October Unprocessed: Almond Milk

October Unprocessed is going swimmingly! Especially now that I know how to make my own almond milk, something I’ve been wanting to do for ages. This month is rocking my world!

So, in preparation for this project, I made a few choice purchases (besides the almonds, of course). First, I bought myself another DIY food project cookbook by Karen Solomon, Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It. You may remember me gushing about her other book a year ago. Like she says on her web site, “These books are for serious kitchen nerds and the people they feed.” Yep, sounds about right.

It is from this book that I learned to make almond milk, a processed food I used to buy on a regular basis. A product that will now sit in a mason jar in my fridge rather than in a tetra pak container, with an ingredient list that consists solely of water and almonds. Just the right sumthin’ sumthin’ to add a boost to my morning tea.

The second purchase that happened was a blender. Originally, I thought a good food processor and an immersion blender would take care of all my food processing needs. But all it took was one attempt to make almond milk in my food processor, a recipe that requires 4 cups of water, for me to rethink this arrangement. It was just too much liquid and not enough substance for my otherwise stellar food processor and I ended up with a mess of liquid and almond chunks all over my counter.

The process was simple: soak the almonds, stain, puree in a blender with fresh water, pass through a fine mesh sieve, and then once again through the sieve. That’s all there was to it. Besides the time it took to soak the almonds, which happened while I was at work, the whole process took about ten minutes. I did not adapt this recipe enough (ok, I didn’t actually change it at all) to feel good about posting it, so hopefully it will tempt you enough to buy the book yourself.

As far as the economic benefits are concerned, I was able to get about 3 cups of raw almonds out of a pound, which yields about three quarts of almond milk. Considering that I spent around $6 for the almonds and usually spend $2 – $2.50 on a container of almond milk, I pretty much broke even as far as cost was concerned.

However, the benefit that comes with making your own almond milk, besides the pride, is being able to make the quantity you want. Drinking a quart of almond milk can be a little bit of a challenge for one girl, but being able to make just a pint, which is not an option with commercially produced non-dairy milks, is priceless. Also, the almond paste bi-product I strained out made a great, protein-tastic addition to a smoothie.

Let’s also consider packaging. Like I said, I was able to get three quarts of almond milk out of one package of Trader Joe’s raw almonds. So theoritically, I went from three rectangular containers to one plastic bag. Better yet, when I buy my almonds in bulk with my reusable produce sack, I’ll be down to no packaging at all! Score!

So, the verdict? Homemade almond milk is totally worth the effort and is making me very happy this week!

5 thoughts on “October Unprocessed: Almond Milk

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