If you’re participating in the Whole Life Challenge or just experimenting with less dairy in your life, it’s hard to think of a more important staple item for your pack than a tasty nut milk you’ll actually dig consuming. I prefer almond milk. It’s great as a base for shakes, over gluten-free granola and fruit, or in warm drinks like a golden latte. It can substitute for pretty much anything milk-ish. I also sometimes use it with a little cacao and whey protein for a quick shaker-bottle drink post-workout.
Your grocery store likely carries almond milk, but I’ve found most off-the-shelf options to be bunk. They’re full of funky ingredients, weird flavored variants, and oddly thick, nay, even viscous in a way that makes me think more of engine oil than fuel for my personal tank.
So consider making your own almond milk. It’s super easy, quick, and even a little Zen. In only fifteen minutes, I’ve got a week’s supply of this cool, tasty milk stand-in that thrashes the store offering.
In a blender, combine soaked almonds, water, and a squeeze of honey (if that’s your thing — ’tis mine). I use the scientific method of one handful of almonds for every two-ish cups of water.
Blend for a minute or two on high (unless you have a Vitamix, in which case the lower setting is better). You want it really blended up but not so fine that grit shoots through the old nut milk bag.
Pour blended goodness through the nut milk bag into a pitcher with a big enough mouth that you can do some squeezage without losing too much product over the sides. This is a good opportunity to get your grip workout on as you squeeze out every last drop of milk until you’re left with just a ball of almond meal. I discard said ball (shock and horror) but were I a better DIY-er, I’d dry that ball so I had almond meal for use in all sorts of baked goods.
Store your delicious milk impersonator in a sealable container (I use mason jars) and you’ve got a tasty brew that should last through the week.
As I’ve mentioned, the uses for almond milk are many but one favorite of mine is the Chocolate Coconut Smoothie King, which for any of you parents out there has been a hit with the kids in this house. Again the scientific method—dump the following into a blender, and experiment to thickness/shakiness you like:
About a tablespoon each of cacao powder, almond butter, and shredded coconut
Add-ons I sometimes chuck in: cacao nibs or pepitas for crunch, protein powder
Since I did my first nutrition challenge over five years ago, and through all the successfully navigated good-eating terrain since, this simple almond milk recipe has been a staple. I hope it proves similarly useful for you.