November 15, 2016
Many people who are gluten-sensitive or coeliac also have problems with milk. Nut milks may be the answer for some of you (especially if you’re also sensitive to soy products). Some internet research on the subject revealed lots of information on making your own nut milks, which are so much nicer than the commercial ones – they don’t keep for more than 3 or 4 days but that shouldn't be a problem because they’ll be consumed before then anyway!
This is a recipe for almond milk, but the same process can also be used for other nuts including walnuts, macadamias hazelnuts and many others. Yes, nuts are expensive, but even at current prices (around $26 per kg for almonds) you can make a really good product for about the same price as a commercial version that contains a lot less almond.. You also get to keep the ground almonds you've created and can use them in cooking – they freeze well and can be stashed up until you want to make some friands, or a mandarin cake, or a mocha almond cake...
The process described below makes a liter of nice creamy almond milk. You can probably thin it a bit further if you only want it to moisten your breakfast cereal or to put in cooking. Made as is, you can use it in coffees and hot chocolates!
- Prep: 15 mins
- Cook: 12 hrs
1Soak 1 cup (170g) of almonds (with their skins on) in about 3 cups of cold water for at least 8 hours or overnight. This will plump up the nuts and remove some of the potentially bitter components, and yes, it really does matter – don’t be impatient!
2Rinse the nuts thoroughly by running them under the tap in a sieve.
3Place the nuts in a blender with 1 cup of clean cold water and blend for about a minute until a thick paste is formed.
4Add another 3 cups of cold water and blend for another minute or so.
5Either place a double layer of cheesecloth in a sieve over a large bowl, and pour the mix in, then gather up the cloth into a bag and squeeze the contents through until no more liquid emerges, OR buy yourself a nut milk bag (check out the Internet for NZ sources) – this is a fine mesh bag with a drawstring top that does avert potential disasters of the ‘nut milk and almond paste all over the floor’ variety – and again wring the contents out until you have extracted all the liquid. Thoroughly clean hands are, of course, a must for this step!
6Extract the contents of the bag (almond pulp) and freeze or refrigerate for later use.
7Place the milk in a jug and keep covered, in the fridge, for 3-4 days.