Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

How to Make Raw Vegan Almond (Nut) Milk – Step By Step

by Kristen Suzanne in almond milk

 

I love raw vegan nut milks. Currently, my favorite is a simple almond milk with a hint of vanilla added (recipe and instructions below). It’s… Unsweetened – Smooth – Refreshing – Satiating – Nourishing – Nutritious – And, Super Delicious. It’s easy to do and I find myself making a batch about 2-3 times a week so I stay stocked.

Every raw foodie should always have a quart of raw vegan nut milk in his / her refrigerator because apart from the great elements noted above, it’s versatile and can be used in many ways such as:

~ Drinking by the glass – yum – what an awesome snack! Want it to be more filling? Enjoy it alongside a couple of raw cookies (cookie recipe here)
~ Adding to green smoothies (in place of water) for a creamy texture and to help take the “green” edge off.
~ Make warm chocolate with it (that’s instead of “hot” chocolate) by blending it with raw cacao powder
~ Using in soups, salad dressings, or desserts such as ice cream, mousse, and pudding
~ Umm – hello! – with raw granola! One of my favorite ways to enjoy it.
~ For those of you in the transition route to raw (or with family members who aren’t ready to jump into 100% raw) try these ideas: let them eat their regular boxed cereal but replace the milk with fresh raw almond milk. Or, make a batch of cooked oat groats. Let them cool and toss in some raisins for sweetness. Then, serve a bowl of this comfort love with a “raw almond milk moat” around it.

Below is my favorite recipe right now. Simple and fun to make.
My recipe is unsweetened and made with almonds. But! The exciting thing is that there are so many variations that you can do so let me detail some of those before getting to my recipe.

Different Nuts or Seeds – I make mine with Raw Organic Italian almonds which (almonds) lend a light sweetness naturally on their own. But, you can go for a more earthy raw milk with Brazil nuts. Or focus on omegas and make a milk with walnuts or hemp seeds. Looking for extra calcium? Try sesame seed milk. Want a more decadent milk? Try pecans. You can also make it with sunflower seeds (vitamin E) or pumpkin seeds (iron, zinc), although these aren’t my favorite for flavors in a raw milk, they’re chock full of excellent nutrients. Cashews make a wonderful, neutral tasting milk that is super creamy. You can also use macadamia nuts if you’re looking for a more “Hawaiin” flavor. ;) Perhaps pistachios or hazelnuts or pine nuts are more your style – have at it you Glittering Gastronomist! Or… mix them all up and make a Mutt Milk!

Most nuts and seeds require some soaking to either a) increase the digestibility of them by removing enzyme inhibitors or b) to make them easier to blend. I would probably soak all of the options noted above, based on those two reasons, with the exception of hemp seeds. They don’t have the enzyme issue and they’re very soft, easy to blend.

Exciting Flavors – I’m partial to raw vanilla powder, but there are so many others available. You can use any extract that you can get your hot little hands on. Try any of the following: orange, coconut, mint, lemon, almond, hazelnut, cherry, rum, maple, or more! And, ehem…. chocolate milk (using raw cacao powder and a sweetener noted below for fantastic raw vegan chocolate milk).

Sweeteners – My current affair is with an unsweetened raw milk, but as I noted, the almonds are already a little sweet on their own. If I were making it with another type of nut or seed, I might add a sweetener and any of the following can be great for that: raw agave nectar, raw coconut crystals, stevia, dates, prunes, raisins, etc.

Salt – You can add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor of the raw milk.

With all of these options there are like a gajillion varieties of raw vegan nut milk that you can make. You’ll never get bored!

So let’s get to the recipe I promised! You’ll need 2 cups of raw almonds, water for soaking the almonds plus 5 cups of water for blending, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder.

Start with whole, raw, organic almonds. I bought mine
from Blue Mountain Organics.
Put 2 cups of almonds in a bowl and fill with filtered water.
Note: soaking nuts and seeds can leave unsightly stains (usually temporary). I had just finished
using this bowl for soaking other nuts and decided to use it again before putting in the dishwasher.
Let them soak on your counter overnight (or for at least 12 hours) and if desired, remove the skins.
Not necessary, I just can’t help myself sometimes – it’s kind of addicting. I also change the water after about
6 hours or so (if I’m awake), but that’s not really necessary either.
Drain the water from the almonds, give them a quick rinse,
and place the soaked almonds in your blender with 5 cups of new, filtered water.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of Raw Vanilla Powder (or extract)
Blend on high speed for about a minute.
Get out your nut milk bag to strain the milk and a big container (or bowl) to strain the milk into.
(You can also use a paint strainer bag from the hardware store like I have here.)
Pour the milk into the nut milk bag, over the bowl, and help it along by squeezing it.
Stay tuned for my next blog post where I show you a great recipe for the leftover almond pulp!
Voila! 6 cups of awesome, healthy, delicious, nutritious Raw Vegan Almond Milk!
This will stay fresh in the fridge for up to about 5 days.
Remember… you can use a Sharpie on your glass mason jars. It easily scrubs off with a sponge and water.

UPDATE: I’ve been buying my raw organic almonds from Bremnar Farms Roadside Stand recently. More info in this blog post about the validity of almonds and their true rawness. Check it out.

What are your favorite raw vegan nut milk flavors? Do you make your own raw vegan nut milks frequently? If not… what’s stopping you?

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