Oval shaped, crunchy and packed full of vitamins and minerals makes the almond a super nut.
Recently celebrities, personal trainers and chefs have all helped propel the almond into the spotlight however the goodness doesnít just stop at the health benefits.
Almonds taste fantastic and can be eaten raw, roasted, cooked in sweet and savoury dishes, sprinkled in muesli, yoghurt, ice-cream or custard, teamed with chocolate, dried fruits or cheese or ground with basil and olives to make tapenade or pesto.
As well as enjoying almonds as a food, I also love it as a drink. Its popularity continues to skyrocket as a firm favourite with those who suffer lactose or dairy problems. But it is expensive and does contain traces of sugar, salt and additives.
The pursuit to create my own Almond Milk began, which I discovered was incredibly easy. Raw almonds, water and a little time to activate the almonds being all that I needed to make my own milk.
Fresh, Creamy Tasting Almond Milk.
Much discussion still continues on the topic of activated almonds and whether our bodies are able to easily absorb many of the nutrients found in almonds.
Soaking almonds in water, tricks the nut into splitting or sprouting and therefore starting the activation process. This enables our bodies to breakdown the sprouted almonds with more ease which means more of the good nutrients being absorbed.
Left Almond is a an unactivated almond, while the Right Almond is activated. Soaking the almonds also swells the almond in size
Irrespective of which side of the fence youíre on, one thing is certain, it is definitely cheaper to activate your own almonds than to buy them in this pre-activated form.
After soaking, itís important to dehydrate the almonds to re-inject the crunch back into the nut.
My first batch of Almond Milk tasted creamy and fresh and similar to store bought. The end result was a nutty but clean tasting milk. The ease of making almond milk, notwithstanding the benefits or the creamy fresh taste leaves me in no doubt I will be making my own almond milk from hereon. Enjoy.
Preparation Time: 12-Hours Soaking Time
Cooking Time: 15-minutes
Ingredients 1 Cup of Raw Natural Almonds
3-4 Cups of Water
Soak the almonds in water overnight or up to 48 hours. The longer the almonds soak the creamier the almond milk.
Soak the raw almonds in water overnight.
Activated Almonds after having soaked in water for 12-Hours.
Rinse the almonds under cold water.
Rinse the activated almonds in cold running water.
Activated Almonds, allow the body to more easily absorb many of the nutrients found in almonds.
Combine the activated almonds and 3-4 cups of water in a blender and process until it has broken down into a very fine almond meal. The water will have turned opaque.
Pulse the almonds and water.
Continue processing the almond until it has broken down into fine almond meal.
The water will have turned milky white and opaque.
Line a colander with a moist muslin cloth and place over a bowl. Spoon the almond mixture into the cloth.
Line a colander with muslin cloth and drain the almond milk into a clean bowl.
Strain and press all the liquid from the almond meal.
Using a spoon, stir and press all the liquid from the almond meal.
Gather the cloth and twist close, squeezing and pressing with your hands, extracting as much liquid as possible.
Gather the muslin and twist close, squeezing the last remnants of milk.
You should be able to get over 1-litre of almond milk. Refrigerate until required.
Freshly made Almond Milk.
You can sweeten the milk with some honey or dates during the blending process.
You can flavour the almond milk with vanilla, cocoa, strawberries or bananas.
Almond Milk should keep in the fridge in a sterile sealed bottle for 4-5 days.
Almond Milk is perfect to use in Bircher Muesli or Porridge.
Almond Milk is perfect in all fruit smoothies or frappes.
The left-over almond meal can be dried and baked in the oven and stored in an air-tight container. It can then be used as a substitute for breadcrumbs in recipes, used in cheesecake bases or can be toasted and used in cereal or museli.
Dry the left over Almond Meal on a low heat in the oven, then store in an airtight container in the freezer.