01/03/2014

Almond milk, step by step

Almond milk
almond milk

Makes 1 litre 

Ingredients:
80-100g almonds
approx 1 litre water

extra water for soaking and rinsing




Method:
1. Put the almonds in a suitable container and soak in cold water in the fridge for several hours, or overnight. The quantity of almonds used depends on how much you like the flavour; it's quite mild, so if you like almonds, the full 100g gives quite a creamy milk. We have found that reducing this to 80g works just as well, and the almond flavour is less pronounced.




2. Drain the water away through a small sieve, rinse the almonds, and drain again. Place the almonds in a food processor or blender, (shown in the photo above) and blend for about 30-40 seconds, until the pieces are finely ground, as in the photo at the side.

Do not over-process or you may end up with almond butter.




3. Pour about 200ml cold water onto the ground almonds, then process for about 40-50 seconds on high. The 'milk' will be extracted into the water as you do this, so that when you take the lid off you will see something like this photo.

The sides of the food processor or blender will be rather spattered with pieces of almond, so scrape them into the milk, using a little more cold water if needed.


4. Pour the milk and pulp into a sieve over a measuring jug, then pour another 100ml or so of water over, and push down gently with a spatula or large spoon, to push out more of the milk.

Return the pulp to the food processor, then repeat stage 3; the second stage of processing will produce slightly more watery almond milk, but it's well worth doing this extra processing. Strain again; at this point you can use a muslin bag or square, if you want, to squeeze out the last of the milk, but I tend just to stick with the sieve and push out as much as I can with a spatula.

Keep drizzling water over the almonds and straining remaining milk through until there's about a litre of almond milk in the jug. Then cover, and refrigerate.

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Some years ago, two members of my family realised that dairy products were causing their ears to block up. In addition, we realised that most cows' milk is highly processed and homogenised. We experimented with various kinds of home-made milk substitutes; living in Cyprus, it's very expensive to buy them pre-packaged.

For adding to coffee, and for using in cooking anything sweet or connected with curries, we like coconut milk the best. But our son much prefers almond milk on granola, and we also find that it works better in savoury foods such as quiche or yorkshire puddings. So we usually have both available.

The pulp can be refrigerated for several days, or frozen for a few months. We use it when making granola, or added to a bowl of granola when eating it. It makes a good substitute for ground almonds in any recipe that uses them, such as Christmas cake, or can be added to bread, to digestive biscuit bases of cheesecakes, or even to pastry.


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