Our recent Whole30 experience left Ben and I between a rock and a hard place when it came to morning coffee: Either drink it black or pay a hefty $1 or so per ounce for the deliciousness from Portland Juice Company.
Now wanting to blow through our grocery budget, I knew there had to be another way. Sure, we could fudge our way through with store-bought almond milk, which even when it’s organic and free of lactose, soy, gluten can have some nasty additives (just Google “carrageenan,” for example).
So that left us (read: me) with one, final option: Making it home-made, which I was trying to avoid at all costs — literally and figuratively.
A little math:
- Nut-milk bag: $10.99
- 6 oz package of raw almonds: $4.99
- 12 oz package of dates: $6.99
- Finally getting over the fear of using my food processor: Priceless
Is it worth it? Well, I might not be the best person to ask since I love my dairy and have since added it back into my diet — in moderation, of course (#BecauseIceCream). But almond milk is a delicious alternative for people with dietary restrictions — especially with the addition of dates as a natural sweetener and pumpkin pie spice for an extra kick.
Making it on my own not only was a learning experience, but it also got me thinking about all the extra gunk I’m consuming in my usual store-bought, sugar- and chemical-laden creamers, so although I don’t expect to make it regularly, I will add it into my repertoire of “every-now-and-then” recipes.
Here’s a look at the process:
Step one: Purchase nut-milk bag. Get mocked by husband when you tell him you’re “going to the store to buy a nut bag.”
Step two: Soak almonds. Overnight, ideally, but for at least a few hours or until the nuts plump up.
Step three: Rinse almonds and place in food processor with 3-4 pitted dates and a few cups of fresh water. Blend.
Step four: Clean up explosion of water from said food processor. Locate manual and read instructions about not filling above “fill line.” Oops.
Step five: Repeat step four. Clean up second mess, and wonder if you assembled it incorrectly. Nope — just too much liquid. Again.
Step six: Finally blend (for 1-2 minutes) until white and frothy. Smells lovely.
Step seven: Hold open nut-milk bag over a large bowl and pour mixture into bag to strain. Gently squeeze to get excess liquid out.
Step eight: Store in airtight container. Preferably a mason jar, particularly if you live in Portland, to cement neo-hippie status.
Now…what do do with the almond remnants? I’ve got a recipe for that, too! Stay tuned…