Making your own nut milk sounds like an intimidating process, but it's actually a simple staple to make on your own. We love keeping the fridge stocked with different "milks" to add to coffee, breakfasts, recipes, or a refreshing glass to accompany a cookie... Almonds are a good source of calcium, with about 74 mg per ounce, and by making your own concoction you can receive the good qualities and avoid the extra ingredients you might find on the grocery store brand, such as locust bean gum, sunflower lecithin, and gellan gum.
There are a couple reason we prefer plant based nut milks to their counterpart, dairy milk. A strong motive is that ethically we do not agree with many of the practices that are taking place in order to fill supermarkets with dairy products. But, also, importantly the nutritional aspect of drinking milk.
We ARE what we eat. Actually, we are what we eat, ate. How’s that for a tongue twister? This means that whatever cows are consuming including their feed(GMO soy and corn), antibiotics, or hormones to increase milk production, is what we digest, absorb, and assimilate into our systems.
Many of us just can’t tolerate milk or dairy, in general. Lactose intolerance is incredibly prevalent in our population, with an estimated 65-70% of us unable to actually digest the milk sugar, lactose. Lactose is found in highest amounts in milk, but many other products are milk-based- cheese, ice-cream, yogurt… we know, we’re breaking your heart. Some individuals, however, have an easier time digesting the likes of cheese, for example, as most cheeses have a much lower lactose content compared to milk.
There are many ways to spice (or sweeten…) up this almond milk recipe. Instead of banana you could try cocao powder for some chocolate almond milk. Or what about turmeric spice with honey, cinnamon, and ginger? Cool!
What’s next for us almond milk aficionado’s? Maybe some maple chai almond milk…blueberry almond milk…coconut vanilla almond milk? Who KNOWS, the beauty of almond milk is its versatility.
BANANA ALMOND MILK
Makes: 4-6 cups
- 1 large, overripe banana, frozen
- 4-6 cups water, depending on how creamy you like it
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla pod
- pinch salt
- 1-2 soft dates (optional)
- Blend all ingredients in a blender.
- Place a large cheesecloth overtop a wide bowl or large measuring cup (this can be a little messy so make sure you have a towel underneath your bowl). This is easiest if you have a charming assistant to hold your cheesecloth, if not; use an elastic band to hold cheesecloth over bowl.
- Pour mixture into cheese cloth and, while holding the cloth sealed at the top, use your other hand to “milk” the bag, just like a cow!
- This straining process will leave you with almond pulp in the cheesecloth bag and smooth, almond chunk free, liquid in the bowl.
- Transfer almond milk into a big jar/jug and refrigerate.
Curious about other non-dairy sources of calcium? Try white beans which contain 120mg of calcium per ¾ cup with around 22% bioavailability, dried figs (140mg per 10 figs), leafy greens (43mg per 1 cup) or tahini (130mg per 2Tbsp); 1 cup of milk contains roughly 300mg of calcium- 30-35% of which is bioavailable and absorbed into our bodies.