Have you heard that Whole Foods is adding make your own almond milk stations in their stores? Looks pretty cool, huh… especially when you market it in a nice, sleek set-up like in the picture. I kinda want to try it, don’t you?
My son developed lactose sensitivity and we have been drinking almond milk regularly- up until I saw a report about an ingredient called carrageenan. Carrageenan is an additive used to thicken, emulsify, and preserve foods and drinks. It’s a natural ingredient that comes from red seaweed (also called Irish moss). You’ll often find this ingredient in nut milks, meat products, and yogurt.
Products with carrageenan may be labeled as “natural,” but limited studies show that carrageenan may promote or cause:
I was concerned enough to go check our own fridge and I found this ingredient in our deli meat and almond milk.
That’s when I decided to start making our own almond milk. And guess what- you don’t need a fancy, sleek Whole Foods type machine to make your own almond milk. It’s actually quite simple and kinda fun- especially when you get to the “milking the almonds” part (: .
- 1 cup raw organic almonds
- 4-5 cups pure filtered water plus more for soaking
- tiny pinch of sea salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- sweetener of choice including 2 dates or 2 TBSP maple syrup (optional)
- Soak your almonds overnight, or place in boiling pot of water for 10-15 minutes
- Add your soaked almonds, water, salt, and any additional add-ins (optional) to a high-speed blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Keep it running for at least 1-2 minutes so you get the most out of your almonds.
- Strain using a nut milk bag.
- Transfer milk to a jar or covered bottle and refrigerate. Will keep for 4-5 days, though best when fresh. Shake well before drinking, as it tends to separate.
- Be sure to use whole, raw, unsalted almonds, and not roasted, toasted, salted or slivered almonds for this recipe.
- A very fine mesh strainer will work in a pinch, but cheesecloth is better and a cheesecloth nut milk bag is best.
- Soaking almonds is an important step in the process because it will help soften them up. Also, almonds tend to have a much more appealing taste after they are soaked and rinsed, which will improve the taste of your final product. Some proponents of a raw vegan diet report that soaking nuts increases enzyme activity and can result in greater absorption of the food’s nutrients by the body and increased digestibility. I typically boil the almonds in a large pot for 10-15 minutes to