I recently became aware of the benefits of drinking almond milk completely on accident... our Teen son was prone to severe acne breakouts and it seemed just when he would start to get it under control, he'd have another major flare up. To say we tried everything, including an dermatologist is an understatement, at best. One day a few weeks ago, we ran out of milk and I didn't see any need to make a special trip to the store to buy any. Three days later, my sons face was rapidly clearing and I asked him what he'd been doing/using that was so different, he said, "Nothing, I just haven't had any milk in 3 days". With 7-10 days, his face was 80% cleared of acne. He had been tested by the dermatologist for allergies and they declared him "allergy free" but apparently he's sensitive to the high amounts of hormones that are in our milk supply. So we switched to Almond Milk, a great alternative that is free of hormones and chemicals and what an amazing difference it has made!
You'll notice in the recipe that we soak the almonds before using them. This is because almonds naturally contain an enzyme inhibitor called phytic acid. In the wild, this would help the seed from sprouting until the right conditions have been met, but in our daily diet, what this does is prevent some of the vitamins and minerals from being properly absorbed. In order to remove the phytic acid, almonds must be soaked, then drained and thoroughly rinsed. This allows Phytase to be released, which counteracts the phytic acid.
Unfortunately, it's not the cheapest alternative on the market, so we decided to make our own for about 1/2 of the price.
3 cups raw almonds, soaked in water
8 cups water
2 Large Fresh Medjool Dates
1 whole vanilla bean* cut in half (or 1/2-1 tsp vanilla extract, depending on your taste preference)
*Additional Water for Soaking (about 6 cups or so)
Measure the almonds into a bowl and add about 6 cups of water, let it set overnight. Using a colander, drain the almonds, then rinse them thoroughly.
In your blender and half of the soaked almonds, half a vanilla bean, 1 large date and half of the water. Press the liquify button and process about 2 minutes, or until the almonds are finely pureed.
Pour the mixture through a nut milk bag or if you don't have a nutmilk bag, line a colander with several layers of cheesecloth (about 5!) over a large bowl. Like this:
Strain it thoroughly, gather the ends of the cheesecloth together & gently squeeze out any remaining milk.
Then transfer the strained nut-milk into a clean jar. Note the tiny speckles of fresh vanilla!
Repeat with the remaining ingredients. When all is said and done you'll have about 6 1/2 cups of fresh Delicious Healthy Almond Juice which will last up to 6 days in the fridge. We prefer to store our milk in glass jars with reCap easy pour spouts.
The remaining Almond Meal that is leftover can be used a number of ways:
- Dehydrated & Made into Almond Flour
- Honey Almond Scrub Spa Recipe
- Granola Bars
- Additional Fiber & Flavor in Oatmeal & Smoothies
- Mix it with suet for the birds
- Homemade Energy Bars
- Easy Almond Vanilla Soap
This also freezes well.
**Optional**- to make Homemade Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Milk add 1/2 tsp cinnamon to the above mixture (during the blending process you'd add 1/4 tsp each time)
Budget101 Budget Breakdown:
3 cups raw almonds - comes in a package of 9 cups for $6.88 = .76 per cup x 3 = $2.29
8 cups water = free
2 Large Fresh Medjool Dates - 1 8oz package = $1.96 = .24¢
1 whole vanilla bean* cut in half (or 1/2-1 tsp vanilla extract, depending on your taste preference) This one can get rather expensive if you don't have a decent source for vanilla beans, so the price is based on extract at .05 per tsp
We purchase our vanilla beans online at amazon, you can get 1/4 pound for around $14 with Prime Shipping (free) We specifically like the World Assortment which is 30 beans for $13 or 43¢ each.
The almonds can be found at Sam's Club, BJ's Wholesale, Trader Joes, Whole Foods (more expensive), or online at Amazon. Keep in mind that they swell considerably during the preparation so 3 cups of dried almonds go a long way.
On Purchasing Almonds
You can purchase 4 pounds of Raw, Natural Almonds on Amazon for $25. which is about $6.48 per Pound. If you use the "Subscribe & Save" feature, the savings is even more & it can be cancelled at ANY time (hint,hint).
One Pound of almonds is equal to approximately 3 1/4 cups
Total Cost to make your own Amazing Almond Milk: $2.58 = .04¢ per ounce compared with .08¢-.12¢ per ounce at the store - plus you have a wonderful amount of almond meal leftover to use in various recipes