Almond milk 3 ways: plain vanilla, raspberry and cocoa-banana

Almond milk 3 ways: plain vanilla, raspberry and cocoa-banana

I recently read Michael Pollan's book Cooked: A natural history of transformation. In his book he explores the "previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen", working his way through the four classical elements to demonstrate how we use them to transform the most basic ingredients into exceptional food and drink. Now, I admit that the first section of the book on fire was not my favourite (it focuses largely on the art of barbecue and whole-hog roasting), but I'm glad I stuck with it. The next sections on water, air and earth were well worth the wait. Reading through Pollan's adventures in making sourdough bread, exploring the wild world of fermentation and mastering basic techniques like making a mirepoix was absolutely inspiring. In fact, it ignited an interest in me to learn how to make more things from scratch.

Almond milk | Beloved Kitchen
Almond milk | Beloved Kitchen

While reading his book I started to experiment with making gluten-free breads, kimchi, and sauerkraut - things I'd normally buy pre-made (a few great basic recipes are included at the back of the book). This got me thinking that there are probably more things I can make from scratch, things which I thought were too complicated to attempt. After a quick scan of my kitchen cupboards, I realised that an item I consistently buy is almond milk. I'd previously read articles online about how easy it was to make at home and so I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go. Am I ever glad I did!

Almond milk | Beloved Kitchen
Almond milk | Beloved Kitchen
Almond milk | Beloved Kitchen

Contrary to what you might think, making almond milk from scratch is actually quite simple as long as you remember to soak the almonds overnight. And guess what - you don't need a nut milk bag to make it - simple muslin cloth will do! My basic setup is pictured above. I blend up the almond milk ingredients and then pour the mixture through a muslin cloth that has been draped over a large bowl. I then gather the corners of the cloth, give it a twist and wring it out to extract the milk. It's as simple as that, and the results are far superior than the store-bought stuff. 

Almond milk | Beloved Kitchen

The plain vanilla version works great as an everyday almond milk to use with coffee or in recipes (like bircher muesli or creamy smoothies). I've also included a couple ideas for flavoured almond milk in addition to the plain vanilla version, which make for nice sweet treats. The raspberry almond milk is fresh and tangy, while the chocolate-banana version is sweet and creamy. I imagine that turmeric and ginger would be another great combo, as would a version with chai spices.

Almond milk | Beloved Kitchen

What do you think about making almond milk from scratch? Do you have any favourite flavour combinations for almond milk? I'd love to hear about it!

-xo KA

Almond milk 3 ways: plain vanilla, raspberry and cocoa-banana

This is the basic recipe I follow to make home-made almond milk. Adjust the quantity of water in the recipe to yield the consistency of your liking (use less water for thicker almond milk and a bit more for thinner almond milk). If you remember to soak your almonds overnight it comes together in no time, and the flavour is just fantastic.

Ingredients - plain vanilla almond milk:

  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 3-4 cups filtered water 
  • 1 pinch vanilla powder
  • 1 pinch fine pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup

Ingredients - raspberry almond milk:

  • 1 cup plain vanilla almond milk 
  • 1 handful of fresh raspberries (or other berries)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Ingredients - cocoa-banana almond milk:

  • 1 cup plain vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Method - plain vanilla almond milk:

Place almonds in a bowl and cover with plenty of fresh water. Transfer the bowl to the fridge an leave to soak overnight or all day (about 8 hours).

When you are ready to make the almond milk, drain and rinse the soaked almonds. Add the drained almonds and 3-4 cups water to the container of an immersion blender or high speed blender, and blend until smooth (you may need to work in batches).

Hang a muslin cloth over a large bowl (as pictured above). Pour the blended almond mixture into the centre of the cloth, ensuring that you keep the edges of the cloth hanging outside of the bowl. Carefully grab hold of the edges of the cloth, and gently twist the cloth to create a bag of sorts (as pictured). Gently press until you have extracted all of the almond milk. Alternatively you could use a nut milk bag for this step - but I find muslin cloth works perfectly!

Whisk in the vanilla powder, salt and maple syrup. Enjoy straight away or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. The almond milk will separate naturally, so stir it up before serving. You can use the reserved pulp to make crackers or other baked goods.

Method - flavoured almond milk:

For the flavoured almond milk variations, combine 1 cup of the plain vanilla almond milk plus the flavourings in the container of an immersion blender or a high speed blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy straight away.

The plain vanilla almond milk recipe yields about 500-750 mL of almond milk (depending on the quantity of water used).

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