Prepare ahead of time: Before combining, soak raw nuts for at least 12 hours. This completely saturates the nut, giving it a smoother, creamier texture. Because fully saturated nuts combine better and leave less “pulp” behind, it also yields more liquid. As if that weren’t enough, soaking your almonds activates the enzymes in the milk, making it more healthy. If you wish to prepare nut milk without soaking the nuts, you can save some time (but not all) by mixing them with very hot water.
May ease their digestion
Soaking softens them, making them potentially easier for your body to break down (4, 5).
Antinutrients in almonds can interfere with the digestion and absorption of certain nutrients as calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium (6, 7).
While studies demonstrates that soaking grains and legumes can considerably reduce antinutrient levels, there is little evidence that soaking almonds or other tree nuts is helpful (8, 9).
In one study, soaking almonds for 24 hours at room temperature reduced phytic acid levels by less than 5%. (10).
Another study found that soaking chopped almonds in salt water for 12 hours reduced phytic acid levels by 4%, which was tiny but significant (11).
A study of 76 adults over the course of eight weeks found that bathing did not appear to help stomach issues. Furthermore, when soaked almonds were compared to raw almonds, phytic acid levels were the same or slightly higher in soaked almonds (12).
Overall, the evidence on whether soaking reduces antinutrients or improves digestive problems is inconsistent.
May increase your absorption of certain nutrients
According to research, chewing or chopping almonds into smaller pieces allows more nutrients to be released and absorbed, particularly lipids (10, 13).
Additionally, digestive enzymes may be able to more effectively break down and absorb nutrients (4, 10, 13).
Despite this, one study found that soaking entire almonds had little or no influence on the availability of some elements such iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc (11).
The concentrations of these minerals actually reduced when the almonds were diced before soaking, despite the fact that phytic acid levels also fell (11).
Soaking can help with fat absorption but can also reduce mineral availability.
Some people may prefer the taste and texture
Almonds in their raw state are firm and crunchy, with a slightly bitter flavor from the tannins (14).
They become softer, less bitter, and more buttery-tasting after being soaked, which may appeal to some people.
The flavor of soaked almonds is milder and less bitter than raw almonds. They might be easier to digest, which could help you absorb more nutrients. Nonetheless, the evidence is contradictory, and additional research is required.
It’s best to start with raw almonds. Roasted nuts are brittle and dry, resulting in a less creamy milk. It also brings out their bitter undertones, which are more prominent in raw nuts. Also, the almonds should not be peeled. I’ve tried making almond milk with blanched almonds, but I’ve discovered that leaving the skins on reduces the grittiness of the milk. I know, it’s counterintuitive!
Keep in mind that the flavor of almond milk is similar to the flavor of almonds. Invest in high-quality, organic, and fresh almonds. The almonds are most likely to blame if your almond milk feels sour or has an overpowering and disagreeable flavor. Nuts go bad faster than you think, and nowhere is that “off” flavor more apparent than in a batch of nut milk. I used to have this problem all the time when I was buying almonds from a large supermarket, but the results have been incomparable since I started buying almonds from a local health food store. So, if you don’t like the taste of your homemade almond milk, try buying nuts from a different store.
Since almond milk is mostly water, the water you use will obviously affect the taste of your almond milk. However, some regions have exceptional tap water, so whether filtering offers any real benefits depends on your specific geographical source. My tap water has an alkali-like aftertaste compared to filtered water, which has a much brighter and sweeter flavor.
If you want flavored almond milk, add one or two Medjool dates and a splash of vanilla extract, or a few Medjool dates and some cocoa powder for chocolate almond milk.
Homogenized Almond Milk
The fat from the almonds and the water we added separate over time, which is the only “issue” with created plant-based milk. This is due to the fact that fat and water do not mix. An emulsifier is the solution to this problem. I supplement with sunflower lecithin, a phospholipid-based nutritional supplement that benefits the brain and nerve system. It functions as a fat emulsifier in this recipe. To put it another way, it binds the almond fat and the water together, suspending them. Because the almond milk is kept in the fridge, there is no separation.
What is the best way to activate almonds for almond milk?
Soaking the almonds encourages the nut’s early germination and sprouting, making them easier on the stomach. Fill a bowl halfway with water and add the almonds. Cover with a pinch of salt. Soak the almonds in water overnight.
Soaked almonds vs. dry almonds: which is better?
While raw almonds have a dark skin that contains tannin, which prevents nutrients from being absorbed, soaked almonds have a far easier time peeling off the skin, allowing the nut to release its nutrients more freely.
Is it possible to eat raw almonds without soaking them?
Almonds are not only delicious and healthful, but they also provide a slew of health benefits, according to a study done around the world. Ayurveda, India’s ancient style of medicine, asserts that almonds have a wide range of health advantages, especially when eaten after the skin has been peeled away.
Sweet almonds, rather than bitter almonds, are recommended by Ayurveda. Such almonds are recommended for their ability to calm the Vata doshas in the body due to their toasty and sweet properties. They aid in the lubrication of the skin and microcirculatory channels, as well as providing support to the body’s seven important tissues. Almonds are excellent for balancing pitta, and an Ayurvedic practitioner can teach you how to digest them.
- Whole organic almonds should be purchased since they include all of the nutrients in their purest form. Because the skin of almonds is difficult to digest, Ayurveda recommends soaking the almonds and peeling the skin to make them more digestible.
