Almond milk

Gluten-Free/ Dairy-Free / Vegan

Makes 375 ML (13 FL oz/11⁄2 cups)

I prefer to blanch my own almonds for making almond milk, but you may like to buy them already blanched. Never use store bought almond meal (ground almonds), as there is a world of difference between almond milk made with a conventional meal and biodynamic whole almonds. Almond milk doesn’t keep well under warm and hot conditions, but it will keep long enough for you to enjoy a beautiful smoothie on a hot summer day, with leftovers for the Custard Cream below. If you would like a richer almond milk, increase the amount of almonds. Soaking the almonds will optimise the goodness you get from them by breaking down the enzyme inhibitors. Ayurveda believes they should always be soaked to make them more digestible. It also recommends removing almond skins as they’re considered irritating to the stomach. For a sweeter almond milk (say for a smoothie) you could blend the almonds and water with a couple of fresh dates.

80–120 g (3⁄4 cup) raw almonds, skins on 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt, if soaking almonds (optional)
If soaking almonds, place the almonds and salt in a bowl and pour in enough water to cover the nuts well. Set aside at room temperature overnight.

Strain and rinse well. The skins should now slip off easily, but if you find they don’t, you will need to blanch them.

If using unsoaked almonds, place the almonds in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water and set aside for 3–5 minutes. The skins should slip off easily; if not, drain and repeat the process.

For both soaked and unsoaked almonds, place the almonds in a blender with 435 ml (151⁄4 fl oz/13⁄4 cups) of water and blend very well until smooth.

Peg four layers of muslin (cheesecloth) onto a jug or bowl and pour the almond milk through. Pick up the muslin and twist to squeeze out the remaining milk. Use immediately or store in a clean jar in the fridge for up to 2 days. After a time, the almond milk will separate, so just give it a stir before using.