It would seem that until quite recently I was a loyal fan of dairy products and did not even imagine that someday I would have to look for a replacement for them. But everything is changing, and for almost six months now, dairy products have been excluded from my diet. And to be honest, I don’t even know if I will turn them back on when I get better. After all that I now know about them … knowing too much is harmful, it’s a fact :).
What I definitely want to try is almond milk, and I can’t wait to be able to eat nuts again. In the meantime, my friend and former CookWizMe colleague from sunny Sicily, Andrea Soranidis, shared with me her recipe for homemade almond milk. Fortunately, you don’t have to milk anyone – you just need a blender, almonds and a few layers of gauze :).
By the way, yes, this is the same Andrea, on whose food photo in CookWizMe we were drooling with the whole team :). Now Andrea has her own food blog The Petite Cook, and as you probably already guessed, I still meditate on her recipes, especially those that I can’t yet :).
Coming back to almond milk, it’s definitely worth trying, and here’s why:
- Unlike cow’s milk, almond milk does not contain lactose and casein, which means it is suitable for those who follow a lactose-free and casein-free diet.
- It is also suitable for vegans and those who are fasting.
- A glass of almond milk contains on average only 60 calories, which is 2 times less than 2% cow’s milk.
- Almond milk has a low glycemic index, which means it will have little or no effect on your blood sugar and the carbohydrates it contains will be used for energy instead of being deposited on your beautiful butt or waistline.
- The content of vitamins in it is also pleasing: calcium and vitamin D – for strong bones, vitamin E – for radiant skin, B vitamins – for muscle growth and recovery.
- And as an added bonus, it does not sour as quickly as cow’s or goat’s milk, which means you can take it with you – for example, on a hike. Although, no, the hike is better water.
- Well, in the end, they say, it is very tasty! And I willingly believe in it, because I just love almonds. And, judging by the recipe, making it is not at all difficult. Plus, homemade almond milk will definitely be free of preservatives or any other additives or sweeteners – unless you add them yourself, of course.
Well, it seems that now I sound exactly like my grandmother – when we came to visit her, her obligatory task was to feed us abundantly (it was better not to appear on an empty stomach) and we certainly had to listen to a lecture on properties and the nutritional value of everything we eat :). I think if my grandmother survived to this day, she could be a good way to help me with a blog :).
When it comes to almond flour, it’s a lifesaver for those who are on a gluten-free or paleo diet and miss goodies. Almond flour can be used to make anything from macarons to chocolate cake! In anticipation of a happy moment, I have already collected a whole collection of recipes that I plan to try when I recover. And, of course, I desperately envy those who don’t need to wait for anything!
Andrea’s Almond Milk Recipe
Type of dish: Drink
- 1.5 cups whole unroasted almonds
- 4 glasses of water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 1.5 tsp honey (optional)
- ¼ tsp salt
- Soak the almonds in clean, salted water for at least 12 hours.
- Drain the water, remove the skin from the almonds (this is optional, although it will be easy to do after soaking) and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- Grind the almonds in a blender with 1.5 cups of clean drinking water until creamy. Add honey if desired and beat well again with a blender.
- Strain the almond milk through several layers of clean cheesecloth or a tea towel.
(note from Tastyglutenfree: In such cases, I pre-rinse the towel in boiling water so that there are no traces / smell of washing powder or other foreign odors on it.)
- When most of the liquid has drained, roll up the towel and squeeze out what is left.
The liquid you strained is your almond milk – you can simply drink it, make a smoothie, or use it for lactose-free baked goods as an alternative to cow’s milk. You can also add vanilla extract to it or omit the vanilla bean (note from TGF: not to be confused with vanilla, it will taste bitter and ruin everything!).
- And what is left in your gauze (or in a towel), lay out on a baking sheet and dry in the oven at a temperature of 70C for about three hours.
Voila: you have a very real almond flour – gluten free, no additives, with which you can bake many different delicious things! Or even make a body scrub :).
- You can store almond milk in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. It can also be frozen in ice cubes and used as needed.
PS Tell us what alternatives to cow’s milk have you tried and what did you like / dislike?