Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Almond Milk

I've been making my own almond milk lately after drinking the Blue Diamond variety for over a year. It is easy in process, but does take some time. There are many instructionals on the web for making almond milk - some say just blend raw almonds with water and strain, others say soak the almonds for at least 24 hours first. Some say soak and then peel and others say soak and blend whole.

I've been doing the soak and peel method which makes a white, creamy delicious milk but is quite time consuming. Today while peeling I wondered to myself "self? what if I didn't peel. Would I really taste the difference?" So I decided to find out.

The basics of almond milk making (no, you don't have to find the almond's udders, that would just be silly), is to soak a cup of raw almonds in filtered water for 24 to 48 hours. I had decided to make a double batch to  have plenty for the rest of the week so I had enough soaked to do the following experiment. After soaking you drain the soak water off and add four cups filtered water then blend then strain. You can add a pinch of salt and some sweetener, but it isn't necessary. I add a pinch of sea salt and a touch of agave sweetener to mine.

So I started with my soaked almonds. I had just finished peeling half of them, which took me a little over a half hour, when I got my idea of an experiment. grab camera.

I started with the peeled almonds

blend until frothy. I had a bit of an overflow problem.

I started the straining with this ridiculous cheesecloth. Who decided cheesecloth was worth anything?

I finished with a dish towel my mom gave me for Christmas. Much better. Squeeze and twist. 

The almond meal

The milk from the unpeeled almonds was decidedly darker. 

As was the meal.

The jar on the right was from the unpeeled. Just slightly darker, but if you didn't have the milk on the left to compare it with you probably wouldn't notice.

Just slightly darker. After tasting I found there wasn't a significant difference. I certainly didn't taste the bitterness I expected from the peels, just nice delicious almond milk.

The meal.

My conclusion is to do away with the tedious peeling. It doesn't make enough of a difference to warrant the time. Unless the peeling is a zen exercise, and then it could be a worthwhile activity.

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