Almond Milk and Almond Meal/Flour
When I was working regularly in an office, in a 9-5 job, I used to buy almond milk from the supermarket/health food shop. A friend used to try and tell me it’s easy to make your own but when I looked it up I didn’t even have a blender to use. I eventually bought a stick blender (to make smoothies and blend soup when I was away from home) and used it to blend the almond and water. But I only had a sieve to strain the milk, which proved to be a messy and tedious process, even though the end result was a much nicer milk than the shop-bought version.
It took a while before I was able to find a shop that sold muslin (mesh) cloth but once I added this to my equipment I was making almond milk in the mornings 2-3 times a week, even before work, for my breakfast smoothie. When I finally purchased a smoothie maker (I have a Nutri Ninja which is smiliar to the more popular Nutribullet) it made the process even quicker.
I recommend you have the following equipment ready to make the almond milk:
- Bowl or large glass jar
- Measuring jug (or a pot that the strainer can sit on)
- Blender or food processor (a smoothie maker or stick blender is fine)
- Fine-mesh nut bag or cheese cloth
- 1 Cup raw almonds, preferably organic
- 2 Cups water, plus more for soaking
- Sweetener like honey, or maple syrup, to taste (optional)
- Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with about an inch of water. Let stand, uncovered, overnight or up to 2 days. The longer the almonds soak, the creamier the almond milk.
- Drain and thoroughly rinse the almonds under cool running water. They should feel a little squishy if you pinch them.
- Place the almonds in the blender and cover with 2 cups of water.
- Pulse the blender a few times to break up the almonds, then blend. The almonds should be broken down into a very fine meal and the water should be white and opaque.
- Line the strainer with either the opened nut bag or cheese cloth, and place over a measuring jug. Pour the almond mixture into the strainer*. Press all the almond milk from the almond meal. Gather the nut bag or cheese cloth around the almond meal and twist close. Squeeze and press with clean hands to extract as much almond milk as possible. You should get about 2 cups. (See below for what to do with the leftover almond meal.)
- Sweeten to taste (optional)
- Store the almond milk in sealed containers in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Almond meal, flour and butter
The leftover almond meal can be used (as is) in smoothies*, porridge or baked goods such as grain-free pancakes or muffins.
Almond Meal (dry)
To dry the almond meal for later use spread it on a baking tray and dehydrate in the oven at 90ºC for several hours (4-8 hours). Alternatively, you could use a dehydrator.
To make the almond meal into a finer flour blend the dehydrated meal in a processor, but not for too long unless you want to make almond butter!
Continue to blend the almond flour for several minutes until it breaks up to release the oils and eventually turns to almond butter. You will need stop intermittently and scrap down the meal from the sides. It could take 10-20 min for the almond butter to form, depending on the efficiency of your processor.
The oils in the almond can go rancid over time so it’s best to refrigerate nut products. Raw almonds (and other nuts) will keep fresh for longer in the fridge.
Store almond milk in an air tight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. It can also be stored for a few months in an ice tray, in the freezer.
Almond meal/flour can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few weeks or in the freezer for several months.
Almond butter can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
* No need to strain the milk if being used for smoothies and/or porridge.