Almond Milk (& Almond Flour)

Almond Milk

Nut milks are made by soaking nuts, grinding into a paste, and then blending with water. The mixture is then strained through a fine mesh to create a milky liquid that can be used as a substitute for cow’s milk. It is by no means a recent food fad, as almond milk was a staple ingredient in medieval kitchens. Before we had national networks and refrigerated transport, nut milk provided a safe and reliable alternative to animal milk, that would not sour and spoil at room temperature. You can make nut milk out of any nut you like, following the same process. But almond milk is the most popular nut milk, due to the subtle flavour, and the relative abundance and cheapness of almonds.

After you have strained the milk, you will be left with wet pulp. Do not throw away the ground almonds, as there are many uses for it – for example, baking muffins, cookies, brownies, crumbles and crackers, or using as a crust for meat and fish, casserole toppings and breadcrumbs. However, you will need to use it within 3-4 days, as the high water content will encourage bacteria to grow. Alternatively, you can dry out the pulp on a very low heat in the oven, then grind into almond flour. As long as the ground almonds have been completely dehydrated, it can be treated like any other dried product and stored for several months in an airtight container.

For the creamiest results, leave the nuts to soak in water for 2 days before grinding. This saturates and softens the nuts, meaning that they blend much more effectively into the water and impart a stronger flavour. It also removes phytic acid, which cannot be digested by humans and so irritates the gut.

makes cooking time
4 cups / 960ml of milk
1/2 cup / 65g of flour
0 minutes
Almond Milk / Almond Flour
Ingredients Instructions
  • 1 part whole almonds (2 cups / 250g)
  • 2 parts water (4 cups / 960 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Soak the almonds for 2 days. Place the almonds and salt in a bowl, and cover with a couple of inches of cold water. Leave to soak for 2 days.
  2. Make the almond milk. Tip the almonds into a large sieve over the sink, discarding the soaking water. Briefly rinse under the cold tap, then transfer back to the bowl. If you used blanched almonds, you can skip the next step.
  3. Boil a kettle and cover the almonds with a couple of inches of water. Leave to steep in the hot water for 5 minutes to loosen the skins. Tip the almonds into the sieve over the sink, discarding the water. Remove and discard the skin from the almonds. Grab a handful of almonds in one hand, and transfer an almond at a time to the other hand, pinching the end between your thumb and index finger to pop out the almond. They should part company very readily, so point into a deep bowl to avoid flinging almond shrapnel around the room. Turn on the radio and try to relax into mindless activity, as it will take about 15 – 20 minutes to skin them all.
  4. Combine the almonds with the water and blitz on high in a blender for about 2 minutes – or until the liquid stops jumping up the sides of the blender and churns around smoothly. You will probably need to do this in 3-4 batches. Line the sieve with a piece of muslin and place on top of a pouring bowl or wide-rimmed jug. Tip in the blended almonds and water, and allow the liquid to drip through for a few minutes. Gather up the ends of the muslin and squeeze until all the liquid has been pressed out.
  5. Transfer the almond milk to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  6. Make the almond flour. Turn your oven onto the lowest setting (I used 80°C/175°F). Line a large roasting tray with baking paper. Shake the almond pulp into the tray, and use your hands to break up the clumps as best you can and spread out in an even layer. Set a timer for 2 hours and go potter elsewhere in the house. When the timer goes off, take the almond pulp out of the oven and rub it between your fingers. At this stage, it will still feel moist. Break up any large clumps and return to the oven. Repeat every hour until the pulp is dry like dust. Mine took 4 hours.
  7. Right now you have ground almonds. Tip the dried-out pulp into a spice grinder, and grind to a fine powder to create almond flour. You will probably need to do this in several batches. Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool place out of direct sunlight (but not in the refrigerator).

 

Recipes that use Almond Milk
Sweet
Savoury
Recipes that use Almond Flour
Sweet
Savoury
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