Today I woke up with a few things on my mental to-do list; you know the kind: nothing really pressing, but if you don’t get them done, you feel like you accomplished nothing. I wanted to bake bread; my last loaf was less than exceptional and I was getting sick of it. Plus, what goes better with leftover homemade soup than a fluffy slice of fresh homemade bread? Next thing I know, it was nearly 11 and I hadn’t even started the bread, and I was about to leave to go get some local maple syrup. My solution? BISCUITS. Never have I ever made biscuits, but damn it, I was making biscuits. In fact, I was making those biscuits FAST, because my dad convinced me that we were on a time crunch to get the syrup. So, in about 7 minutes flat, I had the biscuits ready and put them in the oven; they came out as gorgeous as I could have hoped (if you follow me on instagram, you probably laughed along with me at my monster biscuit).
Off we went, dad and I, to get some of the best maple syrup Nova Scotia has to offer – and when we were there, we also scored some seriously great local, unpasteurized honey (and a tour!): hold right there, I want to clear things up before I end up making a recipe and you all call me a vegan fraud. I know that honey doesn’t technically fit under the “vegan-certified” label, and perhaps because I use it and enjoy it, that means that I do not fit under the “vegan-certified” label. BUT! When I buy honey, I buy local, mostly organic honey. Also, I am strictly vegan for both ethical and health reasons. For me, honey fits under both of these categories; the farmer I spoke with today also confirmed this for me. They do not treat their bees badly, or move them around unconsciously. As far as health reasons go, there are really endless reasons why honey is a great natural sweetener, versus the others.
Ahem. So anyways, I made some seriously tasty biscuits, scored 4 litres of maple syrup, and a couple of litres of honey. But that isn’t what I want to share with you today.
Homemade almond milk probably isn’t new to any of you, but if it is, HEY! You can make your own tasty dairy-free milk (in about 10 minutes)! Below, I’m sharing my method of homemade almond (+macadamia nut) milk; this ‘recipe’ isn’t carved in stone, feel free to adjust it as you wish.
When I first began making almond milk, I used purely almonds. Just recently I ventured into the world of milk blends, and I am loving this one!
Almond-Macadamia Nut ‘Milk’ (vegan, gluten free, refined sugar-free, soy-free)
yield: approx. 3 cups
What you need
- cheesecloth or nut milk bag
- a couple mason jars, or other large wide-mouth jar for storage
- 1/2 cup natural raw almonds (soaked at least 5 hours, overnight is best)
- 1/2 cup natural raw macadamia nuts (or use entirely almonds)(soaking isn’t necessary, but I throw them in with the almonds anyway)
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Before you go to bed, put your almonds (and macadamia nuts, if you’d like) in a bowl covered with water (I use filtered, just to be safe)
- The next day, drain the nut mixture and place in blender with filtered water and the extract & cinnamon, if desired. Blend on high until only fine bits of nuts remain – the liquid will now be bright white, like whole milk.
- Place cheese cloth over mason jar and push down a little, to ensure the milk will pour into the jar. Once the liquid in the cheese cloth reaches the top of the mason jar, pull in corners of cheesecloth to form a sack, and squeeze out all of the liquid. Reserve the pulp in a separate bowl. Repeat until finished.
**NOTE: This milk will stay good for 3-4 days in the fridge, but it probably won’t last you that long 😉
*****Don’t waste that pulp, gosh darnit! That stuff isn’t waste, it can make fabulous crackers, cookies, even flour for all sorts of gluten free baking (pulp should stay good in the fridge for at least a couple of days)!
There you have it! 3 easy steps, and the active time is only about 10-15 minutes. As you can see, I didn’t include any sweeteners in my method; I prefer unsweetened vanilla almond milk, so I make it this way. When made with macadamia nuts, almond milk is already much richer. However, taste the liquid when you first begin straining, and if it doesn’t suit you, sweeten the rest and give ‘er another blend. Start with half a table spoon of a liquid sweetener: agave, maple syrup, or honey (if you’re a ‘fraud’ like me, bahah) would all be great!
I hope you give homemade nut milks a go – they truly are so easy and so much richer and tastier than store-bought versions, not to mention free of all the unnecessary added crap!