Almond Milk

To make fresh raw almond milk:

  • 1 cup organic raw almonds soaked 12 hours (see below about soaking nuts)
  • 2 – 3 cups of purified water (some people use 4 cups)
  1. Place the raw almonds in a glass bowl or large jar, and cover with filtered water and 1 tsp Celtic sea salt for about 12 hours.
  2. Rinse the nuts several times to remove any of the anti-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors. If soaking for the full 12 hours, make sure you rinse and soak a few times. Any nuts that float to the top have probably gone rancid, so discard them to be safe. It is not uncommon to have a few floaters. The almonds will have swelled with water and look a lot more plump.
  3. Put almonds and water in your blender/vitamix and start blending at low speed. Quickly accelerate to high speed until all of the nuts are completely pulverized. You can drink this without straining if you like rustic whole milk. This is the way I drink and use it. It has more calcium if not strained. But blend thoroughly and then strain if desired.
  4. If you would like a smoother, more homogenized-style milk, strain the milk with a nut bag, fine mesh strainer, or fine mesh knee-high hosiery. I must say that a nut bag is the going to yield the smoothest results. You can find these easily from health food stores or from raw online stores. Make sure you wash the bag as soon as you are done so you can reuse again and again. To strain: place a nut bag over the opening of a glass bowl, jar or jug. Pour small amounts of almond milk into the bag, and then squeeze it like a cow teet until every last drop is out. Then remove the almond pulp, set aside and keep repeating the process. Make sure you squeeze the cloth to get the last bit of liquid out. This is the creamiest yummiest bit of the milk so don’t miss out on that!
  5. Don’t waste the almond meal. Save it and dehydrate it, and then use the almond meal/flour for other recipes such as smoothies, crusts, cookies, nut butter, breadcrumbs etc You can also make a quick, easy body scrub with it. (See Body Scrubs)
  6. If you would like to drink this milk on it’s own, I have listed some suggestions for sweetening and enhancing the flavour. Jazz this up with whatever floats your almond boat, and you will not be disappointed. Store in a glass jar in the fridge if you are going to keep for later. It will keep for about 2 days, possibly 3 days in a very cold fridge. Read at the bottom of this post for some general tips on home-made nut milks.

Here are some suggestions:

  • 1 tsp alcohol free pure vanilla extract
  • 3-6 pitted dates, 2 – 3 Tbsp maple syrup, or other sweetener

OR

  • You could add a few drops of natural alcohol-free almond extract/essence
  • 3 Tbsp organic maple syrup

For a richer, creamier milk add:

  • 1 Tbsp unrefined coconut butter or raw almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp non GM soy or sunflower lecithin

For Chocolate Almond Milk just add in a couple of tablespoons of raw cocoa powder, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and sweeten to taste.

For Cinnamon Milk – add in 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla, and sweeten to taste.

For Strawberry Milk – add in the desired amount of strawberries with the vanilla, and sweeten to taste.

You get the drift – the sky is the limit. Get nutty with almonds and you will be in heaven.

Tip: Freeze Leftover Milk In Ice Cube Trays For Use Later

SOAKING NUTS

Use raw organic nuts and seeds wherever possible.

  1. Place the desired nuts or seeds in a glass bowl and cover them with warm distilled, purified or filtered water with a teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt dissolved in it. You will want to use a ratio of at least 2:1. Two parts water to 1 part nuts or seeds.
  2. Keep the bowl at room temperature and cover with a flour sac cloth or thin tea towel that breathes. Soak the food for the recommended amount of time (in the char below) to make them as digestible as possible.
  3. The soaking water will contain all of the toxic enzyme inhibitors which we are trying to remove. So proper rinsing is really important. Drain the food and rinse thoroughly until the water comes out clear in the final rinse. Some people recommend doing a final rinse with a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar in order to remove any remaining bacteria.

As a general rule with nuts: the harder the nut, the longer you need to soak. Long soak nuts such as almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts are best soaked for about 12 hours. Common medium soak nuts are walnuts, brazil nuts and pecans. They require less soaking time as they swell more quickly as they are oilier. Short soak nuts are cashews, macadamias and pine nuts. They require the least amount of soaking as they do not contain inner skins, and therefore not as many enzyme inhibitors.

See below for more specific guide times for soaking each specific thing.

Remember that the longer nuts, seeds and grains are soaked the more they swell and become water logged. If you are following quantities in recipes, particularly from sources that don’t soak their nuts, you might want to hold back some of the water recommended in the recipes in order to achieve the desired consistency. It is also really important to rinse and drain several cycles to ensure you remove all of the enzyme inhibitors.

