Friday, October 25, 2013

Almond Milk (Mylk) Recipe & Photo Guide!

A few days ago I finally remembered to pick up some almonds from the shuga (market) & decided it was time to make almond milk! All you need to make it is a blender, and it is a super easy recipe that is nutritious and a great alternative to dairy milk. I use it in smoothies, to make raw desserts (will feature one soon), for chai and anything else where you would normally use milk. Very simple process and I always make sure to use the pulp as well so no waste!

I initially became interested in learning how to make almond milk when I went vegan, and ended up enjoying it a lot and prefer it over milk and any other milk-alternatives. It is healthy, very simple to make, and factory farm raised dairy cows are often treated much worse than cows raised solely for their meat, so it's also a good way to avoid supporting animal mistreatment and abuse. It's also a great option for people are lactose-intolerant, so it's always a good recipe to keep in mind!

What you need:
-At least 1 cup of almonds, soaked overnight (or longer as long as you change the water)
-Strainer (cheesecloth or the metal ones work well)

The first thing you need to do is soak those almonds! Just make sure they are fully covered in water and try to do it at least for 12 hours in the case of almonds (seeds require less time). Remember my fear of my blender breaking down for no reason? Well this softens the almonds enough to make sure that doesn't happen! Just make sure to discard the water they have been soaking in and to rinse them well.
Soak party!
Soaking them also softens the almonds enough to easily remove the skin. I don't mind the skin and there are countless ways to use the pulp as well so I have never removed them.

Give them a good ol rinse in a strainer and the longest part of this recipe is officially complete:
Once you have soaked the almonds and rinsed them thoroughly, add them to your blender. Depending on how creamy you like your milk (mylk), add the water. I tend to add at least 6-8 cups of water to 1 cup of almonds, which is light but still tasty and creamy.
Almost at full capacity (I don't take chances with my blender!)
Blend! Blend until the almond chunks become ground. You can watch them float around in the blender and stop it when they become small and the liquid becomes creamy:
Paranoid Lena thoughts: please don't break, please don't break, please don't break
Next up you should pour the liquid through a strainer into a bowl and squeeze your cheesecloth dry, or grab a flat spoon to squeeze out the remaining liquid from the metal strainer.
This part is fun
Transfer the mylk into a bottle and keep it in the fridge. It will last about 4 or 5 days, and like milk, you can tell when it has gone bad :)
The pulp can be used in two ways that I know of: in food or as a skin scrub! The best use of it in food includes using it as a protein-packed topping for salads or baked goods like muffins, or as a filler/base for desserts. I tend to mix my pulp with chopped dates, cacao powder, cinnamon, lemon zest and coconut flakes into little almond-date balls, which are absolutely delicious and you can mix and match it with your favourite spices or toppings. Or you can mix the pulp with some coconut oil and keep it in the shower to use as a natural body/face scrub before your shower. Or both!
Your fate will include being in my stomach and on my skin
 Almonds are rich in magnesium (anti-stress mineral), vitamin E (healthy skin!), tryptophan (mood-enhancer), and B2 (energy production). Since this recipe also encourages the use of the pulp, you are benefiting from the high protein amount found in almonds as well! To learn more about protein check out this post.

You can spice up or sweeten your almond milk as well with some of the following ingredients (best to do once the pulp has been removed):
-Vanilla extract or beans
-Cinnamon powder
-Cardamom pods or powder
-Stevia or honey

Just add the mylk back into the blender once the pulp has been removed and re-blend it with any or all of the ingredients listed above for a delicious specialty drink!

Enjoy! Next up I will have a recipe for that extra almond pulp!

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