These days, it seems as if more and more people are going the dairy free route. So people immediately wonder how they will replace the milk in their diet. And that is where almond and coconut milk come in. It seems like a healthy alternative. But what some people don't realize is that most of these store bought milks contain additives and preservatives. One ingredient in particular that should be avoided is carrageenan. Carrageenan is extracted from red edible seaweeds and is used as a thickening or stabilizing agent. Seems harmless enough, right? Well, carrageenan is not digestible and has no nutritional value. Studies have also shown it to be destructive to the digestive system and potentially triggering inflammation in the gut which can lead to a host of problems. So if you are inclined to purchase almond milk or coconut milk, try to choose one without carrageenan. There are a few brands out there. Just read the labels.
If you want almond milk it its purist form, here is a very simple recipe to make it right in your own kitchen. You will need a high speed blender, some organic raw almonds, filtered water, and a nut straining bag or cheesecloth. You will need to soak your almonds overnight so plan ahead for that. Once you see how simple this is, you will probably be more apt to make your own more often. I try to always have some almonds soaking a couple times a week to allow myself to keep up with the supply my family needs. This recipe will yield you about 4 cups of almond milk.
1 cup organic raw almonds
8 cups filtered water, divided
1/4 tsp sea salt, divided
Optional for added sweetness:
2-3 pitted organic medjool dates
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
or 3 Tbs organic maple syrup
1. Place almonds in a bowl with 4 cups of filtered water and 1/8 tsp sea salt. Soak overnight or for 10-12 hours.
2. Drain the nuts and rinse well. Add them to your high speed blender along with 4 cups of filtered water. Add the remaining 1/8 tsp of sea salt and any sweeteners should you choose to add any. (Dates, pure vanilla extract, or organic maple syrup)
3. Blend until smooth. Then strain the milk through your nut milk bag over a large bowl. Squeeze the nut bag to remove all the liquid. In the end, you will be left with some almond meal which can be used in a number of different ways. So save it!
4. Then pour your milk into a glass container and store in the refrigerator for about 3 days. Don't be alarmed if your stored almond milk starts to separate in the refrigerator. This is totally normal. Just shake it up well before each use. Enjoy!