Raw almonds may just be the perfect snack. They are abundant with protein, good fats and cancer-fighting antioxidants, not to mention nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron and calcium (to name a few).
Almond milk would seem like a good choice for many vegan and lactose intolerant people, offering the look and feel of actual milk, with the health benefits of almonds. Almond milk has been around for at least several hundred years, and was a staple in the medieval kitchen.
However, the almond milk found in modern grocery stores bears little resemblance to this historic foodstuff.
It is typically sweetened, thickened with substances like carrageenan, and often fortified with vitamins A, E and D. Research suggests that only a handful of almonds goes into a carton of typical store-bought almond milk, the rest is water and additives.
According to Business Insider: “Based on these numbers, to get the nutritional value of a handful of almonds, you’d have to drink not just a few cups of the almond milk but an entire carton of it.”
In addition, buying prepared almond milk is simply not a cost-effective choice for the average consumer. In the U.S., almond milk now comprises about 2/3 of the market share for alternative milk, and producers are making a killing from it. According to Mother Jones:
“…the almond-milk industry is selling you a jug of filtered water clouded by a handful of ground almonds.
Which leads us to the question of price and profit… A jug of almond milk containing roughly 39 cents worth of almonds, plus filtered water and additives, retails for $3.99.”
But there’s good news for you, dear almond milk-lover. It is easy to make, healthier and much more economical than buying it prepackaged. There is always a jug of home-made ‘alt-milk’ in our home, and almonds make up the base of many of them.
Here are four good reasons to make almond milk at home:
- It is more nutritious: Prior to preparing, you’ll be soaking your almonds. This will strip the nuts of phytic acid, which leeches vital nutrients from your body and also blocks the intake of essential minerals; and enzyme inhibitors that can inhibit digestion.
- It will be additive-free: Research on carrageenan has shown that it can cause inflammation and leaky gut. Also, instead of whatever sugar the manufacturer chooses, you can add your own preferred sweetener, or no sweetener at all.
- You will be able to use the waste: The leftover pulp is useful in wholesome dessert recipes and more!
Ingredients And Preparation
1c organic, raw nuts or seeds
(that’s right, you can use all kinds of things to make alt-milk, including cashews, hemp seeds and coconut flake. experiment to see which combination is best for you!)
5c filtered water
Fine mesh strainer (or nut milk bag)
Soak the nuts overnight. The next day, rinse them and place them in a blender with the water. Blend on high for a few minutes; make sure they have all been ground as fine as possible.
Place your mesh strainer over the top of the receptacle, then pour the contents of the blender into it. It may help to squeeze the bag at the end to get every drop. Save the pulp and check out some recipes for later.