I am a scientist who loves to cook because there are many similarities between working in a lab and cooking in a kitchen. I love to share my cooking experience with you and to inspire others to cook.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Almond Milk


Almond milk is considered one of the healthiest "milks" compare to cow's milk, soy milk and rice milk. I won't rehash the health benefits of almond milk since a quick google search will reveal much more than I can summarized here. Suffice to say, open any health/fitness magazines and on top of the "most healthy food list' is almond, which is often ranked alongside blueberries.














                     Fitness magazine



Glamour magazine









                                      Men's Health magazine

It wasn't that long ago that I found out the existence of almond milk. I had no idea something as tough as an almond can be made into "milk". I tried a couple store-bought almond milk but these products left much to be desired (see my explanations at the end of the page).

As usual, I decided to give this a go in my own kitchen and I can safely proclaim that homemade raw almond milk is the BEST!

Making almond milk requires 2 ingredients (raw almond, water), 2 tools (blender, cheese cloth), and 3 Steps (soak, blend, filter).



I like the shape and the color contrast of the "veins" of almonds that appear after soaking 

Instructions:
1. Soak about 250g (close to 2 cups) of raw almonds in water. Do not skip this step. People recommend soaking overnight but I soaked it for a few hours in the morning and it is fine.

2. Transfer the soaked-almond (not the liquid) into a blender, add about 2.5-3 cups of water.

3. Blend until the almonds become fine powder and the liquid turns milky-white.



4. Separate the milky-liquid from the ground-almond with a cheese clothe.



5. Serve immediately or stored in the refrigerator. I noticed that the almond milk thickens to a very nice and smooth consistency after refrigeration.



Unlike soy milk, it is very easy to squeeze the "milk" from almond

After all these almonds and effort, it yielded a measly 2 cups of almond milk which were rapidly depleted within hours. The flavor of the almond milk is magnificent, the smoothness is refreshing, and that made my fellow tasters and I happy campers. I honestly feel that it is worth the effort and time in making homemade fresh almond milk.






Now, allow me to indulge myself in some technical analysis. What's a food-molecule blog without some excel spreadsheet?

As mentioned, I made a mere 2 cups of almond milk, which is very small, by volume, but very concentrated by weight/volume. I rummaged through the internet for some recipes and I came up with this table for your comparison.


As you can see, my almond milk's concentration is significantly more concentrated than others (column 5). In other words, 2 cups of almond milk that I made can go a long way.

A few words about store-bought almond milk. Remember I said that I am not a fan? I will illustrate my reasons in two pictures:


The amount of almond in each serving is at least 10x lower than other homemade almond milk and >20x lower than mine (refer to the column 6 of the table above). Commercial almond milk is uber-diluted. Yea, it is cheaper to buy commercial almond milk but it is less nutritious.

Which leads me to the next problem - diluted commercial almond milk is compensated with natural thickeners which leaves a very "funny" and unnatural taste/"feel" on my tongue.

Therefore, would you rather have store-bought almond milk or this:  ????



Sprinkled with some cinnamon powder

BONUS

There is no wastage in making almond milk. Although it has lost most of its flavor, ground almond is totally edible and it retains some very subtle almond taste. You can use it for baking, or add it into cereal/oatmeal.




3 comments:

  1. I love this post!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. This may be one of my favorites so far!! Have always thought about making my own but have always been too lazy. I am inspired! Mostly by your scientific review of the benefits of homemade ;) And because of its paleo-ness :)

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