Non-dairy milk has been a part of my diet for almost as long as I can remember. I started drinking soy lattes at Starbucks over a decade ago (before I gave up coffee- but that’s a story for another day). I wasn’t exactly sure why I needed to give up milk but I did know that soy would provide me with protein as a vegetarian and there was something inside of me, like a little alarm, telling me that maybe milk doesn’t necessarily “do a body good.” In my New York days, I would pick up a carton of almond milk at Whole Foods and I have used coconut milk in my cooking (especially Thai curries. Yum) for a while now.
As I got more and more into nutrition, and became one of those people who see in the grocery store isle meticulously studying the labels on the backs of EVERYTHING and realized that I had probably been ingesting more sugars (refined and not) in my substitute “milk”s than was probably good for me.
I then began buying my almond/soy/coconut milks at health food stores and so on.
When it was time for my daughter to drink milk from the bottle, I started purchasing her organic non-dairy milks at health food stores as well. I offered her a variety from a young age including oat milk to rice milk to coconut and spelt. As she got older, I let her try nut and seed milks. I rarely give her soy milk (only once in a while in smoothies I make for myself or other recipes where small amounts are required) because most soy is genetically modified and there are more and more studies being published about the hormone disrupting aspects of soy products.
Despite the ever-growing consumption of non-dairy milk in my household, I continued to buy (and spend a lot of money on) store-bought, organic, nut-grain-seed milks. I had read numerous ways in which to make non-dairy milk, I had even bought a nut-milk bag (cheese cloth). Maybe I was intimidated by the process, or I didn’t want to deal with the clean-up…whatever it was, there was something holding me back from experimenting with “non-dairy milks” in the kitchen (even though I have made my own nut butter for a while now).
Anyway, I finally decided to give it a try and the other day I made delicious, creamy, nutritious almond milk. It took far less time than I expected and was far more gratifying than I had imagined. I will begin making all versions of non-dairy milk and will update the methods and ingredients here. In the meantime, here is the recipe:
(EN) Almond Milk
- I cup raw almonds
- 4 cups filtered water
- 2 dates or 1 tbsp organic maple syrup or honey
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of sea salt
Soak the almonds for 12 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse almonds an place in a blender with the other ingredients. Strain through a nut milk bag and store (in glass) for up to four days in the fridge.
(*I use the leftover “pulp” as almond flour for other recipes)
(IT) Latte di Mandorla
- 1 tazza di mandorle
- 4 tazze di acqua filtrata (io uso la Lauretana)
- 1 cucchiaio di sciroppo di acero bio o miele
- 1 baccello di vaniglia
- Un pizzico di canella in polvere
- Un pizzico di sale marino integrale
Mettete le mandorle in ammollo con acqua per 12 ore a temperatura ambiente. Dopo aver scolato e sciacquato le mandorle, mettetele nel frullatore con gli altri ingredienti. Tritate bene e filtrate il liquido con una garza o un collant. Conservatelo in vetro nel frigorifico e consumatelo entro 4 gg.
(*Io uso i residui di mandorle come “farina” nella preparazione di altre ricette come dolci e biscotti)