Thursday, February 23, 2012

Almond Milk

I work on a team made up of 6 female chefs including yours truly. Apparently we are nut hoarders (on the verge of being buried alive). There is actually an entire section of our walk-in fridge dedicated to nuts. The almonds in particular were getting excessive and it was wisely decided that we would make a batch of Almond Milk this morning. It was a rather fabulous idea if I don't say so myself. 

As I watched Elan rev the Vitamix, the debate started. How should we sweeten it? Agave? Honey? Dates? Maple Syrup? There are so many different ways you can go with it. I personally, am obsessed with the Almond Milk from Pressed Juicery so I voted for dates as the sweetener. 

You can get creative and try out a couple of combinations but I'll give you my favorite and you can start there if you want. Before I give you the recipe, let's talk about how you can utilize Almond Milk since I know some of you are probably scratching your heads. The two most popular ways I tend to see it used is with cereal or granola instead of milk and in coffee or tea instead of creamer. It also makes a great ice cream or smoothie base. Or of course you can always just enjoy it chilled by itself.

Almond Milk
makes about 1 quart

1 cup raw skinless almonds (you can buy them with skin-on but there will be an extra step in the prep process if you do so)
2 cups water
1 cup coconut water
5 dates (soak in hot water and remove skin first)
pinch cinnamon
kosher salt, to taste
1 T agave (if you want it to be a littler sweeter)

1. soak almond in water for 6-8 hours so they can soften. If you are using skin-on almonds you will soak them and then squeeze them between your fingers to remove the skin before proceeding
2. put all ingredients in vitamix blender or food processor and blend until well-combined and frothy
3. pour almond milk through strainer lined with cheesecloth (might need to do it more than once to obtain desired texture)
4. chill before enjoying. 

*Note: Almond Milk can be stored in fridge for up to 5 days 

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