Milkin' It

I love all types of milk.  Soy and almond milks are probably my favorite but I’ll take good old cow’s milk in a pinch too. I like that they each offer different flavors and textures as well as nutrients.  When I saw how easy it was to make almond milk at home, I knew this was an experiment I needed to tackle.  I bought a bag of almonds with the shell on and blanched them in boiling water for about 3 minutes.  After they cooled, I removed the shell. This is an easy process but a somewhat time consuming one.  Then I blended about 1/3 c. almonds with 2 cups of water and strained the liquid into a pitcher.  I let it get all cool and refreshing in the refrigerator for a few hours and it was ready to enjoy! I did not add sugar, so it was less sweet than the store bought variety but it was smooth and milky; perfect for cereal. To satisfy a sweet tooth, I added some simple syrup and pure cocoa powder.  Again, it was less sweet than commercial brands, but I prefer my food less sugar laden anyhow. The beauty is each person can sweeten this to his/her individual tastes.  After doing the math, I figure I can save anywhere from $3 – $6 by making this at home.  Being that my math is horrible, it is very possible I am saving significantly more (though I am fairly certain it is not less than $3).  Almond milk is not a totally new product for me and I was delighted to discover how much money I could save by making it at home.  But then I discovered possibly the cheapest milk of them all-oat milk!  Are you kidding me? It must cost about .02 cents to make a cup of this stuff.  It’s also incredibly rich, creamy, and WAY easier to make than almond milk. And almond milk is easy!  For oat milk, you simply need to boil one cup of water, add 1-2 TBS. of oats and cook for a minute or two. Blend and then strain if desired.  That’s it. You’re done.   Upon first taste, I immediately thought it would be delicious with some honey and cinnamon poured over a bowl of  crunchy Kashi cereal.  I can’t wait to try more recipes with my new oat delicousness! PS wondering what to do with leftover almonds and oats? Well the almonds can be used for almond bars and any recipe calling for almond paste. I made a strawberry almond bar with my first batch of leftovers and they were squares of fruity, buttery goodness that melt in your mouth.   I also want to try to make almond butter. I have learned that the nuts will go rancid pretty quickly in the fridge, so be sure to freeze those niblets of nutrition.  As for the oats obtained through the straining of the oat milk, well, I gave them to the dog because I couldn’t think of anything better to do with two tablespoons of mush.  Good thing my doggie loves oats and they are good for her. I think it’s a win-win situation. 

Almond milk (You can adjust the water to almond ratio as desired!)

1 c. almonds (blanched, shelled and cooled)

2 c. water

Blend water and almonds together. Strain. Enjoy.

Oat Milk

1 c. water

1-2 TBS. oats

Boil water and add oats. Cook for one to two minutes and add sweetener of choice.  Allow to cool and then blend and strain (or don’t strain!).  Enjoy warm or cold.


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