I fortify with a dash of pouring cream for a delicious drink.

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