- It will aggravate Pitta in the blood if you eat almonds without soaking them and peeling off the skin.
- Almonds are best prepared by soaking them overnight in lukewarm water and peeling the skin off the next morning.
- You can also combine them with raisins and dates, although eating them whole is usually recommended.
- You can eat up to 10 almonds per day, but you should not eat them on an empty stomach and should instead combine them with fruits or vegetables. This is due to the fact that eating almonds on an empty stomach can increase pitta doshas and induce undesirable side effects such as indigestion.
Is it necessary to peel almonds before making almond milk?
Keep the skins on the almonds; according to my recipe testing, leaving them on helps to lessen the grittiness of the almond milk (I know, it’s counterintuitive!). In a blender, combine the soaked almonds with 4 cups of filtered water.
Almond milk has only 1 gram of protein per cup (240 ml), compared to 8 and 7 grams in cow’s and soy milk, respectively (16, 17).
Protein is required for a variety of body processes, including muscular growth, skin and bone construction, and the generation of enzymes and hormones (18, 19, 20).
Beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, and hemp seeds are among the high-protein dairy-free and plant-based foods.
If you don’t mind eating animal products, eggs, fish, poultry, and beef are all good sources of protein (21).
Unsuitable for infants
Cow’s or plant-based milks should not be given to children under the age of one year because they can inhibit iron absorption. Until 46 months of age, breastfeed or use infant formula exclusively until solid meals can be introduced (22).
Offer water as a nutritious beverage option in addition to breast milk or formula at 6 months of age. Cow’s milk can be given to your infant’s diet after the age of one (22).
Plant-based drinks, with the exception of soy milk, are inherently low in protein, fat, calories, and a variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamin D, and calcium. These nutrients are necessary for development and growth (23, 24).
Almond milk has only 39 calories per cup, 3 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein (240 ml). This is insufficient for a developing infant (5, 24).
Continue to breastfeed or see your doctor for the best nondairy formula if you don’t want your kid to swallow cow’s milk (23).
May contain additives
Sugar, salt, gums, tastes, and lecithin and carrageenan can all be included in processed almond milk (types of emulsifiers).
Texture and consistency are achieved by the use of emulsifiers and gums. Unless ingested in really large quantities, they are harmless (25).
Despite this, a test-tube study indicated that carrageenan, which is often used as an emulsifier in almond milk and is generally considered harmless, may disturb intestinal health. Before any judgments can be drawn, however, further thorough research is required (26).
Despite these issues, many companies avoid using this ingredient entirely.
Furthermore, many flavored and sweetened almond milks include a lot of sugar. Sugar consumption can lead to weight gain, tooth problems, and other chronic illnesses (13, 14, 27).
Almond milk is low in protein, lipids, and nutrients necessary for an infant’s growth and development. Furthermore, many processed kinds contain sugar, salt, flavors, gums, and carrageenan, among other things.
Is it possible to thicken almond milk?
This dish does necessitate the use of some unusual kitchen utensils. You’ll need a blender and a large pot, both of which you probably already have, as well as a fine mesh filter bag to drain the blended almond pulp from the finished milk. You can buy these reusable nut milk bags online for approximately $7-15 apiece (see Amazon here), or you can buy paint filter bags for about $1 each at your local hardware shop. I’m not sure if they’re “food grade,” but I wash mine in hot soapy water several times before using them and they’re fine.
Soak the almonds for at least 6 hours, preferably 10-12 hours. The almonds soften and absorb a lot of the water as they soak. When mixed, this causes them to break down more quickly and contribute more flavor to the milk.
Drain and rinse the almonds after they have been properly soaked. Then combine them with water and salt in a big mixer (a Vitamix can handle the full batch, but you may have to do 2 batches with a smaller blender). To properly break down the almonds, blend for at least 2-3 minutes. Allow this to “steep” (much like tea) for 5-10 minutes to get the greatest flavor.
Strain the mixture through your handy milk straining bag (or paint filter bag) and into a big pitcher below. Slowly press the nut pulp with your hands to get all of the juice. This procedure parallels the act of milking a cow (which is ironic), but let’s not go there… After straining all of the milk, you’ll be left with a lump of almond pulp. You can throw this away, use it to make pates, or dehydrate it and use it as almond flour.
Taste the milk and add any more flavorings if desired. I frequently add a dash of vanilla and maple syrup to my coffee.
Now it’s time to have some fun! In my several trials with this procedure, I’ve discovered that at the correct temperature, the thickening reaction occurs quickly and produces a liquid that is extremely thick when chilled (more viscous than heavy cream). Depending on your needs, this may be overly thick and inconvenient. The easiest technique to control the viscosity is to keep some almond milk unthickened while heating and thickening the rest, then combining the two for the optimal whole milk consistency.
To do so, set aside half of the thin almond milk in a pitcher and pour the remaining half into a big skillet. Increase the heat and whisk regularly until the almond milk reaches a high temperature – we’re practically “scalding” it. When you run a spoon through the hot liquid just before it comes to a boil, you’ll see that it changes from watery to slightly creamy very instantly. That’s exactly what we’re hoping for a reaction. Remove the pan from the heat before it boils and pour the remaining milk into the pitcher, allowing the entire concoction to chill in the refrigerator before serving. And there you have it: thick almond milk!