According to the federal government’s dietary guidelines for Americans, adults and children alike are recommended to consume at least three glasses of whole, low-fat, or fat-free milk per day. What the federal government won’t tell you is that recommendations are strongly influenced by the department of agriculture’s almost iron-clad relationship with the dairy industry. Americans are at a greater risk for osteoporosis than any other developing nation in the world, most of whom do not have consistent access to a bevy of dairy products. But you know, milk is good and all.
Have you ever taken a moment to wonder why are we the only species that relies on the milk of another for sustenance? Milk, by virtue of its nature, is to feed a particular species’ young during the initial formative months and years. Past that, its consumption has become more of a leisurely thing we do because we have bought into the idea that milk (remember, from another mammal) is necessary for vitamin D and calcium provision in our diets. I’m here to tell you that is false.
Dairy consumption not only encourages mucus production, but it’s also been known to increase cholesterol and trigger Type 1 diabetes, aside from being a known inflammatory liquid that causes acne and rashes. Let’s also not forget its horrid relationship with people who are lactose intolerant.
In my quest to eat healthier and really knowing what I’m ingesting, I embarked on a journey to make my own almond milk. I’m pleased to share the recipe with you below:
- 4 cups of raw almonds
- 6 cups of filtered water (an additional 8 cups for later)
- 4 dates
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- High-speed blender
- Nut milk bag
- Mason jar (or milk bottle)
Soak your almonds in filtered or spring water for at least 24 hours at room temperature. This ensures that your almonds are hydrated and soft. Be sure to rinse the soaked almonds thoroughly as the acid from the peel is now in the water and it can make for funny-tasting milk.
With your four cups of almonds, layer this into your blender with eight cups of filtered water, your dates, and the vanilla extract. It’s important that we use filtered water so as not to introduce any new bacteria in our milk.
At this point, blend all of your ingredients until your mixture is as smooth as you can possibly get. If your mixture is a little thick, feel free to thin it down by adding a little filtered water at a time.
Once you have your base blended up, you can pour a little bit into your nut milk bag at a time and squeeze gently to release the liquid and separate the solid bits. Once you’ve squeezed out as much liquid as you can (don’t be afraid to add some gentle pressure – you want the solid bits in the bag to be as dry as possible), strain it through a sieve a few times for smooth milk.
Pour the liquid into your jars, and don’t forget to taste. Just like that, you have it: homemade almond milk! You can even use this recipe for cashew milk and sweeten with sugarcane and dates (a tiny bit of ginger makes this a great on-the-go drink).
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know if you plan to try it or have any questions! #nutmilk!