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Dairy-Free Homemade Almond Milk

You can’t control life’s ups and downs, twists and turns. Sometimes, things come back around—again. And, you have to just go with it. I believe that I’ve been put on this planet to feed people. That’s what I LOVE to do. Nothing makes me happier, especially when I’m baking and cooking for my kids, the hearts of my life.

“But, recently I’ve realized that feeding people means so much more. It’s emotional. It’s personal—and it’s happening right now.”

When we found out in June that Chiara has a serious intolerance to dairy, I paused. I confused most of my friends. But, it had been months of back to butter for my family since Isaiah’s most recent blood tests revealed that his intolerance to dairy had disappeared. Even though I wrote a cookbook full of dairy-free, gluten-free recipes, I admit that I was happy to return to my dairy-full days.

“I always thought that being gluten free was so much easier than being dairy free. Don’t you?”

And now, I have come to terms with Chiara’s dairy intolerance. Even though, as many of you know, I can eat both gluten and dairy, I have chosen to cut dairy out completely just as I did with Isaiah almost five years ago. It’s an act of solidarity, yes, but more so of acceptance. So, to celebrate I’ve made my first non-dairy milk, almond milk. I even steamed it this morning for my morning cappuccino. It’s delicate and sweet, just like my girl, Chiara.

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Makes: About 4 cups


1 cup raw almonds—soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
4 cups filtered water
Two pinches sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
2 tablespoons agave nectar (optional)

You can store this in the fridge for up to 3 days. To make chocolate almond milk, blend in about 3 tablespoons cocoa powder. For strawberry almond milk, toss in some fresh or frozen strawberries. Chiara’s favorite flavor is by far the strawberry milk; Isaiah prefers the vanilla. I like them all! Also, this is the nut bag I used. 

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth, 1 to 3 minutes, depending on your blender. Using a fine mesh strainer or a nut bag, strain.

 


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14 Comments: Dairy-Free Homemade Almond Milk

Lucy Said:

I agree that gluten free is so much easier than dairy free. I miss cheese and butter soooo much!

Jenna Said:

I’ve said the same thing: eating dairy-free is harder for me than eating gluten-free. Since my daughters have egg allergies, I’ve found that challenging too. Omlets are such an easy, versatile, last minute dinner option.

Samantha Blaszynski Said:

Such a timely article. Recently we figured out that my daughter’s sinus infections are due to dairy. And although she has never been able to tolerate milk, the idea of cutting out cheese and yogurt is torture right now. I find myself back where I was when we went GF, trying to find as many food “options” as possible. And I want to learn how to make these things for her so she doesn’t miss out.

Tessa Said:

Wouldn’t it be nice if she were to grow out of it like Isaiah did? There’s no substitute for cheese – the real thing is too delicious! I just discovered that Breyer’s has a lactose free vanilla ice cream that doesn’t seem to bother me – it’s so exciting for me!

Alisa Fleming Said:

I hear this a lot, but I feel the opposite! I do live, work, and pretty much breath dairy-free, but it seems so much easier to avoid than gluten to me. Well, I guess that means job security for me anyways :)

I hope both your little ones are doing better and thriving. They have such an awesome mom!

Sophia Said:

Do you have any recommendations for reasonably priced raw almonds, free from contamination? I’ve been wanting to make some for myself for a while and haven’t found any good options.
thanks

Barb H. Said:

Eleminating something from your diet is always a challenge. I love Cooking for Isaiah because it was gluten & dairy free which is part of the “free” diet I follow. I have used coconut oil as a substitue for butter. I have been using almond & coconut milk also. Good luck with your new challenge for your daughter.

Silvana Said:

Hi Sophia, I bought my raw almonds from Trader Joe’s, but now looking at the package, I realize that they aren’t organic! I’ve been thinking of ordering nuts from nutsonline.com, where they have certified gluten-free nuts!

Jennifer Said:

Glad to see the recipe (though pretty loose through Twitter) worked out. I finally got my husband to drink almond milk by making it fresh. He used to be obsessed with Rice milk, but now is perfectly content with this.

Silvana Said:

Hi Jennifer,

I love to bake with rice milk, but I find it too thin for everyday drinking. Love the creaminess with the almond milk!

Kirstin Said:

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the nutbag. We bought ours from One Lucky Duck downtown but nice to know they sell them at the Natural Gourmet Institute. My daughter, who can eat dairy, is BEGGING me to make frosting for a party she is attending with butter. So I guess I will make two versions–one dairy free for my son who also has a party and one with butter for her. I just gave my vitamix to my dad who is sick but a friend just gave me a soybella and might try making some almond milk in it. When I saw this recipe and your back and forth on dairy I just had to tell you how my dairy eater is begging for buttercream.

Sophia Said:

Thanks for that tip Silvana.
Do you use the almonds as flour for baking after you make the almond milk?

Tamar Said:

I do just what Silvana does, but I only use almonds and water, no salt or flavoring (though I do enjoy warm almond milk with vanilla and a splash of maple syrup).

I buy raw organic almonds in bulk (and boy do I ever mean bulk!) directly from Bremner Farm and stick them in the freezer till I need them. I’m in NYC, but they ship across country. There are other farms that do the same, but I liked Bremner’s prices. Because they’re truly raw, these start to sprout just a little overnight, which enhances their health benefit and makes them more digestible, to boot. The “raw” almonds you buy in the store are actually pasteurized, BTW. And non-organic raw almonds are pasteurized with propylene oxide. Nice…

Since I blanch the almonds (peeling the skins after they’ve soaked for a few hours), I then dry the almond meal in a toaster oven at 150 for about two hours, then stick it back in the blender for a quick spin to loosen clumps. It makes a lovely, fine textured flour.

And Silvana, I’m sensitive to gluten contamination (got knocked out from a tiny drop of soy sauce recently) and have never had a problem with these nuts.

Long comment, huh? I should get myself a blog.

Silvana Said:

Hi Tamar,

Love your comment, ideas and recommendations—thank you!

I’m going to have to check out Bremner Farms. I never knew about the pasteurization of raw almonds. Fascinating!

Talk soon,
Silvana

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