Saturday, September 1, 2012

milking almonds + super smoothie recipes

"you can milk anything with nipples." -greg focker

i milk my almonds. and by that i mean i make my own almond milk, and this is why:

1. at least one of my kids has a dairy allergy.

2. the boxes of soy/rice/almond etc. are full of things i don't want my kids drinking, just like milk!

3. it's cheaper, about 1/4 the price, than buying the commercially-made almond milk if i buy my nuts in bulk at costco or through green smoothie girl.

the secrets of making really good almond milk:

1. soak 1 cup almonds for at least 24 hours in a bowl covered in water. less time than this and you'll have watery milk. gross. i want it white and rich and creamy. i think you do too.

2. add drained, soaked almonds and 3 cups water to a blender.

3. blend for at least a minute.

4. strain with a fine mesh sieve. you don't need any fancy nut milk bags or cheese cloth. trust me on this, or you will be sorry and cleaning up a big mess.

5. i set the bowl i soaked the almonds in on top of the strainer to press out the liquid. i let it sit while i do another job in the kitchen and then come back to it about 5 minutes later. i only have to press a few times. i've saved the solids sometimes, adding thyme and salt and using it as a topper on a sliced tomato and cucumber. i've also heard you can dehydrate them and grind them into almond meal. that would save a lot of money if you use a lot of almond meal. i have never done this because time is precious and i'll die one day and i'd rather just buy the almond meal. but you could, or i could if i needed to be more frugal. anyway...

6. don't add any sweeteners. it's delicious without it.

7. drink it within two days. it's like manna; it doesn't last.

and now, i want to share two excellent smoothie recipes, both featuring delicious almond milk as the base. around these parts, we have green smoothies most days. we usually stick to water+frozen festival fruit blend+banana+spinach+kale.

but lately i've been branching out, to great success! here are two smoothies that will fill your bellies with loads of superfood nutrition and an added boost of energy that kicks in around afternoon when most people are nodding off on the job.

super power chocolate berry smoothie
serves 1

1 1/2 cups almond milk
4 cups spinach

blend well, then add:

1 to 2 tablespoons raw cacao*
1/4 banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 teaspoon astralagus powder**
1 teaspoon vanilla

blend again and drink up! my kids call this the "poop smoothie" but they always slurp every last drop. if you're sensitive to physical sensations and medication like i am, you'll notice a buzzing, caffeine-like high that starts just after lunch and continues until bedtime, without any horrible side effects that you'd get with caffeine. i make this when i didn't get enough sleep the night before or when i have a overwhelmingly busy afternoon and it makes me feel like superwoman.

* you could sub cocoa powder. i like my chocolate bitter. use less if you don't.
** used as an energy tonic in chinese medicine for thousands of years. also a great immune system booster

champion cherry limeade smoothie
serves 1

1 cup almond milk
1 1/2 cups frozen cherries
juice and zest of one lime
1/2 teaspoon maca root powder*
1 teaspoon raw honey, optional

*maca root can improve sexual endurance, physical stamina, adaptability to stressful situations and an increase in both the number and activity of spermatazoids (sperm). so you may or may not want to give this to your husbands. i always make enough for the family, pour their servings out, then add the maca to only my smoothie.


  1. Yum recipes! I'll have to try those out!

  2. so glad you posted these instructions - i need to start doing this instead of buying almond milk all the time. it really is so much better, too!

    and now i think i need some astralagus powder.

  3. Now I know why my almond milk never worked. I failed to strain it! Duh! I am so glad you share your knowledge and your smoothies sound awesome.

  4. Thanks for these recipes. I make smoothies all the time, but I wanted some tried and true recipes to add to the mix. Lucy and Elsa like it when my smoothies actually taste good like jamba juice.

    And maybe I should start making almond milk too.
    -Kathryn (too lazy to sign out of Ryan's account)

  5. And I think our almonds are more expensive at Costco. If that is the case, I'll have you stock up the back of your van with an almond delivery next time you visit. (kidding)

    1. Ha! Kathryn, I usually buy a 100# box from The Green Smoothie girl in the fall. I think she does a coop delivery in your area as well and you can split the box among friends if you want. I'll email you if I hear about it!

  6. I am so glad you did the almond milk math for me. Now I will make it:) And also because you told me I don't need a nut bag.

  7. I'll have to give your recipes a go! They sound delicious and I'm always looking for new green smoothie recipes.

    And, I'll have to try milking my own almonds. I've never done it and I've been afraid to do it, but you make it sound so easy. And, it's so much cheaper than what almond milk is around here.

    By the way, I loved the Meet the Parents reference at the beginning. It made me laugh!

  8. i think i just might have to try making my own almond milk. and your berry chocolate recipe. i'm sure my family would enjoy mixing things up a bit. :) besides, heaven knows i need more energy these days.

    i laughed at the side effects of maca root. does that make me immature?

    love you!