In this post >> Introduction! >> Guest post from Karen Page, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible >> How to Make Your Own Almond Milk—Recipe >> Entry form to win a free copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible
^^^ Is this not the cutest vegan bowl? You can hop over to Jeanette Zeis’ Easy site to see this and more!
The Vegetarian Bible is an amazing reference book for the vegan chef. In the first section of the book, Vegetarianism Through the Ages, there is a timeline of the history of vegetarianism dating back to 3000 BC! The second section, Maximizing Flavor, talks all about how we experience flavors, and has a great resource about cravings—If you are craving this, try this instead… The third and largest section of the book, Vegetarian Flavor Matchmaking, is devoted to individual foods, giving information about flavor, food pairings, nutrition information, and meal ideas (except on almond milk below). This section particularly appealed to Irving and his science brain!
Today Karen is sharing how she gave up dairy, what she replaced it with, and her tips for making your own almond milk at home. At the end of the post you will see my recipe for making your own almond milk based on her tips. David and I made it together this afternoon and it was delicious! In fact, I think we’ve already finished most of it!
Exploring Nondairy Milks (Plus How to Make Your Own Almond Milk!)
by Karen Page
(as adapted from THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE)
For years, I had a daily cappucino habit that was my way of fighting my 4 pm energy ebb. It took an embarrassingly long time to correlate my constant coughing after drinking them with being lactose intolerant.
Wasn’t it the most natural thing in the world to drink milk, the way I had every day since growing up in the Midwest? But almost as soon as I realized my lactose intolerance, I started discovering others who were suffering from it, too. Lots of others.
After interviewing bestselling author Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) for THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE, I learned via PCRM that an estimated 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. (PCRM’s holiday ad argued that Santa is, too.) Indeed, the lot of us are starting to be referred to as “normal” and those who are able to digest lactose as “lactose persistent”!
Daily habits can be hard to break, but I was so relieved to find that I could get rid of my nagging cough simply by cutting out milk that I did so immediately and never looked back.
While researching this book, I learned a great way to be able to restore my cappucino habit: I interviewed Cassie and Marlene Tolman, a daughter-and-mother team who run the Pomegranate Café in Phoenix, about their amazing dairyfree cappucino. They were kind enough to share the secret behind it with me for THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE:
“We tested lots of different nondairy milks to come up with our recipe for a latte with the creamy richness of cow’s milk, which is half hemp milk and half coconut milk, plus agave nectar as a sweetener, added to two shots of espresso.
Either will be good on its own,but the fat from the coconut milk adds great richness, while the hemp milk adds a more understated nutty flavor, and together they foam up really well.”
I really loved granola and oatmeal, and was loathe to give either up when I stopped drinking milk – so I was thrilled to discover that I actually prefer almond milk to regular milk! It gives both an extra flavor boost.
And homemade almond milk is even more delicious than my store-bought Almond Breeze Original, which keeps me pretty happy the rest of the time. I talked with Diane Forley of Flourish Baking Company in Scarsdale, New York – who is the former chef-owner of Verbena restaurant in New York City, on the current site of Pure Food & Wine) – who first told me how easy it is to make your own delicious almond milk by
- soaking raw almonds overnight
- draining them
- combining soaked almonds with fresh water in a 1:3 ratio in a Vitamix
- straining the milk through a fine-mesh nut milk bag
- adding cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
Diane also shared that you can also cook down almond milk, adding a pinch of pectin, then chill, to create a yogurt-like almond cream to enjoy on its own or with berries, granola, etc.
What else can you do with almond milk? Here’s a sample ingredient listing from THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE to guide your own experimentation:
• MILK, ALMOND
Flavor: slightly sweet, with notes of almonds, and a creamy medium-to-full-bodied texture
Nutritional profile: 56% carbs / 42% fat / 7% protein
Calories: 60 per 1-cup serving
Protein: 1 gram
Tips: For a delicious vegan hot chocolate, melt bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, then blend with almond milk just until hot. Do not overheat, as almond milk will evaporate.
Brand: Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Original
baked goods, e.g., breads, cakes, cookies, muffins
desserts, esp. creamy
oats and oatmeal
sauces, e.g., dessert
almond milk + agave nectar + cacao + vanilla
Rodrigo’s Rocket Fuel Smoothie: Almond Butter, Almond Milk, Raw Cacao, Banana, Chocolate Sunwarrior Protein, Cinnamon
— Pomegranate Café (Phoenix)
Ready to make your own? It’s easy—here’s how:
1 c almonds, soaked overnight in the refrigerator, drained and rinsed (even with a high speed blender it’s best to soak the almonds)
3 c water
3 dates, pitted
1/2 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for at least one minute. Milk will change from watery to very creamy. Line a strainer with a cheesecloth or nut bag and strain milk into a pitcher/container. I had to squeeze the liquid through. You can discard the almond pulp, or google for a ton of great recipes. I’ll let you know which one I choose to make with my leftover almond pulp! Store any milk that you don’t drink right away in the fridge. Shake before serving, as the milk tends to settle a bit. Enjoy!
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