Homemade Almond Milk

Due to milk allergies for me, and both Randy’s and my recent decision to follow a mostly plant based diet, cutting out 95%+ of our dairy , I am researching some healthy and delicious alternatives to our favorite fats.  One staple I always have in my fridge (and have used even before I cut out dairy) is almond milk.  It is great in smoothies, and works great in  many sweet and savory dishes.  We normally buy our almond milk at the health food store but even that has many added ingredients and chemicals to help with flavor and preservation that I would rather us not have.  I decided to experiment and make my own almond milk.  I made it in 3 flavors: vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate. Recipe yields 3-4 cups depending on the quality of your blender. Adapted from here.
Ingredients for vanilla: 1 cup of RAW almonds~4 cups of water~1/2 tsp vanilla~1-2 tbs maple syrup
For strawberry: add  1 extra tbs maple syrup and 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (thawed) For Chocolate: add 2 tbs cocoa powder and 2 extra tbs maple syrup                                         1) Rinse and then soak almonds in about 4 cups of water overnight 2) When they are done soaking, drain remaining almond water into measuring cup and add additional water to reach 4 cups  3) Blend water and soaked almonds in high speed blender for 2-4 minutes or until ingredients are well combined 4) Add additional ingredients and pulse until ingredients are thoroughly mixed 5) Taste and make sure the milk is sweet enough for your liking 5) Run mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth to sift out the grit 6) Store in sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days  6) Sip and enjoy                                                  Note: For use in savory cooking use the basic vanilla recipe but omit vanilla, & maple syrup, and add  a 1/2 tsp salt.
My favorite way to have almond milk is in coffee.  My recent kick has been iced coffee, 1/3 almond milk, 2/3 coffee, extra strong coffee cubes, & a tbs of maple syrup.  I have also been experimenting with it in some pasta dishes and I can’t even tell the difference.  

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