Let's begin this journey together by sharing something simple...
Picture this: You have just put the kids to bed, wiped down the kitchen counter and about to get ready for bed. Before you switch the lights out, grab a bowl and two cups full of organic raw almonds.
Fill the bowl, ball jar, or what ever your sprouted heart desires with filtered warm water and 1 teaspoon of salt. If I can remember, I usually boil the kettle before Coco goes to sleep so when I come back down the water is already warm and ready. Plus I love a cup of chamomile while I read (and by reading I mean maybe 10 pages before I fall out). However, you can keep it simple by using room temperature water too, just skip the salt. Make sure the nuts are submerged in the water. Leave uncovered on your counter over night.
Rise and shine. The alarm clock is buzzing and the birds are chirping. We have just entered spring and lost an hour of sleep; the world is waiting for us, what are we waiting for? Maybe an a lay in or two or three. But it's a school day or maybe your little one just loves waking up at the crack of dawn, so let's do this. You roll to the kitchen, one eye open. Start the coffee, the tea or hot water and lemon. When your ready drain the water from the nuts, rinse well. Toss them in the blender with six cups of water. Everyone hold their ears, loud startling noise at 7am. Now you have a lovely milky nutty concoction. Because the nuts were soaked over night they make for a creamer milk.
I would suggest buying a nut bag or you can just use a sheet of cheesecloth. Coco loves this part, the nut bag keeps all the ground almonds contained. Which helps for a tidy clean up; which before school is key. Pour the liquid into the nut bag over the bowl. You will see the milk strain out immediately. The trick is to squeeze the bag until there is no more liquid. It is quite a lovely sensation. The kids dig it. It is as close as we will be getting to an utter any time soon.
Once the bag is ringed out, either keep or discard the ground almonds. This is great to use as an almond flour (future post in the making). Basic almond milk is now completed, however, I like a little flavor in my life. So I add the milk back into the blender, toss in a pinch of salt, 1-2 pitted dates, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of maple syrup or vanilla. These are all optional, amounts vary on how sweet you want your milk to be! I like a subtle hint of flavor which compliments the almonds.
Now bottle that sweet milk up. I usually add it to our morning smoothies as part of our breakfast routine. With my long winded visualization it may sound like a lot of work but it only takes doing it once to realize how easy it is. Coco helps me prepare her lunch in the mornings and this is a routine we love to bond over. It keeps her occupied, so there is less attention seeking and whining. Makes our mornings run a lot smoother. I would love to hear some of your alternative recipes. I have been making strawberry almond milk too which is like a dessert. Please tell me some fun ideas I would love to test them out.
Also a little fun fact. The reason we soak nuts over night is to make them more digestible. Especially for our little ones tummies. You can opt out of using all the nuts for milk and store them in the fridge as a snack. The warm water neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors and increases the bioavailability of many nutrients, especially B vitamins. The salt helps activate the enzymes that deactivate the enzyme inhibitors present in nuts