Staycation Spring 2017 Masthead 2
almond-milk-health-food_feature

Sustainable life: Nuts for Almond milk

Mia Swainson

Silky smooth and creamy. Fresh and light. Local. Home made almond milk. 

But wait, there’s more. Homemade almond milk is packed with fibre – good for your digestion. Almond milk also contains no cholesterol or saturated fat, but instead is high in healthy fats like omega acids that help to prevent heart disease.

Almond milk is very on trend right now. Made at home, it’s paleo friendly with most recipes needing just two (paleo) ingredients: almonds and water. It’s also sustainable. The energy and water needed to make a litre of almond milk is far less than the energy and water that goes into producing a litre of dairy milk.

What’s old is new in trends

In the middle ages, almond milk was the thing. Before refrigeration, almond milk had two advantages over cow’s milk. Firstly, it lasted longer than unpasteurised cow’s milk at room temperature. Secondly, cooks could make the quantity that they needed from a dry store of whole nuts.

Making almond milk at home is super easy. The essentials are nuts, water, a blender and some cheesecloth to strain the milk. Something to sweeten the milk, like maple syrup, honey or sugar syrup is an optional extra.

Mia’s sweet almond milk recipe

Step 1. Soak one cup of almonds overnight

Many health food advocates claim that soaking overnight ‘activates’ the almonds, or kicks off the seed’s germination. While there’s evidence that activating some pulses has nutritional benefit, there isn’t widely available research on activating almonds.

Whether the almonds are activated or not, soaking almonds is still helpful to making milk. It will plump up the almonds, making them easier to squeeze out the creamy milk.

Step 2. Rinse the soaked almonds

Then, pop them into the blender, along with three cups of water and blend until the almonds are finely ground.

Step 3. Strain the almond mixture from the blender through some cheesecloth

Massage the almond mixture, until you have all the milk that you can squeeze out.

Step 4. Make it sweet

Add two teaspoons of maple syrup and stir.

Now you have it in your own kitchen – artisanal almond milk! Use your artisanal almond milk in a dairy-free smoothie. Infuse it in a pot of chai tea. Savour a long, cold glass of almond milk without any distractions.

Feeling good and want to make more? You can buy specialist nut milk ‘bags’ in some of Canberra’s health food stores, like the Dickson Health Food store. You can also buy the bags online from stores like living synergy or honest to goodness.

After separating out the milk, you’ll be left with almond meal. Perfect for home baking. Why not try a Middle Eastern orange cake, almond cookies or blueberry and almond muffins?

Fresh milk every day. Nutritious. Tasty. No more need to get up at dawn and milk the family cow.

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Mia Swainson

Mia Swainson is passionate about creating a more sustainable world and believes that everyone can make a difference. Trained as an environmental engineer, Mia has worked in sustainable development with the Australian Government and community sector for more than 15 years. Mia’s work has taken her around the world to Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and back to Canberra. She currently tends her kitchen garden, cares for three young boys and is growing her executive coaching consultancy (miaswainson.com.au/wp). More about the Author

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