Well, just to be safe, I’m going to cover all my bases. Almond milk is a staple in my refrigerator. It can make a great base for soups, give a little fat for green smoothies, or turn into the perfect tonic latte (more on this later).
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to label yourself as “vegan” to enjoy almond milk! I personally use it as a milk of choice. I only like cow’s milk for eggnog, which is a once a year thing. I don’t generally eat unfermented dairy. You don’t know what’s coming straight out of that cow’s teet! I like my dairy with culture, so I know what to expect.
I’m not into store-bought almond milk. It’s hard to find an almond milk with few ingredients, let alone quality ingredients. There are the obvious things to look for, like if or how it is sweetened, if the almonds were sprouted, if the end product been pasteurized. These will most likely be labeled. However, all almonds produced in the United States are legally required to be pasteurized. Even if they’re “raw!” I don’t see much point in sprouting a pasteurized almond. The only way to get around this is to buy foreign. Chances are, the sprouted almond milk you’re drinking probably isn’t sprouted! Because it’s dead. I mean, with this drought we’re in, let’s boycott California grown almonds anyway! The US supplies 85% of the world’s almonds. And they’re all pasteurized. There’s more to this, like whether it was steam or PPO processed.
So, you went to the store, bought your truly raw Italian almonds. Now it’s time to soak those bad boys. You’re reading this because you want to drink the best almond milk, right? Then you’re going to use distilled, spring or at least reverse osmosis water. My preference is distilled. Soak them for 8 or so hours, a little less if using distilled. Make sure the bowl is big enough, they swell.
If you soaked just enough for one batch, then just rinse them off and toss them in a blender. I’m not brand loyal, but Vitamix, if you’re reading this, call me, I think we could work something out. If you soaked to save, still rinse them off. But put them in the dehydrator instead of your blender. At least the extras anyway. I’m not going to make any specific recommendations, I find dehydrating differs across the country. Let’s say 112-118 depending how “raw” you want to go. It goes without saying, the lower the temperature, the longer the time. Did I just say that?
So this is the richest almond milk because it has all the necessary components for a satisfying,
health inducing nut milk, and nothing more.
Vanilla - The varieties of vanilla I don’t think vary too much health wise. Someone correct me if I’m wrong. I like to look for the most fragrant and still moist. It’s impossible cutting into a rock hard vanilla bean, even with a ceramic knife. And dangerous. In these pictures I was using a Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract.
Sea Salt - Table salt. If you’re here, you know why not. Himalayan salt: It’s alright in my book. It’s clean, for the most part. But at the end of the day, it’s a rock. I don’t want to eat rocks. The sea salt is a necessary component of this recipe, as it brings out the already present flavors, as well as conditions the distilled water.
Non-GMO Soy Lecithin - Lecithin is a necessary component of cellular function, and is sometimes supplemented for brain health, but I use it because it’s a great emulsifier. It keeps binds the fats and water so it remains homogenous.
Ceylon Cinnamon - Ceylon cinnamon is real cinnamon. Canella and Cassia do not contain nearly as many health promoting factors. True cinnamon opens all of the 12 meridians.
Raw Stoneground Coconut Butter - This is the best, even right out of the jar. It adds a certain flavor and a real creaminess you can feel. Also, fat. Raw, because there’s no reason for a nut butter to be cooked. Stoneground, because I think there’s something magical about grinding in a circular motion between polycrystals.
Raw Local Honey - Honey is amazing, so satisfying and sweet. One of the top health foods in my book.
Sprouted Raw Almonds - We went over this.
Distilled Water - When you make your own, you know what kind of water is being used.
We went over sprouting already, so here's the breakdown
1 cup of sprouted almonds
3 cups water
Make sure everything is well blended
Strain through a nut milk bag
Rinse the blender container out. Now add the dry ingredients. Do this first, so that if you put too much of something in, the almond milk isn’t lost.
2 Tablespoons Coconut Butter
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Lecithin
3/4 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Pour the plain almond milk into the container, and blend on high for longer than you think. You want it to really emulsify. The lecithin will create a great foam. This is great if you want to blend it until it’s warm, and use it for a latte, which some have referred to as “deliciousness incarnate.”