1 & 1/2 cups raw almonds, soaked 8 – 12 hours
6 cups cold water
4 & 1/2 medjool dates (more or less)
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Put everything in vitamix, turn on, immediately turn dial to 10, flip to high speed & blend for 2 minutes.
~ I use (& highly recommend) raw, unpasteurized almonds from www.livingnutz.com.
~ Soaking – Soak your almonds in room temperature water in a covered glass jar or bowl, on the counter. The water will become brown & sludgy looking. It’s good to rinse & refill the jar with fresh water once or twice during the 8 – 12 hour period if you think of it, but not mandatory. If you’re soaking over night (as I sometimes do), obviously don’t worry about that step. Also, if you’re around, give the jar a jiggle every now & then as you pass by to assure even water distribution among the almonds. Once the soak time is up, rinse thoroughly (discarding the soak water) & drain.
~ If not using a Vitamix, you should soak the dates (after you cut in half & remove pits) for about 30 mins. Processing dates is hard work for the average blender. After they’ve soaked, you might want to cut them into smaller pieces before blending (alternately, consider substituting honey, maple syrup, or other pliable sweetener). Also, if not using a Vitamix, it’s likely you’ll have to strain the milk.
[box] For those avoiding certain foods, this recipe falls into the following categories:
Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free,
Nut Free, Sugar Free, Vegan, Grain Free, Raw
Keep in mind, if eating raw, you need to seek out truly raw (unpasteurized) almonds, and use vanilla bean instead of extract. If eating gluten free, be careful choosing your vanilla extract.[/box]
~ If using vanilla bean instead of extract, the vitamix will blend skin & all. For other blenders, you’ll need to open up the vanilla bean and scrape out the inner, tiny, vanilla seeds.
~ Mason jars work well for storing the almond milk.
For those deeply entwined with the details (& controversies) of nutrition, read on. All others run the other way…..
~ Almond skins? Way back when…. I wouldn’t have even bothered trying to make almond milk in the first place if someone told me I had to peel the almonds. I’m telling you now that you don’t. Either way yields delicious, nutritious, almond milk. I used unpeeled almonds for over a year in the beginning. I started peeling by accident at some point, as some of the skins were practically hanging off after soaking (the skins slip off pretty effortlessly after they’re soaked – the longer they soak, the looser the skins). From that point on, each time I made almond milk, I’d peel more & more of the almonds, until somehow, I was peeling all of them. All you do is squeeze an almond between thumb & fingers & the almond usually pops right out. It takes me roughly 7 minutes to peel a heaping 1/2 cup of almonds. It didn’t go that fast in the beginning, but it’s like typing, the more you do it, the faster you get.
In all honesty, I didn’t want to bring up the almond skins, as it’s a confusing topic (and somewhat embarrassing admission). However, due to the video w/ peeled almonds in plain sight, I couldn’t very well ignore it. Being vague is not my style, obviously =) Although we may be the nutty minority, I know there are others who ponder these things…..so….this is for you……..
There are reasons both for and against peeling almonds.
Reasons to peel:
~ Peeling the almonds improves their digestibility….. Almond skins contain tannis (tanic acid) which are very astringent, can make the almonds difficult to digest, and can interfere with mineral & protein absorption.
~ Some feel the texture, color, and taste of the milk is better when using peeled almonds.
~ Peeled almonds will still sprout, and therefor still contain vital nutrients and enzymes.
Reasons not to peel:
~ Almonds are a whole food, and should be consumed as such – skin and all.
~ Studies have shown the antioxidant content of almonds to be concentrated within the skins.
~ Some feel that the tannis from the almond skins, for the most part, end up in the soak water which is drained & discarded (rinse your almonds well after soaking!).
~ Just not doing it – nope.
So there you have it. There really is no right or wrong. Do what works for you.