This is my first post for the new blog. Welcome! We are so close to Thanksgiving and I am busy putting together the menu for Thanksgiving 2015, but in the mist of all the prep, I am working on some basics, like almond milk to have on hand for easy morning breakfasts.

In the recent years, I really grew to love “alterna” milks.  At this point, it is all I drink. I started buying various types, cashew, soy, coconut and finally almond.   There are so many choices and options that I honestly find it overwhelming. Sometimes I just stand there in the natural foods aisle, staring, reading the ingredients, staring some more and finally nervously choosing a non-dairy milk product.  I hate to imagine what I actually look like while choosing a carton of non dairy milk.

There were so many ingredients I found intimidating: “guar gum”, “locust bean gum” or “carrageenan.”  I finally realized most of those are thickeners and homogenizers, but it still does not make me feel comfortable and I wanted to explore some options without all those additives. There is some scary stuff out about carrageenan which is an additive generally thought safe to eat, but found to cause digestive issues in some people. I will let you do your own research and decisions about that ingredient, but I simply tend to avoid it. Since almond milk is my favorite, I ended up focusing on that recipe. What i found is that almond milk is unbelievably easy to make! For plain, unsweetened almond milk there are two ingredients! Two! Water and almonds!

It is all about the process of soaking almonds overnight or at least four hours. While that sounds time-consuming, it is really easy to fill up a jar with almonds and water and leave it overnight, let those two do their magic for you.

Here is what that prep looks like:

almond milk soak

And then, when ready to blend, strain the soaking water and add fresh water to the soaked almonds and blend for two minutes.

Simple Almond Milk

Ingredients

1 cup almonds
2 cups water for soaking
3 cups water for blending
pinch of salt
Optional 1 tsp vanilla extract
Maple Syrup to taste

Directions

Cover one cup of almonds with 2 cups of water. Cover and soak overnight. The longer the almonds soak, the creamier the milk becomes.
Strain out the soaking liquid and place almonds into a blender. Add the remaining 3 cups of water, salt and blend for about 2 minutes. This mixture will be grainy.
Place a nut bag in a bowl, and pour the blended mixture into the nut bag. Close the bag and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible.
As is, this will make  basic unsweetened almond milk. If flavors are desired, rinse out the blender and pour the strained liquid back into the blender. Add vanilla and maple syrup, if using, and blend for another 30 seconds. Enjoy.

Almond Milk