Earlier this week I became aware of a very inconvenient fact. My much beloved Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk contains a chemical in it that is argued to cause inflammation, gastrointestinal diseases and even colon cancer. This compound is called carrageenan, and although there is no conclusive evidence of the effects that carrageenan has on humans, stories about people reacting violently to this chemical is enough to make me discontinue drinking my favourite milk.
In Australia Blue Diamond Almond Breeze is the only brand that I can find which is unsweetened. I do not want to be consuming any added sugars thank you. Dairy does not agree with me in large amounts, and since I have considerably limited my consumption my skin in particular has improved incredibly!
So I set out to do the only thing I could do when faced with this dilemma, I made my own almond milk. And why oh why had I not done this sooner?!!
Not only was it incredibly easy but the most delicious almond milk I had ever tasted! This will now be a permanent product in my kitchen.
Homemade Vanilla Spice Almond Milk
Adapted from OhSheGlows
Makes: 1 litre Almond Milk
1.5 cup raw almonds, soaked in water overnight (I soaked mine for 24 hours)
4 cups water
1 whole vanilla bean, chopped in half or 1/2-1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Stevia to taste- I put in about 8 drops of liquid stevia but you could also use granule.
High powered blender
Clean tea towel/ cheese cloth/ laundry delicates bag/ stocking.
1. Once your almonds have been soaking in water for 12-24 hours, rinse them under cool water and drain. As in the first picture down below, the almonds will now be looking very plump and will feel soft. Place them in your blender along with the water.
2. Now add the cinnamon, stevia and vanilla bean/extract
3. Blend on highest speed for 1 minute or until almonds have been utterly obliterated.
4. Place your straining weapon of choice (I chose to use a clean laundry delicates bag), over a large bowl and slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the bag (This is easier if you have someone helping hold the strainer open). Once all the milk has been poured, massage the remaining mass down towards the bottom of the bag and gently squeeze it to release the rest of the milk.
5. Pour into an appropriate container to store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Make sure you shake the milk before serving as the mixture separates when sitting.
Please note: You will be left with the aftermath of the almond milk, which is the bottom right photo. This is essentially wet almond meal so please don't throw it away but use in its moist form in baked goods or you could dry it out and use it like regular almond meal :)
Once you try your own homemade almond milk I don't think you can ever go back to store bought. It is just SO much creamier and luscious and the vanilla bean makes it extra special. You could always omit the vanilla, cinnamon and stevia to make ordinary almond milk, but my sweet tooth very much enjoyed the flavours this milk adds to my morning coffee. This would also be awesome in cereal and used in baking instead of cows milk.