We’ve been making our own almond milk for several months. I think my husband started because he wanted to be drinking less cow’s milk but since we started the low-carb I’ve incorporated more of the almond milk into my diet and in general use (in baking and sauces, etc.) since it is, in fact, lower in carbs than milk. I also feel better knowing my vegan friends have something to put in their coffee when they are here.
Unfortunately the USDA doesn’t list almond milk in its nutrient database, but there is a listing for Almond Breeze unsweetened almond milk on nutritiondata.self.com which says for every 240 g portion, there are 2 g of carbs and 1 g of fibre. (Whereas 2% milk has 11.71 g per 244 g serving.)
You can buy almond milk, but it’s really easy to make your own as well. A lot of recipes say to leave the skin on, but I did it once and found it bitter compared to the blanched version. But maybe that was because I didn’t soak them first. I tried the shortcut version here and didn’t like it. You’ll need a blender. Here’s how we do it.
- 1 cup raw almonds (not roasted)
Blanch the almonds by bringing a small pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, pour in 1 cup of raw almonds. Wait 1 minute, or less if it comes back up to a boil quicker than that. Strain the almonds and cool them a bit by running them under cold water. You end up with almonds with wrinkly skins shown below.
Pinch them out of their skins (I can often convince the kids to help me with this part as they are slippery and shoot out of the skins into the bowl).
Soak the skinned almonds in a bowl of cool water for 1 to 8 hours (I’ve skipped this step and they were fine).
Rinse the soaked almonds, then measure a litre of cold water into your blender. Add your almonds and blend for a minute or so, until it’s well blended and frothy.
Strain the meal out of the milk with some cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. We got a bag with our yogurt incubator which works pretty well. I usually hang the bag from a hook over a bowl and leave it for several minutes before I squeeze it out.
Now you’ve got almond milk, with the added bonus of almond meal (or almond flour), which can be used as a gluten-free or low-carb alternative to flour.
I like to dry out my almond meal, because it lasts longer that way, and is better to cook with as well. To do that, I spread it out thinly on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate it for 6-8 hours. Apparently, you can do this in the oven, too.
After it’s dried, run it through the blender or a food processor to break it up. Now it’ll keep in an airtight container until you need it for your next baked goods like the low-carb sweet potato chocolate muffins.
I don’t usually flavour the almond milk because my husband likes to use it instead of milk in his tea, but I sometimes split the batch and put a vanilla bean (that had been used to make vanilla extract so it is already split and soaked in extract) in the milk and the next morning it is delicious in my café au lait (d’amande).