Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A Little Glass Of Almond Milk

I always used to be a huge fan of soya milk. I still am, sort of. I like that it's sweet and easily available, in winter I can order a soya latte in Starbucks and in summer a peanut butter soya shake in Shakeaway. It's also quite cheap, all the major supermarkets stock their own brand for less than a pound.
If you follow my blog you'll know I've spent the past month on a cleanse, purely for health reasons, and now I'm starting to re-introduce foods back into my diet. 

Because I couldn't have any soy products on the cleanse I looked into almond milk, but because I couldn't have any form of sugar either, and all store bought almond milk I could find contained sweeteners, I ended up making my own. 
At first I felt lazy and didn't know if I could be bothered to repeat the process of soaking, blending and straining almonds every few days. But then once I did it a couple of times, I realised how easy it was and actually, I kind of liked the taste. It's creamy without being really thick and has a mild taste, no where near as strong as soya milk. At first I missed the sugary aftertaste, but then as my body adjusted to being without sugar I found myself appreciating almond milk more and more.

So far I have re-introduced fresh fruit and sweet potatoes. It's the strangest thing because I never realised just how naturally sweet they actually are! I've been having a banana and berry smoothie for breakfast and last night I had roasted sweet potato and with every bite of the potato I couldn't help but keep remarking on the wonderful syrup-y taste! 
So now it's got me wondering, do I even need to go back to buying sweetened soya milk? Do I really miss it that much? Or is it just habit that I want to buy it again? I'm not saying no to it forever though, I know summer will come and I'll want a vegan milkshake, or I'll be at my parents and my lovely mum will offer me a delightfully sweet cup of tea with vanilla soya milk. But maybe I can try and keep drinking the homemade almond milk for everyday use, if nothing else my teeth will thank me!

If you want to have a go at making your own almond milk go for it! It's incredibly easy to do. 
I found lots of different ways to do it when I was looking online, but for me, I found the simplest way was...

Take a handful of almonds, I found that the milk doesn't keep much longer than a few days, so I only make it in very small batches because it's only little me who drinks it. (T remains on the soya wagon!)
Pop them in a bowl, cover with water and then leave them to soak overnight.
Once soaked, I rinse them, pop them into a large jug with a small amount of water and use my hand blender to blend them. You can use a proper blender if you wish but I found that with smaller batches a hand blender works better.
Once they look like soggy mush, add more water, I add about a pint. Then blend again so that the almonds are completely combined with the water.
Now you need to use a jam cloth to strain it, keep squeezing until all the liquid has drained out into a clean jug and you're left with the almond pulp.
I tend to then pop the almond pulp back into the first jug, add a bit more water, blend again and then strain again. This does make the milk slightly thinner but you get more out of the almonds.

And then you're done!
With the leftover almond pulp, mix in some salt, pepper, coconut oil and thyme, or any herbs of your choice. You can also add a few tbsp's of water and 1-2 tbsp's of coconut flour. Then press the pulp down on a baking tray so it's only about 1/4 inch thick and bake in a really low oven at 110c for about 2-4 hours, or until it's completely dried out. And tah-dah! Almond crackers!

Hope you're all having a wonderfully wonderful week! It's pancake day! Yay! Hope you're all eating way too many! I sadly will not be eating pancakes today, but I will be having a belated pancake day in a few weeks time! 
Happy pancake eating! x

1 comment:

Kim said...

Yay you have a new blog name and I love it :) Your photos in this post are beautiful too. Love the Tala bottle in the background, it's gorgeous!

It's funny how you're now finding things like sweet potato so sweet! It's not until you stop having something that your senses become heightened to it I guess. I'm so happy that you're able to eat something else albeit potato and fruit but it's a start. Hope you're feeling happier about things! xx