HOMEMADE VANILLA ALMOND MILK

My choice in almond milk has varied over the years. I've never been big into drinking the stuff straight, which is exactly how I used to be with dairy milk. I like the stuff in every other possible way though. Homemade almond milk was a revelation.

As you would imagine, store-bought milks contain some preservatives, which I have been trying to avoid as much as possible. The somewhat good thing about them is that they are also often fortified with vitamins. I prefer to get my vitamins from whole food sources (and hopefully I do an OK job of it), so I'm not too concerned about this. It is nice though, for those who aren't too conscious of it.

In all honesty, I thought that making almond milk would be a lot of work. To my delight, it is not. All you need is a high-speed blender and a cheesecloth.

I haven't quite convinced the fam to get on board with the homemade stuff (they are all big dairy drinkers & my mum prefers store bought), but I am a convert. Their reasoning has something to do with the natural separation that occurs with the almonds and water. It's the same reason that they are also not sold on natural peanut butter. For me though, I don't mind. All it takes is a little shake and the stuff is good to go.
Almond milk
VANILLA ALMOND MILK Makes 1.5 cups

1/2 cup raw almonds
1 1/2 cups filtered water
1 Medjool date, pitted
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract

Soak almonds in warm water overnight. In a blender, combine all ingredients. Run on high for one minute. Strain through a cheesecloth* and pour into a jar. Keeps for up to five days refrigerated. The leftover almond pulp can be used in baked goods, oatmeal, or smoothies.

* A cheesecloth works great. If you have a nut bag, it would work even better. I only caution using a fine mesh sieve, which is what I did the first time around. You'll likely need to filter it a few times, or else you'll be left with chunks of almond pulp.

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