I made milk. Do you remember the other week when I ended up making crackers because I couldn’t bare going to the store with three children? Well we were also out of milk. I searched all over the kitchen thinking of how I could make milk appear. Certainly there had to be a way. Turns out without a cow, it is very hard to make milk. Well, that is until I learned how to make almond milk. A few days later a friend came over and as usual we got into talking about food and nutrition and she mentioned how she made almond milk for her kids. After her quick tutorial, I made almond milk the next day. It was easy, just like she said. Sure, it did add a little mess to my kitchen and a little more hassle, but not much more.
What I like about it is the taste. Have you tasted almond milk before? I hadn’t, but it’s very, very good. It tastes to me like grown up milk or a gourmet version of milk. I don’t drink much cows milk, maybe in a bowl of cereal or in the occasional latte, but this version I could drink glasses of. And it makes ordinary breakfast cereal taste so much fancier. In this version photographed, I mixed in the seeds from a vanilla bean and that made it over the top delicious. For ease in my life I’ve switched to using vanilla extract, but if you have extra vanilla beans laying around, by all means, try a batch with one of those.
Last time I visited my parents my mom said, ‘Did you know they make almond milk? I bought some at the store the other day!’ I said, ‘Oh yeah! I just made some for the first time last week!’ She gave me that look that she gives me when I told her I made something as bizarre as milk and said, ‘You know, Kendra, you can buy it at the store!’ I know Mom, I know. I don’t know why I make this stuff. I know you can buy chapstick and bread and crackers and yogurt and laundry detergent and chips and everything else I’ve tried to make before at the store. What compels us to try making these things? I ask you because I know if you read this blog that you’ve tried at least making some of these types of things too. Can you help me tell my mom why we do this? Is it because we are all a little crazy? Have we gone off the deep end? In my case, I’m sure I have, but I’d like to think I try making these things partly out of curiosity. It just seems fun and fascinating to figure out how to make these things. It makes me feel strangely independent and free from needing to buy all the time. And sometimes making these things at home are cheaper (although sometimes not), sometimes they are healthier for us and the earth, sometimes it tastes better (although sometimes not), and most importantly….Mom, have you tried taking all three of my young children to the grocery store before?
It should be said that my mom has also given up shampooing and she used to sew a good majority of my clothes growing up and always made our dinner from scratch every single night, so maybe she is who I get this drive from. You made me this crazy Mom!
Anyway, onward to how to make almond milk.
1 cup almonds soaked in water overnight
4 Medjool dates
1 t. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
Combine 4 cups of water, almonds, dates, and vanilla extract in blender (if using a vanilla bean, wait to use it). Blend until almonds are well blended and mixture looks milky. Pour through a cheese cloth lined strainer into a 1 quart canning jar or other milk holding device. You will want a big enough piece of cheese cloth that you can gather together and squeeze out the last drops of milk. If using a vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and mix in now. Put it in the fridge to cool and shake well before drinking. That’s it!
Scott suggested I add a few cardamom seeds into the blend which I did with my last batch. It tasted good and spicy like chai.
The left over vanilla beans, if you use them, you can put into your sugar bowl to make vanilla sugar. Yum! With the left over almond meal you can get inventive in the kitchen. Try adding it to bread or cookies. I haven’t figured out the perfect recipe for the leftovers yet. Do you have any suggestions?
Tell me why you attempt to make these things too!