i have been using a lot of nuts milk (cashew and almond milk) and soy milk after i decided to go vegan. the morning chai is made with soy milk or cashew milk. in the cakes or breads that i make i add these non diary milks or water.
after having almond milk a couple of times, i have got hooked on to it. its soooo good. especially for a milk hater like me. i could never just have plain milk even with sugar.
its easy on the tummy and there is no after milk smell in the palate. its also good for kids who are allergic to milk or have lactose intolerance.
almond milk can be had plain or sweetened with some sugar or jaggery or honey. if you like chocolate, then warm the milk and add some cocoa powder and you have a nice warm chocolate drink. you can even mix cereals or fruits with the milk.
we use almond milk not only as a beverage, but i also make my favorite desserts – seviyan (vermicelli) kheer, gajar(carrot) halwa & fruit custard with it. recently i made strawberry falooda with almond milk and it was truly awesome. so after making a few indian desserts with almond milk, i have come to the conclusion that almond milk substitutes very well with cow’s milk in making indian sweets.
the consistency of almond milk is similar to diary milk but it has a refreshing taste & flavor unlike cow’s milk. again there are added health benefits of having almond milk everyday. in the refrigerator the almond milk stays best for 3-4 days.
lets begin the step by step process of how to make almond milk:
1: boil water and switch of the flame when the water becomes hot and starts boiling.
2: rinse the almonds and add these to the boiled water. cover with a lid and let the almonds get blanched for 30-45 minutes. i blanch the almonds as its easier to remove the peel. you can also soak the almonds overnight. but i find peeling soaked almonds cumbersome. the peels just don’t come off easily. you can keep the peels if you want. i remove them as they irritate our throats when they are ground.
3: drain the water. this water you can cool and give it to your plants. just press the peel of the almond between your thumb and forefinger and the peel comes off easily. remove the peels of all the almonds this way.
4: now add 3 cups water in the blender along with the almonds. blend till smooth.
5: using a juice strainer/fine sieve/muslin/cheese cloth bag strain the milk keeping a large bowl or pan below.
6: you will see the milk filtering down and the almond pulp on the strainer. press the pulp with a wooden spoon or non reactive metal spoon.
7: now take this pulp back into the blender and add 1 cup of water and blend again. this part is optional. you can just blend the almonds with 4 cups water and then strain the milk once. strain again.
8: press with the spoon again so that all the milk is extracted from the pulp.
9: collect the leftover almond paste and freeze or refrigerate it. you can add this to your roti dough, bread dough and even sweets. or just roast them in a pan till they become dry. grind in a dry grinder and you have homemade almond flour which you can add to your tarts, cookies, cakes, breads etc making it excellent to make gluten free goodies.
10: collect the almond milk in a ceramic or glass jar or glass bottle. keep the jar covered. keep in the refrigerator.
11: use almond milk whenever required to make your favorite drink or just have it plain. stir the jar or bottle before using the milk as the heavy particles settle down. for a warm drink, just warm the milk, don’t boil. boiling or over heating will cause the almond milk to separate and loose all its taste and flavor. or just have the almond milk as it is.
how to make almond milk in printable version below:
- 1 cup almonds
- 4 cups water to blend the almonds
- 3-4 cups water for blanching the almonds
- boil water.
- add rinsed almonds.
- cover and let the almonds get blanched for 30-45 minutes.
- when the almonds are soaked well, drain the water.
- peel of the almonds one by one.
- blend the peeled almonds with 3 or 4 cups water in a blender.
- strain once or twice.
- collect the almond milk in a bottle or jar.
- keep covered in fridge.
- stays good for 3-4 days.
- the leftover almond paste can be used in cakes, cookies or making breads.
the milk can be strained in one go or twice or thrice.
for a thick milk, first blend the almond with 1 or 2 cups of milk and then strain. this will be a thick milk. collect the pulp in the blender. add 2 cups water and blend again. strain and this will be the thin milk.