Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Other White Milk

Creamy, frothy, delicately sweet. Inexpensive and simple to make. A great alternative to cow’s milk if you have a lactose intolerance or dairy allergy.

Homemade almond milk is new in my life (thanks to my friend Theresa) and I’m pretty excited about it. In fact, I was prepared to talk about it extensively in this post, but found that MANY others have already posted recipes and information about making your own almond milk… instead, I’ll just give you my recipe and photos in case you haven’t seen all those other blogs!

A few notes first:

Add more water to make a thinner milk. I saw one recipe that called for twice the amount of water than the recipe below. Part of the art of cooking is in finding ways to adapt recipes to your particular tastes and cooking needs. I prefer a richer, creamier milk so I use the recipe below.

As you can see in the photo below, I used a strainer instead of cheesecloth to strain my almond milk. This particular strainer is called a chinois and has a particularly fine mesh. I believe you could also use a thin cotton kitchen towel placed in a coarse strainer if you don't have a chinois or cheesecloth.

Someone asked me what should be done with the ground almond that is left over and I wondered if it could be used to make a homemade face mask or exfoliating cream. Anyone have any ideas?

Rich Vanilla Almond Milk

1 cup almonds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Soak the almonds for 4-8 hours in 2 cups of water. Discard water.

Blend almonds and 3 cups water until smooth and milky white. Strain through a strainer lined with cheese cloth and discard solids. Add vanilla and almond extracts, and maple syrup and mix.

Adapted from The Natural Gourmet, by Annemarie Colbin

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