Cheap and easy almond milk

It’s finally fall!  Which means we are in the mood for cheap, healthy, easy afternoon snacks, and also fighting off our seasonal sniffles.  Which means more warm beverages and less dairy in this family.

Welcome homemade almond milk.  I started making it a few years ago but was turned off by the blanching and straining and how time-consuming the whole process was.  Then I realized that almond butter has already been processed in a way similar to cooking and grinding – could I use that?

I did.  It worked and I used this recipe for quite a while.  Then it separated into a thin white liquid and chunks at the bottom.  Great if I drank it in the first 5 minutes, but I wanted something I could save for a few days.  So I checked out a few other recipes, and looked at the ingredients on my favorite store-bought almond milk, and tried adding lecithin (an emulsifier) and tapioca (makes it creamier).

Since then, I have dropped the tapioca, but kept the lecithin.  I love how it now keeps it from separating, and allows for a super-creamy drink that will keep in the fridge for a few days as well.

Ingredients:

2 tbsps creamy almond butter

3 capsules lecithin (the outside of the capsule melts and blends into the liquid)

1.5 quarts warm water

 

  1. Heat one liter of water to about 100 degrees F.  Pour in a large blender such as a Vitamix.
  2. Add lecithin and almond butter
  3. Blend for 30 seconds on high until smooth and creamy
  4. Add last 2 cups (half a liter) of water
  5. Adjust flavor as desired with vanilla, cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spice (my fave in the fall)
  6. Serve hot or cold.  Keeps in the fridge for at least 3 days – but my kids usually drink ours up within the first 24 hours!

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Here’s what I love about this recipe:

Cheap:  $0.42 for the almond butter, $.15 for the lecithin and it makes 1.5 liters. 
Healthy: almonds are rich in calcium, potassium, and healthy fats – making this a good beverage for getting those electrolytes pre or post-workout.  Lecithin supplements come primarily from soy or sunflower, but lecithin is naturally also in eggs and certain veggies.  One of lecithin’s key components is choline, which helps maintain healthy cell and brain function.  

Tasty!  I serve it hot or cold, with or without cinnamon, vanilla, and honey.  Hope you enjoy it too!

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Warmth. Cinnamon. Vanilla. On a cold afternoon…yum!

Has this latest arctic blast hit you like it has Houston?  Brrr!!!  We are NOT used to subfreezing temps.  Not that I’m complaining; the brisk weather does make me move a little faster when outside, but I also find that I want to curl up on the couch with a good book and cup of hot cocoa.

Except I did that yesterday.  And the day before.  And with January diet resolutions and what not, I can’t drink gallons of hot cocoa every day and still fit into my new Christmas clothes.

Enter my super-simple low-calorie, dairy and gluten free, cinnamon/vanilla almond milk that is pretty much amazing and needs an amazing name to match (any creative minds out there?).

ingredients
ingredients

For the ingredients, I used

1 tbsp of almond butter

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 capsules lecithin (helps the almond butter dissolve, plus it’s a good source of choline for the nervous system)

4 cups warm to hot water

put all ingredients in blender and blend for 1 minute or until white and frothy.

IMG_3028serve in four cups and top with a dash of cinnamon.  My kids guzzled this down with their afternoon snack.  Next time I think I might try chai or pumpkin pie spice… Enjoy!

Smooth and creamy almond milk

I’ve posted an almond milk recipe before and liked the flavor of the original version, but found that it separated and wasn’t as creamy white as many of the store-bought varieties.  Hey, I’m a texture gal.

Then I started looking at the ingredients in my favorite brands, and experimenting.  My latest concoction has a few more ingredients, but I think it is well worth it!

1 tbsp almond butter

1 tbsp baby rice cereal or tapioca

1 capsule soy lecithin (I cut the capsule with kitchen shears and squeeze out the goo)

1 cup hot water, 1.5 liters room temperature water

sweetener or other flavorings to taste (I like a teaspoon of evaporated cane juice or vanilla)

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boil 1 cup of water, and mix with the almond butter and soy lecithin.  Lecithin is an emulsifier, which prevents separation of the water and almond oil.  See how nice and smooth it looks, but not quite white and creamy enough yet…

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So now for the texture.  You have two options to get that white, creamy texture in storebought almond milk.

1) add tapioca to the hot water/almond butter/soy lecithin mix, mix well, then allow to cool before blending until frothy.

2)  Allow almond butter mixture to cool, then add water and baby rice cereal to blender.  Blend until frothy.

Some of the almond particles will settle eventually, but I store mine in glass jars so I can shake it up before drinking.  Now I think I’ll try some almond milk hot cocoa. 🙂

Easy almond milk recipe

After multiple attempts at making my own almond milk, I pretty much gave up because it took so long to blanch, grind, soak, squeeze through cheesecloth, and then finally try to convince my kids that it really did taste good.
I’ve been avoiding the storebought almond milk because so many had more sugar than almonds, and it’s a little pricey. Almonds have 7g protein for every 2g sugar, so if your almond milk has twice as much sugar as protein it means it’s just expensive almond-flavored sugar water.

So here’s a toast to super-easy almond milk:
1 tsp no-salt-added, creamy almond butter
1 cup water

Blend. I like using my IKEA frother, but a blender does great and a fork does OK.
Drink immediately, or shake before drinking.

If it’s not quite sweet enough for you, try adding a couple drops of pure vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp of agave nectar or honey for a slightly sweet, very refreshing drink.