Recently, I was at a little blogger get together in Denver. We all headed to Cafe Max for a breakfast/coffee/chat-fest. Ashlae raved about their homemade almond milk and said it was fantastic in their lattes because it didn't have a bitter flavor. If you've ever made homemade almond milk before you know what she's referring to. It's fairly bitter with a pretty big aftertaste and is quite different from the type of almond milk you buy at the store.
I thought about this before but figured there was some part in the processing of store-bought almond milk where they were able to get rid of this bitter flavor. While it worked just fine in recipes and in cooking things like oatmeal, I could never just drink a glass straight up.
Sure enough, my almond milk latte came and was smooth as could be. No lingering raw almond flavor at all.
So then I got to thinking...could it be the skin on almonds? When you eat raw almonds they have that same bitter taste but blanched almonds never do. Could blanched almonds possibly solve this problem?
Indeed they could.
That bitter flavor is held completely in the skin of the almond. Take it away and you get perfectly smooth and mildly flavored almond milk. It tastes just like store-bought except better, because the only ingredients are almonds and water. It doesn't have that odd thickness to it that the store-bought kind has. It's totally drinkable.
Of course after making the milk I turned to Google, where I found a boatload of people who have already been making blanched almond milk. Looks like I'm late to the game! But it's a new realization for me and maybe some of you, too!
I started by making plain almond milk with blanched almonds. Then, I boiled the almonds and let them sit in the hot water for 1 1/2 hours for a quick-soak method. You can also let them soak overnight for easy blending. Or, if you have a high-powered blender the soaking is not totally necessary.
I was ecstatic to have homemade almond milk that I actually want to drink!
You can either blanch raw almonds at home or buy them blanched. I chose to buy them blanched, as there really was no price difference where I bought them.
And then I added vanilla beans and 2 dates for a hint of sweetness.
And then I was left with what you see below.
Which is the most amazing plant-based almond milk you'll ever taste.
Blanched Vanilla Bean Almond Milk gluten-free, vegan // yields: appx. 32oz
- 1 cup blanched almonds
- 3 1/2 cups filtered water
- 2 medjool dates, pits removed
- 1/2 vanilla bean, beans scraped
Cover almonds with water in a medium-sized pot and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Turn heat off, move to a cool burner, and cover with a tight fitting lid. Let sit for 1 1/2 hours. Or, let almonds soak for 4-12 hours.
Drain and rinse almonds thoroughly. Place in a blender with the filtered water and pitted dates. Blend on low working to full speed for about 30 seconds, until almonds are fully blended.
Place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and pour the milk through the bag. Squeeze as much liquid through the bag as possible.
Rinse your blender. Place strained milk back in your blender with the 1/2 scraped vanilla bean pod (beans only). Blend for just a few seconds. Pour into a 32oz jar and seal with an airtight lid. Shake before pouring. It's normal that it separates. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can smell/taste when it has gone sour.
Empty almond pulp into a container and store in your fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Or, store in a freezer bag for about 3 months.
- Homemade almond milk is most easily strained with a nut milk bag. They cost about $10 (or less) on Amazon and other sites. Cheesecloth is very difficult and messy to use.
- Almond pulp crackers + bread recipes
I cannot even tell you how excited I am about this realization (that I could have made years prior with the help of Google)!!!!