Although I’ve never been a big milk drinker (like most of the world, I am mildly lactose intolerant), I’ve run into one major roadblock when replacing it with non-dairy alternatives: milk tea. I drink my tea the British way, and have found that non-dairy milks are distinctly stingy on the creaminess and leave my tea a far cry from the robust yet balanced cup of awesomeness with which I like to start my day.
I think I’m getting a little closer to being able to cut out dairy. Three words: raw almond milk.
It’s ridiculously easy to make. The result is beautifully creamy with that cling-to-the-glass look of whole milk and a faintly cinnamony finish. (Kind of like how I expected goat milk to taste after it got talked up in Heidi and before discovering that it was gross.) It’s great in tea. And although raw almonds are not exactly cheap, your homemade almond milk will make your storebought stuff taste like cardboard. Seriously, you have to try this.
1 cup raw almonds (cost: less than $2)
2 1/2 -4 cups filtered water (depending on how creamy you want it)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract / 1 scraped vanilla bean (optional)
2-3 TB sugar or other sweetener (to taste)
dash of salt (optional)
Regular old blender
Square of cheesecloth or muslin (a piece of an old but clean sheet or a cotton bag will work fine)
1. Soak the almonds in plenty of water overnight (keep them in your fridge).
2. Drain the almonds, discarding the water, and place them in your blender along with the filtered water and vanilla.
3. Blend on high until smooth (about a minute).
4. Strain the mixture through fabric into a bowl. You’ll have to squeeze the fabric to get out the liquid. Put the almond meal in a separate bowl. You can use it to bake or do other things with. (I’m still looking up what.)
5. Add sugar and just a little salt to taste. The salt really does bring out the flavor.
6. Store in the fridge, enjoy within the next 2-3 days.