Home-Made Almond Milk

DSC05901Making almond milk is one of the easiest things in the world. It is not expensive either, given that you only need 150 grs. of almonds to  make about a litre of milk.

It has a very subtle taste, therefore you can use it as a milk substitute in smoothies, baked goods, porridge, and even when making your coffee or hot chocolate.

 Almond milk even looks like milk and it does not taste like almonds at all.

DSC05899This is a great dairy-free milk substitute. Here are 5 reasons you may want to give it a try:

1.- Low in calories: A glass of almond milk has a fraction of the calories present in cow’s milk. There are 60 calories in a glass of almond milk while a glass of whole milk has 146 calories. Even skimmed cow’s milk has more calories: 86.

2.- No cholesterol: Unlike cow’s milk , almond milk has no cholesterol.

3.- Good for the heart: Almond milk is low in sodium and high in healthy fats, such as omega fatty acids (commonly found in fish) which help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease.

4.- Good for your skin: Almond milk is rich in vitamin E  (provides 50% of the recommended daily amount) which protects your skin from sun damage and other external factors.

There seems to be a connection between dairy and acne, even though there hasn’t been a definitive study to prove 100% that this is the case, there is proof enough that doctors are recommending patients that suffer from acne to stop their intake of dairy. Most patients seem to react favourably to a dairy free diet.

I can testify to this, as soon as I go back to dairy on a regular basis my face gets irritated and populated by all sorts of red pimples.

I keep a healthy diet in general, so I’m aware of the changes in my body when I eat something I shouldn’t. Having a coffee with milk once a week is not a big deal, but as soon as I have milk daily, say with cereals or porridge in the morning, boom! acne and reddish skin.

In an article he wrote for a medical journal in 2008, F. William Danby, MD, a skin expert who promotes the possible dairy-acne connection, explained how the two may be related: milk contains components related to the hormone testosterone that may stimulate oil glands in the skin, setting the stage for acne.

Dairy also causes your skin to produce excess sebum (oil), leading to – yes! – more clogged pores, more acne, and a breeding ground for P. acnes bacteria, which feed on your sebum and spew out inflammatory by-products.

So, if you suffer from acne, you may want to cut back on your dairy intake and see what happens. You might be surprised!

5.- Keeps your bones healthy: Shop-bought almond milk usually has added calcium and vitamin D (you can check this on your milk carton as it varies from brand to brand) and offers about 30 percent of the recommended daily amount of calcium, as well as 25 percent of the recommended amount of vitamin D, reducing your risk for arthritis and osteoporosis and improving your immune function. These two nutrients also work together to provide healthy bones and teeth formation.

Bear in mind that the amount of calcium in shop-bought almond milk is smaller than that on cow’s milk (and is even smaller in home-made almond milk), so if you are thinking about replacing cow’s milk altogether, you may want to add some other calcium rich foods to your diet, such as broccoli, sardines, kale, spinach or sesame seeds, in order to keep a healthy intake of calcium.

Almond milk has also less protein than cow’s milk, but we normally get enough protein (from meats, eggs, nuts and tofu) anyway.

DSC05896This was going to be a short post, but I have difficulty in keeping things short! Must be the writer in me 😉

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients for a litre of milk:

150 grs. of almonds.

300 ml of water to activate the almonds.

800 ml of fresh water to make the almond milk.

Update 14/8: I’ve been playing with different ratios of almonds to water and came to the conclusion that using 50grs more almonds and 200 ml less water makes for a more nutritious almond milk without altering the flavour too much, so I’ve changed the original recipe which was: 100grs almonds to 1L water. 

How to:

1.- The night before place the almonds in a bowl or jar and cover with some water (300ml should be enough). This activates the almonds: they are dormant seeds, so by putting them in water they are woken up and all their goodness is released. Next morning you’ll find that the water has a brownish colour:

DSC05870

2.- Discard the water, place the almonds in a blender and add 800 ml of fresh water. If, like me, you only have a hand-held blender don’t worry, this part will be a bit more awkward but it can be done. Place the almonds in a jar and add the water.

DSC05874

3.- Now all you have to do is blend! You’ll notice that the water turns a bright white. Lovely!

DSC058784.- Now it’s time to filter it. You can use a cheese cloth, a tea strainer or even a cafetière (sounds odd, I know, and it is a bit messy, but it still works).

You’ll end up with some almond residue which you can further use in fillings or soups.

DSC05889And voilà! That’s all!

You can keep your almond milk for up to 4 days in the fridge. Use it to make porridge, chilled with cacao powder for a refreshing iced chocolate drink, mixed with granola for a healthy breakfast, use it to produce creamy mashes, or even to bake spongy muffins.

DSC05891Note: The more almonds the thicker your milk and the stronger the flavour. Some recipes call for a lot more almonds per litre of water. I prefer my milk to be liquid and with a mild flavour so that I can use it in cooking. But you can adjust the quantities to suit your taste.

Some people add sugar or vanilla essence when they blend the almonds, you can do it too but that will change the calorie content and the flavour. 

Why don’t you start using your home-made almond milk in this lovely banana smoothie?

Have a great day!

Pau

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