I saw this on YouTube and thought that it was definitely worth the shot because it looked fabulous. It helps that almond milk is around 1/4 of the calories of whole milk and tastes divine as well.
But first, I need to clear something up. If you're Indian, you would assume this is "badam milk". No. That stuff will kill you. Not only do they boil it with the pulp of the almonds, they add a ton of sugar to the stuff. Ergo, it is terrible and like most things in India, will kill you if you trust it.
Now, I know everyone should know that almonds are good for you in moderation because they contain quite a bit of fat in them. While the fat is good fat, it still needs to be consumed with restraint. This, however, negates the entire prospect of dying from almonds...which is quite a depressing way to die. The reason for this is that you are blending the almonds with water to extract the almond "milk" while leaving the pulp out of it. The pulp is where all the fat is. That being said, 1 serving of this almond milk (240ml) is between 40-45 calories, and contains 3g of fat. That is nothing. You can consume the entire vat of one production and you'll only be consuming 200-250 kcal and 12g of fat. In my book, this is a success...but only if it tastes good enough.
Let's see, shall we?
First off, you will need 1 cup of almonds. You could go organic, but I am not someone who bothers about such things, so just regular almonds for me. Put them in a bowl and add some water till they are just covered. Leave them that way (covered so that water doesn't evaporate) for 8-48 hours. I just left mine overnight and through to the evening. The point of this is to soften the almonds so that they soak up some water and plump up thereby making it easier to extract the milk. Chemistry and stuff.
[Post-Soaking; While Draining]
When you're ready to make the milk, you need to drain the almonds and get rid of the majority of the liquid. You don't need to dry them off completely so don't fret about it.
You will also need some vanilla extract (No essence please. It is truly nasty stuff), and a pinch of salt. The salt just gives it that extra kick, and if you really don't want to, you don't need it, but it does bring out the flavour a lot more.
[Queen's Vanilla Extract and Salt]
And you will need 4 cups of water. Please use the same cup measure as you did for the almonds. If you don't, your almond milk will be too watery or too thick. Either way, it's not correct. Standardise!
[My Yellow Cup Measure]
And of course, you will need a blender or food processor. I just used a blender because it has less detachable parts and was less work than my food processor. It also makes the blend more fine, so it's preferable, but a food processor isn't the worst thing you could use, so if that is all you have on hand, go for it!
[Blender with 1 Cup Almond, 4 Cups Water, 1 tsp Vanilla Extract, Pinch of Salt]
The recipe actually calls for 1 pitted date in order the sweeten the almond milk naturally, and I like to pretend that I wanted to try this unsweetened, but in actuality I had forgotten about the date. Brain damage...excuse me. And then you just blend away!
I left the blender on for about 5 minutes just to try to extract as much liquid as possible.
Once you're done with that, place a sieve over a reasonably deep vessel, put a cheese/muslin cloth (clean please) into the sieve and pour the blended mixture through it.
Use a spatula to help it along...
And once you've done whatever you can without resorting to violence, scrunch up that muslin cloth with the almond residue in it and (with clean hands) SQUEEZE! You'll be surprised at how much more liquid you get out of it. Do so until you've extracted as much as possible.
And there you have it! Almond milk!
[Home Made Almond Milk]
[Frothy and Delicious]
So, what does one do with the (roughly) 200g of almond meal left over? Bake of course! I used this to bake flourless brownies with.
On a side note, almonds are by far the best substitute for flour because not only do they add texture, they add flavour as well. So much love!
And bottle your almond milk! Keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days and you have roughly 4 servings of the stuff.
[Recycled Perrier Bottle]
What about the flavour? The plain almond milk was all right. Nothing to shout about. But chocolate almond milk. ZOMG.
Seriously. No words.
All I did was to add 1 tbs (I just used a regular heaped spoon) of cocoa powder...you can add as much as you want, but remember that even pure cocoa has a lot of fat in it, so if you are doing this as a weight loss measure, you might want to limit the quantity you add. I also added that date that we spoke of. This isn't adding any additional calories because the calculations above accounted for it. In any event, dates are really good for you, so it's good calories.
All in all, I would call this a success! I've got almonds soaking as we speak and there will be more chocolate almond milk tonight! Woohoo!
On a separate note for coffee lovers, I did make myself a latte with the regular almond milk and it definitely turned out fine. The flavour is a little like having a soy latte, but more almond-y. Making a latte with the chocolate almond milk was like having an absolutely divine mocha latte. So, so yum! Undoubtedly, it doesn't froth up as much as regular milk due to the lack of lactose, but it's protein packed and a 240ml latte comes up at 30 kcal. I can now drink excessive amounts of latte without people pointing out the milk content to me. I win! I love it!