Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium and phosphorus as well as heart healthy monounsaturated fats. Though referred to as a nut, they are botanically characterized as a fruit, and are a cousin of the apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach and plum. Almond is just one of several types of plant-based milk that I enjoy. I have an affinity for Brazil Nut Milk, though I also like pumpkin seed and hemp seed. There is also hazelnut, cashew, pecan and sunflower seed among others, not to mention the various blends that can be created—all of which are wonderful additions to smoothies, soups, puddings, dressings, sauces and so much more.
Creamy, simple and versatile.
3 cups pure water
1 cup raw almonds, soaked and sprouted (preferably one full day)
1/2 of one very large date, pitted
1/16 teaspoon pink crystal salt (fine grind)
Using a high-speed blender, first blend together the almonds and water until creamy. With either a tightly woven cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve, separate the almond pulp from the liquid and pour the milk back into the blender. Add the pitted date and salt and process until the date has been completely broken down. Separate the date fiber from the liquid and pour the almond milk into your choice of airtight container. The finished milk should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 3 to 5 days.
A few tips…
Double or triple the recipe as needed.
The almonds were measured after soaking.
In general, soaking nuts allows for greater availability of nutrients and less impact on digestion. Since almonds are fairly hard and have a pretty tough skin, I prefer to soak them for one full day (24 hours).
After one day of soaking, the almonds should sprout. If so, there will be a tiny white nub on the tip of each almond. While the ‘nub’ will not grow into a visible long tail, it does grow inward and qualifies as a ‘sprouted almond’.
Depending on the type of blender you have, the exact length of time needed to process the almonds will vary. When you first begin the blending process, the almonds will cause loud rattling, and as they become pulverized the rattling will lessen. It may take a bit of trial and error to gauge how smooth the pulp should be. If the almonds process for too long, the pulp will be superfine and require more time and effort to strain. However, if the almonds do not process long enough, the milk could end up watery instead of creamy. After you have made Almond Milk a few times, you will get the hang of it.
This milk is meant to be mildly sweet. In the list of ingredients, I noted 1/2 of one very large date, pitted. 1/2 of one very large date is equal to about 1/2 of one tablespoon. I chose to freely list the date to make it easier, but you can go with the 1/2 tablespoon measurement if you prefer.
If your dates are not soft and pliable, you can soak them in a small amount pure water, just enough to cover the dates, for fifteen minutes or longer until they plump up enough for ease in blending. If you store your dates in the refrigerator, they will become stiff from the cold but will usually somewhat soften up after being left out at room temperature for a while. If they still seem hard, then definitely utilize the soak method.
To ensure a silky texture that I prefer when making nut (and seed) milk, I use a tightly woven cheesecloth to separate the almond milk from the nut pulp as well as the date fiber. However, a fine-mesh sieve is also a good option.
You may notice the separation of nut fat from the water. Not to worry, that is completely normal. Just give the almond milk a gentle shake before you use it.
While it would certainly be easier to blend all of the ingredients in one go instead of through a two-step process, I prefer the latter as a plain, unseasoned nut (or seed) milk pulp is much more versatile and consistent.
The leftover almond milk pulp can be either used immediately or reserved for later. If you are not able to utilize the almond milk pulp right away, you have a few choices as to how to store it for future use. It can be stored in an airtight container and kept inside of the refrigerator for one to two days, or it can be kept inside of the freezer and thawed when needed. For long-term storage, the leftover almond milk pulp can be dehydrated until completely dry, ground into a fine flour, stored in an airtight container and kept inside of the refrigerator.
Use the leftover almond milk pulp for making breads, crackers, cookies, burgers, wrap fillings, etc. Using the pulp instead of ground whole nuts lends a wonderfully light texture to your creations.