Thursday, January 29, 2015

Better than Almond Breeze (Copy-Cat Recipe)

Smooth and Delicious Almond Milk

This is a recipe I created and demonstrated when I was teaching healthy cooking classes. This formulation tastes much better than the other almond milks out there (with the exception of my mom's). You may drink this as a beverage, or pour over breakfast cereals, and use as a healthy replacement for pasteurized commercial almond milk. You can also make a sweetened almond milk with out all the sugar that commercial almond milk has. A key to making good almond milk is to remember to add a touch of BioSalt, as it brings out the flavor.

Almond milk is an excellent choice for people who are health conscious, watching their dairy and sugar intake or are on low-carb or paleo diets. This is also great for people on cleansing raw-food diets.


ALMOND MILK Recipe:

Yield: 1 gallon

3 c. soaked raw almonds (see how to do this below)
purified water to make a total of 1 gallon
2 T. xylitol or Lakanto zero-cal granular sweetener
20 to 25 drops stevia glycerite (like NOW brand or the stevia glycerite recipe on this blog)
2 t. real vanilla extract
1/2 t. BioSalt (recipe on this blog)
1/2 t. almond extract, optional


Equipment Needed:

High-powered blender
Fine mesh cloth bag, for straining
1-gallon jug with tight-fitting lid, for almond milk storage


Method:

To soak the almonds:

Rinse and soak about 3 cups raw, shelled almonds in water for a total of 24 hours, rinsing every so often until the soaking water is no longer colored. Drain. The almonds will have expanded in size a bit. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge until use.


To make the almond milk:

Put 3 cups soaked almonds into a VitaMix or BlendTec blender and add enough purified water to reach the 6-cup line on the blender container. Secure lid tightly.

Puree the almonds very well on high speed.

Strain by pouring the almond slurry into a finely woven cloth bag, placed inside a large bowl. (Or you can put the cloth bag inside a strainer that is placed over a bowl.)

Wring out and squeeze the pulp in the cloth bag well.

Place the almond pulp back into the blender, add water and puree again. Pour back into the cloth bag and squeeze it as dry as you can.

Rinse out your blender container. Pour in some of the nut milk and add the xylitol, stevia, vanilla, BioSalt, and almond extract, if using. Blend a few seconds more.

Pour into a 1-gallon jug and add the rest of the almond milk that's left in the bowl and then add enough purified water to make a total of 1 gallon. Shake to blend.

Taste the almond milk for sweetness and salt. if it tastes flat, add a pinch more Biosalt.

Store in the refrigerator. Shake before use.



Variations:

For a sweeter almond milk add a total of 3 T. xylitol, and no more than 30 drops stevia glycerite. you may also add a pinch of fresh ground nutmeg, if desired.

For a creamier almond milk that doesn't separate as easily, add 1 t. guar gum and 2 t. liquid lecithin.



Squeezing the almond pulp dry in a cloth bag


Notes: 

Reserve the almond pulp for other uses or compost it.

You can freeze the almond pulp and add to foods to increase the fiber content. Try adding a little to hot cereals, baked goods, pancakes...

You may also dehydrate the almond pulp and then grind it finely, so that you can add it to gluten-free/paleo baking mixes, home made granola, etc...  If you are on a raw-food diet, dry the pulp at or below 110 degrees F.


Enjoy!

Leila