I’m not one for jumping on the newest diet bandwagon, but come January, I’m usually so stuffed from two months of eating cookies and pies and roast meats that I crave lighter foods. Vegetable soups suddenly become my favorite dinner. And my usual dairy-heavy breakfast just doesn’t seem as appealing as it did a few months ago. Instead, I reach for almond milk to add to cereal and tea in the morning.
Since becoming the darling of the non-dairy milk category, almond milk’s shares on grocery store shelves have skyrocketed. Yet this profusion of products has done nothing for their quality. Most almond milks are full of stabilizers, preservatives, and sweeteners. Even the unsweetened bottles in the refrigerator section contain the likes of gellan gum, carrageenan, sunflower lecithin, and natural flavors. They’re less milk than chemistry experiments.
What’s the solution? Make almond (and pistachio and pecan and sunflower seed) milk at home. Depending on the price of the nuts, it costs about the same, or even a little less, than the premium brands of almond milk, and the quality is far better. Plus, homemade almond milk is just about the easiest DIY kitchen project you can take on. I often talk about how easy many of these projects are, but almond milk is by far the simplest. All you need to do is soak, blend, and drain. That’s it.
I’m going through so much nut milk these days that I typically make more than one batch at once. Here, I’ve made a batch of almond and a batch of pistachio.
The night before you want your milk, cover 1 cup of nuts with cold, filtered water. Cover and refrigerate overnight to soften the nuts. The next day, drain the nuts and transfer them to a blender.