almond milk

Milk and I - we have a weird relationship.  This is how the vicious cycle usually goes: I buy it for a specific purpose, such as this mac and cheese.  Maybe a couple days later, I'll have a craving for Indian food, so I'll get to making some homemade paneer.  And then, if there's enough left to fill a glass, I just have to make brownies and/or cookies because, I mean, what else is a glass of milk good for?  Basically, milk makes me do terrible terrible things to my thighs.  

But almond milk...almond milk is different.  I would never devise ways to create something sinful from it; it's too pure and wholesome.  Almond milk was going to help me break the cycle.

Wrong.  After I made the milk, I turned the leftover almond pulp into almond flour, and guess what that went into?  Cookies.  Turns out almond milk goes really well with cookies too.

You might be thinking, "Why wouldn't you just buy one of those boxes of almond milk at the store?  Who in their right mind suddenly decides to make something like that?  Go back to cooking pork."  

Store-bought almond milk isn't  bad, but I always found the original flavor bland, and the vanilla flavor artificial.  When I saw recipes popping up for the homemade stuff, I was lured by my undying love for almonds and gave it a try.  I'm really glad I did. 

With seriously minimal effort, I ended up with two mason jars full of creamy, nutritious, and delicious almond milk.  I sweetened one batch with a squeeze of honey and a hint of vanilla extract, which I drink after dinner as a refreshing dessert (and chased by an almond flour chocolate chip cookie).  

almond milk
makes about 4 cups
1 cup almonds
honey or maple syrup (optional)
vanilla (optional)

Soak almonds in cold water for at least 24 hours in the fridge.  Drain almonds and put in the blender with 4 cups of water.  Blend until almonds are completely ground (may take a minute or two, depending on the strength of your blender).  Pour the mixture, which will be frothy, into a pitcher lined with a nut bag (which I don't have because honestly, who has a nut bag?!  I bought a pair of pantyhose, and cut off one legs.  Worked great.).  Squeeze the pulp until it has exuded all its liquid.  Save the pulp for almond flour (below).  If you so desire, sweeten with honey or maple syrup and vanilla to taste.

almond flour

Preheat oven to the lowest temperature.  Spread almond pulp on a sheet pan and bake until completely dry and sandy in texture (about 2-3 hours).  Blend in the food processor until the particles are very fine, and then sift into a container.