Making your own non-dairy milk doesn’t have to be a long or complicated process. In fact, my almond milk recipe takes only 3 minutes to prepare with 3 simple ingredients that you can customize to fit your LEAP diet. One taste and you may never buy store-bought nut-milk again! As my youngest Little Farmer likes to say, it’s “Easy Peasy!”
Giving up ice-cold, creamy milk can be a challenge when you discover that you have a food sensitivity, intolerance, or allergy to dairy. When my clients start their LEAP diet based upon their MRT test results we eliminate dairy for a few weeks initially. Many times my clients are able to have nuts or seeds that can be used instead to make a non-dairy milk for cooking or drinking.
A non-dairy milk can be a good alternative to dairy milk, but often it is difficult to find non-dairy beverages that are both economical and additive free. Most non-dairy milks contain additives and thickeners to improve texture and to prevent the natural – and inevitable — separation and settling that occurs with non-dairy milks.
Some people find it difficult to tolerate commercially available non-dairy beverages. Many of the stabilizers/gums and preservatives found in these milks may actually cause GI lining irritation and GI upset or other undesirable side effects. Some non-dairy milks contain “natural flavorings”, a vague, catch-all phrase which could even indicate that they contain MSG. Most of these additives in commercial non-dairy milk are not tested with the MRT (Mediator Release Test) and are not included in the first phases of the LEAP diet.
Almonds make a nice milk, but you can even use this recipe with other types of nuts such as pecans, cashews, or walnuts (however, you may wish to soak some of these nuts if you have digestive concerns).
Want to know my secret for the best almond milk?
I use sliced (or slivered) blanched almonds (white almonds without skin) for my almond milk. (Note: I do not use the almonds in the picture — those are just for “decoration”!) I purchase sliced, blanched almonds in 5 lb. bags from Azure Standard and store them in the freezer.
Using blanched almonds eliminates the bitterness of the almond skins and also eliminates the need to soak the almonds prior to blending (a sizable bonus for this spontaneous cook!) A Vitamix or other high-powered blender will make short work of these nuts and I don’t even bother to strain the almond milk.
It is smooth enough to drink, but you can get fancy and strain with a nut-milk bag if you want ultra silky milk.
When I prepare this recipe to use in smoothies or in baking I use only almonds, salt, and water (saves on sugar!) You certainly don’t need to strain the milk when you use it for cooking or baking!
If you store the milk in the refrigerator it will begin to separate — just shake gently before pouring.
For a “wholesome indulgence” add your favorite sweetener – raw honey, organic cane sugar or Sucanat, and Grade A Dark Robust Maple Syrup all work well in this recipe. Just a hint of vanilla extract is nice (I use homemade.) Give this dairy free milk a try in your morning coffee or tea!
Give it a whirl and let me know what you think in the comments below.
Here’s to Wholesome!
p.s. Notice my milk bottle – it’s a family heirloom that my Farmer unearthed from our barn a few years ago. His family used to operate a dairy farm nearby in generations past and this is a treasured relic of bygone days!
- 1 cup blanched, slivered almonds
- 3-4 cups filtered water
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon LEAP friendly sweetener such as maple, cane sugar, or honey (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Add all ingredients to your Vitamix or other high powered blender and blend at high speed for 3 minutes. Milk will be warm. (If you have a standard blender, you may need to blend longer or strain through a nut-milk bag if mixture is not as creamy as you would like.)
- Pour into quart glass jar and store in refrigerator up to 3 days (or freeze).