Monday, November 10, 2008

Almond Milk

I drink almond milk everyday and use it the same way I would use animal milk or soy milk. I always use it as a base in my smoothies because it is tastier than water and is healthier than sugary, pasteurized juices. I choose to make my own almond milk at home because store-bought almond milk contains preservatives or mysterious additives that I would prefer to be without. Additionally, I like to be in control of the sugar and sweetness.

Today, I will tell you how to make your own almond milk at home so you can replace the pasteurized cow's milk and soy milk.

Reasons for eliminating these products raise controversial issues. Nevertheless, I will briefly provide a couple reasons here.

Conventional Cow's Milk: Healthy and important bacteria and digestive enzymes are destroyed through pasteurization making assimilation by the body difficult. Even worse, antibiotics are added which destroy your own existing beneficial and critical intestinal flora. If you want to drink animal milk, get it organic and raw from a farmer close to you.

Soy Milk: Much controversy exists concerning whether soy milk is good or bad. Criticisms include the following:

  • Estrogen-like compounds present in soy can affect hormone balance in both men and women.

  • Soy has a high phytic acid content which takes important nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and iron from the body.

  • Additionally, modern manufacture may use some undesirable processes such as quick blanching of the bean (instead of slow soaking) and deodorizing of the final product to eliminate the beany taste or smell. The process of slow soaking is necessary to eliminate the naturally occurring phytic acid and to make the nutrients bioavailable.

  • My solution for soy milk would be to make my own, but why not make almond milk instead? It is really quite easy!

    Recipe and Instructions For Homemade Almond Milk:

    Sprout 1/2 cup of raw almonds by soaking them in water for a minimum of 4 hours. This activates the enzymes which get rid of the phytic acid and make the nutrients in the nut available and assimilable by the body.

    (Note: Almonds grown in the USA are now all pasteurized/irridated by order of the FDA and USDA as of September 2007. However, they are still labeled "RAW". This is very unfortunate as the almonds become dead and unable to sprout. Thus, the sprouting process is rendered useless.)

    Put the sprouted almonds in a blender (Vita-Mix highly recommended) along with a 1/2 cup of other nuts of your choice to make 1 cup of nuts in total. I recommend cashews and Brazil nuts. Hazelnuts are a great choice as well. Cashews and Brazil nuts do not need to be sprouted. Hazelnuts do.

    You will be using 6-8 total cups of water. Start with only 2 cups or just enough to cover the nuts plus 1 inch. Using only a portion of the water to start allows the nuts to circulate through the blades more frequently and become so finely chopped that a smooth texture is achieved. Ensure enough water is used to get the mixture circulating quickly but not allowing too much space between particles.

    Next, add at least 4 dates with the pits removed. If you want the milk sweeter, add a couple more dates, a bit of agave, or raw honey.

    Additionally, I recommend adding a few ice cubes to make it cold.

    Finally, run your blender on the highest speed for 3 full minutes to liquefy all the ingredients and eliminate possible grittiness.

    After 3 minutes, turn down your blender to stir speed or off. Pour in the rest of the water (I usually end up with 8 cups of milk when I am done), blend a bit more, and you are done! Give it a taste and determine if it needs more water or sweetness.

    Now, you are ready to make a delicious smoothie or pour it over a bowl of Ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain cereal!

    Some people like to strain the milk through a cheesecloth or other very fine strainer to eliminate any grit. I prefer to eat the whole nut and don't find that straining is necessary when using the Vita-Mix.

    Store the milk in a half-gallon glass jar in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a week. You will need to shake the milk after it has been sitting as particles will settle out.

    Variations include adding a banana, cinnamon, or vanilla.

      1 comment:

      Rachel said...

      I absolutely LOVE this milk! I add a little bit of carob powder during the blending process to make "chocolate" milk for my kids.

      Interesting fact about the almonds, though. Do you know if there are still places to buy truly raw almonds?