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Get Empowered – Make Your Own Superfood Milk!

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Making homemade almond milk is easier than you think.

The more we learn about the food industry, the more we may begin to feel overwhelmed about making healthy choices for ourselves, our family and the planet. Buck up! An important shift of your perspective could help you remember that you can be empowered to make great choices. One amazing way to reduce extra sweeteners, processed drinks and dairy is to make your own nut/seed milk. And here’s the best part: it’s so much easier than you think.

There are many reasons that consumers have chosen to swap their animal milk to a nut or seed alternative. For some people, being lactose intolerant may be a great reason to avoid dairy. For others, the choice may actually stem from their connection to animal rights issues, or even a desire to cut out GMOs or processed foods. Whatever your decision for swapping out your milk, making your own is a great way to know exactly what you are (and aren’t) putting into your body.

Why an Alternative to Milk?

Like most ready made & pre-packaged foods, many store-bought nut/seed milks are hiding behind the guise of being a healthy alternative. While these milks do not have lactose in them, most of them are loaded with sweeteners.  The only way to ensure that you are free of the extras is to find the “unsweetened varieties”. But why skip out on a sweet taste when you can get it naturally at home?

There are some milk alternatives that do not have any added sweeteners, but (like their sweetened cousins & cow’s milk) are often ultra-pasteurized. This means that the drink is exposed to severe heat for short periods of time in order to extend shelf life. Although this has been a practice of preservation for some time, it’s just another step of processing that your store bought almond milk has gone through to get to your glass.

Lastly, many of these alternatives have added thickening agents to help us to better connect with the texture that we crave from cow’s milk. Guar gum, carrageenan and tapioca starch (just to name a few) have gotten their fair share of controversy in terms of their impact on health.

Get Empowered- You Can Do It!

At this point you may be back in the “overwhelmed” camp. Not to worry! The answer is simple and within reach – make your own, at home.

Making your own homemade almond milk is actually quite simple. Once you get into the groove of the process, you’ll find yourself making batches of it quickly and easily. All you’ll need is a little foresight, some raw almonds, water, optional sweeteners (like vanilla bean or dates), a blender and some cheesecloth. Because we are doing our best to avoid added chemicals, try your best to get organic ingredients. Ready to get started? Let’s get empowered!

First things first: soak your nuts overnight. This is that foresight part we talked about. You could allow the nuts to soak for just about 4 hours, but overnight is best.

Soaked nuts vs. raw nuts – imagine what you body is happier digesting!

Soaked nuts vs. raw nuts – imagine what you body is happier digesting!

Why is this step important? Well, like food blogger and nutritionist, Sarah B. of My New Roots says, “Wonder why those seeds … in your cupboard don’t turn into plants, or get moldy? Well, nature is amazing, and has given nuts and seeds a special enzyme that inhibits their growth until it has all the things it needs to grow (sunlight, water, soil etc.) … Simply by soaking nuts in a little water, the nuts release these harmful enzymes, and at the same time, their nutritional value skyrockets.”

Convinced? Great! So let’s get soakin’.

Homemade Almond Milk

This recipe calls for 1 cup of almonds to every 3 ½ cups of water. So if you are making one batch (which will give you about a quart of milk) just cover 1 cup of almonds with water, cover with a tea towel or plate, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, rinse the almonds clean to get rid of the enzyme, and maybe even use the soaking water for your plants. As an option, you can peel your almonds. Though this takes some extra time, it makes for smoother milk, but just remember that it’s completely optional.

This recipe uses almonds, but you can really use any nut or seed of your choice. Make your own superfood milk by using hemp seeds!

Optional: peeling your almonds will give you a smoother milk.

Optional: peeling your almonds will give you a smoother milk.

Place soaked & rinsed nuts in a blender and add 3 ½ cups of water . Optional – add 2 medjool dates, 1 tbsp of coconut sugar or a whole vanilla bean pod for sweetness. Blend on high for about 1 minute.

Place soaked & rinsed nuts in a blender and add 3 ½ cups of water . Optional – add 2 medjool dates, 1 tbsp of coconut sugar or a whole vanilla bean pod for sweetness. Blend on high for about 1 minute.

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Line a bowl that’s large enough to hold the liquid with cheesecloth, a strainer lined with a tea towel or a nut milk bag. Nut milk bags can be purchased at some health food stores or online and will make the process go a lot smoother. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have one! It can be done with out it. Carefully pour the blended mixture in the bowl. Gather the edges and squeeze! Be sure to get all of the liquid out. If you find that some almond meal has gotten into the bowl, you can always strain it again.

Pour into a container with a lid, refirgerate and enjoy. This milk will keep in the fridge for about 2-3 days max, and like most foods, is best fresh. Want a little more flavor? Add a pinch of cinnamon or even a small pinch of sea salt.

Pour into a container with a lid, refrigerate and enjoy. This milk will keep in the fridge for about 2-3 days max, and like most foods, is best fresh. Want a little more flavor? Add a pinch of cinnamon or even a small pinch of sea salt.

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Wondering what to do with the stuff that’s left over? This is almond meal, and is great in baking, to crust fish or chicken, in your chia pudding or yogurt or even in your next smoothie!

What is your reason for choosing to skip animal dairy? Have you made a milk alternative at home?  Are you interested in making homemade Coconut Milk or homemade Hemp Milk?

 

Comments

  1. Love ALL your products… would also love to interview you some day on HEALTHY PEOPLE RADIO!!! I’m sure you’d recognize me, if you saw me. I’ve been attending the Natural Products Expo WEST for the past 15 or more years!!!

  2. Do you have an affiliate program? I’d like to promote your product line…

  3. The mash is also good in DIY popsicles.

  4. Can you dry out the almond mash for use later? Like in a dehydrator or a low heat oven?

    • The Nutiva Team says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      Yes, absolutely. In fact, this is where you’d get almond flour from. Dry in your dehydrator, and then break it up with a mortar and pestle. Voila! Almond Flour.

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