Generally my rule is “floaters are bloaters.” Throw out any nuts that float to the top as they are generally rancid. It is better to be safe than sorry. Discard them and you will be better off. It is not uncommon to have a few floaters every time you soak. One other thing to note is that with some of the soft creamy nuts like cashews and macadamias, over soaking can remove some of the rich healthy oils that you want to utilise. For most nuts, the easiest and convenient thing to do is to soak right before you go to bed, and rinse, drain and dehydrate as soon as you wake up. Or soak before you go to work in the morning and then rinse drain and dehydrate overnight while you are sleeping. Then they are ready to use for breakfast in the morning!

Here are some more specific guide times for the grains, nuts and seeds that I use most often:

Food Soaking Time (Hrs) Sprouting Time (Days)
Almonds 8-12 No Sprouting or 3 Days
Adzuki Beans 8-12 4
Amaranth 8 1-3
Barley 6 2
Black Beans 8-12 3
Brazil Nuts 3 No Sprouting
Buckwheat 6 2-3
Cashews 2-4 No Sprouting
Chickpeas/Garbanzo 8 2-3
Flaxseeds ½ No Sprouting
Hazelnuts 8-12 No Sprouting
Kamut 7 2-3
Lentil Beans 7 2-3
Macadamias 2 No Sprouting
Millet 5 12 hours
Mung Beans 8-12 4
Oat Groats 6 2-3
Pecans 6 No Sprouting
Pistachios 8 No Sprouting
Pumpkin Seeds 8 3
Radish Seeds 8-12 3-4
Sesame Seeds 8 2-3
Sunflower Seeds 8 12-24 hours
Quinoa 4 2-3
Walnuts 4 No Sprouting
Wheat Berries 7 3-4
Wild Rice 9 3-5

QUICK SOAKING FOR BLENDING

You can soak the quick way in order to soften foods so that they liquefy better. This is helpful for all blenders. But particularly important for conventional blenders.

To soak nuts, seeds, and grains the fast way: place the food in a glass bowl, cover with boiling water and let soak for 10 minutes or more. Drain thoroughly, discard the soaking liquid, and rinse. Soaking the fast way has no nutritional benefit and destroys live enzymes.

HOW TO DEHYDRATE

To dehydrate activate nuts, seeds, and grains:

  1. Spread the thoroughly rinsed food out on mesh trays and place them in the dehydrator. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can place them on a tray in the oven on the absolute lowest setting of warm – which is no higher than 100 Fahrenheit. But a dehydrator is preferable.
  2. Leave your dehydrator set to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and set the timer for 24 hours, and check them after about 18 hours to make sure they are completely dry.
  3. After they are dry, leave them in the dehydrator with the power off for a further 24 hours to ensure they are completely dry.
  4. Place them in sealed glass jars and store them in the fridge for later use in recipes.

Just a tip – if the nuts are not completely dry before you store them, they will quickly gather some very undesirable mold. So make sure they are crunchy before storing away. I let me nuts completely cool for a while before I store them and I leave the lid off the glass container for a further amount of time. I have been burnt by mold before!

HOW TO SPROUT

To sprout nuts and seeds you can use a special sprouting jar (which can be purchase online store or from health food stores) or use a mason jar. They are inexpensive and can be sterilised and reused.

  1. Place your soaked and rinsed nuts or seeds in the sprouting jar and cover with the lid or cloth.
  2. Lay your jar down on an angle on a sunny windowsill or kitchen bench to allow the excess water to drain, and leave to sit in the light.
  3. Every eight hours or so, thoroughly rinse the contents of the jar by filling it with water, placing a lid on the jar, and shaking, and then draining.
  4. Repeat this process every eight hours making sure you get all of the water out each time by laying the jar at an angle.
  5. Keep the jar in the sunlight when your nuts or seeds start to sprout and continue the process until fully sprouted.
  6. Do a final very thorough rinse by rinsing and draining a few times and then allow the sprouts to dry thoroughly. If they are not completely dry they will spoil. I have had that happen before!
  7. Once completely dry to the touch, store sprouts in the fridge for use. Most sprouts will keep in the fridge for 2 – 3 days.

Works Cited:

“Vitamix Recipes | Smoothie Recipes | Healthy Blender Recipes.” Vitamix Recipes | Smoothie Recipes | Healthy Blender Recipes. Web. 8 Apr. 2015. <http://healthyblenderrecipes.com/&gt;.

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