I hate cow’s milk, always have. Which really is a bit odd knowing my (more than) slight obsession with just about any cheese I can get my hands on, but never the less, I really just find milk unappetizing. Almond milk on the other hand? Fabulous. I wish that I had known about almond milk when I was younger, maybe then I wouldn’t have to constantly complain about being the short one in my family, but I digress. This week’s Meatless Monday from A-Z’s ingredient was blueberries, which I love. I very rarely use fresh berries while cooking, because they tend to go missing- the normal ‘I’ll just nibble on (insert ingredient here) while I’m cooking’ ends up more along the lines of ‘crap, I need to head back to the store for more.’ However, this week I got on top of my self-control issues and ended up with Blueberry-Lavender Almond milk.
1 Pint Blueberries
1 Cup Almonds
4 ½ Cups Filtered Water, plus water for soaking
1 Teaspoon Lavender
You will also need a food processor/blender/Vitamix
Cheesecloth or fine-mesh bag
The Night Before (or quite a few hours beforehand): Soak your cup of almonds in water until skins are soft and the almonds pop out easily.
1. Skin your soaked almonds. Add the almonds and 3 cups filtered water to the Vitamix and blend until smooth. The mixture will feel quite grainy and most likely foam quite a bit.
2. Pour the almond/water mixture through your cheesecloth or mesh bag into a clean container. I used a very large mason jar.
3. Squeeze the liquid out of the almond meal caught in the bag. You will know you have removed most of the liquid when the almond meal is pliable and mostly dry to the touch. This almond meal is great for dehydrating into crackers or drying for almond flour! (reserve it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for later use.)
4. Pour the strained ‘milk’ back into the (rinsed) Vitamix and add blueberries, one teaspoon of lavender and the remaining 1 ½ cups of water (you may omit this extra water but you will have a smoothie-like texture without it).
5. Blend until smooth.
6. Strain this new mixture through the cheesecloth/mesh bag to catch any blueberry seeds and lavender leaves fragments.
7. Enjoy! This almond milk variation is a great treat for just before you plan to sleep. The magnesium-rich almonds paired with lavender is a great all-natural sleep aid!
Almond milk is a very easy recipe to alter to your own personal tastes. The blueberries in this version give it a bit of sweetness, but adding Stevia or honey and a few spices would also taste great!
What flavors would you add to plain almond milk? Would you go fruity like this Blueberry-Lavender variation or try something more spicy like chai? Let me know in the comments below!