Cooking with almond milk
Like almond flour or almond meal, almond milk may not be something you have thought of lately, if at all - unless you have experience with food allergies. Almond "milk", made from soaked and ground almonds, is a great solution for the dairy allergic or dairy sensitive. And, regardless, it is quite tasty.
Almond is delicious and versatileAlmond milk is not just for vegans or people with dietary issues, though it certainly can help them through. When I had to go off dairy completely when my children were infants, I depended on almond milk to feel like I was eating normally.
Almond milk been around for centuries, actually, as it doesn't spoil as quickly as cow's milk in areas with limited refrigeration. During the Middle Ages, it was a well-known ingredient, and, as it comes from a plant, was considered suitable for consumption during Lent or during feast days.
You can use almond milk almost any place you use cow's milk: over cereal, in smoothies, in coffee and tea (or to make hot cocoa), and in baking and cooking (soups, some sauces). Almond milk is available commercially, but it's also very easy to make yourself. It's protein-rich and cholesterol-free while being low in carbohydrates, low in calories - and, well, yummy. Really!
Almond milk recipesAlmond milk is definitely worth some experimentation. Here are some recipes to get you started.
Almond MilkMakes 3-1/2 to 4 cups
1 cup almonds, freshly roasted
4 cups water
Splash of vanilla extract (optional)
Squeeze of honey (optional)
1. Place the almonds in a large jar and cover with the water. Close the jar tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours. Puree the soaked almonds and water together until smooth.
2. Strain the liquid though a cheesecloth, squeezing all liquid out of the resulting paste (you can reserve the paste for another tasty use). Whisk in the vanilla and honey, if using. Almond milk is now ready to drink as is or use in smoothies and other recipes.
Almond and Fresh Fruit SmoothieServes 2
1 cup almond milk
2 cups chopped fresh fruit: bananas, strawberries, peaches, or whatever you have
Squeeze of honey
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
Almond Milk Oatmealserves 4
1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups almond milk
Dried fruits of your choice
Bring all the ingredients to a simmer in a medium sized pot. Let cook uncovered until the oats are soft and almost all the liquid is absorbed. Serve topped with brown sugar or maple syrup.
Vanilla Almond Milk LatteServes 2
2 cups almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 shots of espresso
Cocoa for dusting
Warm the almond milk and vanilla, then froth using a battery-powdered frother, or other method. Place the espresso shots in individual cups. Carefully pour in the frothed almond milk. Dust with cocoa.
Almond Rice PuddingServes 6 to 8
2 cups rice
5 cups almond milk
Toasted sliced almonds for garnish
Combine the rice, almond milk, and sugar in a pot. Cook as you would any rice, but leave it a little liquidy. Serve garnished with sliced almonds.