I have been making and drinking almond milk for over three years now and I really love it. Not only is it fun and easy to make, but it also tastes great and adds a subtle nutty flavor to hot cereals and black tea. I dry the leftover ground almonds in a warm oven and then store them in a glass jar to be used in baking cookies and muffins.
Place 1 cup dry raw almonds in a bowl and cover with water. Place in refrigerator and soak overnight.
Drain water and rinse the almonds. Put 2 cups fresh water in a blender. Add the drained, soaked almonds and blend for 2-3 minutes. Pour through a jelly bag to strain into a bowl, squeezing all excess liquid out of the bag. Put milk in a glass jar and keep refrigerated. Shake well before using.
Note: when soaking the almonds, choose a bowl that will not stain (or a bowl that doesn’t matter if it gets stained). Also, I only make one small batch at a time as the milk will not keep for more than 4-5 days in the fridge.
Almonds, revered for centuries, were once a prized ingredient in breads served to the pharaohs of Egypt, and the Romans showered newlyweds with almonds as a fertility charm. Thought to originate in China and Central Asia, almonds are now grown throughout the Mediterranean, the Middle East and in the U.S. ~ Rosie Schwarz
Pictured above: raw almonds before and after soaking.
Almonds are a source of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Other health benefits to including almonds in your diet include reducing inflammation and improving blood flow. Almonds and their skins are also high in antioxidants- vitamin E and polyphenols, which provide protection against heart disease and certain cancers and may improve immune function.
Almonds are a very versatile culinary ingredient in the kitchen. You can get them both in-shell or shelled, blanched, slivered, chopped, roasted, ground, sweetened, salted, and they are the main ingredient in marzipan.
Schwarz, R. (2003). The Enlightened Eater’s Whole Foods Guide: Harvest the Power of Phyto Foods. Penguin Books: Toronto, ON.