I’ve been experimenting with making my own non-dairy milks because Informed Papa is dairy intolerant. I wish he could just consume raw dairy, life would be much easier! First up I attempted to make rice milk. I boiled brown rice on low heat for about three hours until it was mush. I whizzed it up in the blender with heaps of filtered water and a few medjool dates for sweetness. I was shocked that I didn’t need to strain it. There was nothing to strain. Have I mentioned how awesome my blender is?!
It made about five litres. Which sucked because none of us liked it. For attempt #2 I used a cup of left over steamed brown rice and whizzed it up with about four cups of filtered water and even more medjool dates. It was a little better, but noone was screaming at me to please make more.
So I moved on to almond milk. Winner! I soaked a cup of almonds overnight in filtered water. I rinsed them off in the morning and they had swollen to maybe 1 and 1/3 cups. I whizzed them up in two batches at a ratio of about 1:4 (almonds to filtered water). I added some pure vanilla extract. The first batch I left unstrained and the second batch I strained using cheesecloth and a sieve. I don’t recommend that – the cheesecloth can’t be reused and it was a bit messy – however, I was left with some awesome almond meal which can be used for baking. I’ve since ordered a nut mylk bag to try, which should make straining easier and cleaner.
I gave my mother-in-law a sample of both strained and unstrained and she pretty well hasn’t stopped talking about it since and is now making her own. I’m happy about that because she was paying $9 / litre for commercially purchased almond milk.
I found unsprayed / chemical-free raw almonds at my local farmers markets for $15/kg, so it is far more economical to make my own almond milk than to buy it. The only annoyance is that the milk seems to go rancid within three days. I figure that’s better than buying stuff that is heat treated or contains artificial preservatives, even if it does mean making it quite regularly.
Unfortunately Informed Papa thinks my almond milk is just ‘okay’, and Boy Wonder wouldn’t even taste it. Informed Papa went out and bought commercial rice milk this week. Uh huh. That awful, runny arsenic water. I can’t believe they charge close to $3 / litre for something that is so ridiculously cheap and easy to make. Informed Papa likes it because it is sweet, so perhaps I’ll add some maple syrup instead of the medjool dates when I make it next. I’m going to keep experimenting with different milk bases – flax, different nuts etc. until I find one that everyone is happy with, or is at least better than just okay.