On this Raw Food Challenge I’m on I’m allowed to drink milk. Only milk that has been unpasteurized aka still raw. I considered doing this until my friend, John, sent me the link to an article on USA Today regarding the risks of raw milk.
According to the article, “Unpasteurized milk, touted as the ultimate health food by some, is 150 times more likely to cause food-borne illness outbreaks than pasteurized milk, and such outbreaks had a hospitalization rate 13 times higher than those involving pasteurized dairy products, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds.”
After that, I changed my mind. No raw milk for me. Thank you very much.
What are my other options?
I went to a few different health food stores in search of some non-dairy raw milks and my search proved fruitless.
I quickly moved on to Plan B. I decided to make my own milk, then further narrowed it down by choosing to make Almond Milk. Which is actually a lot easier than people may think.
I started with 2 cups of raw almonds that I soaked overnight in water. I’m coming to find that a lot of raw recipes start with some variation of that formula. Good thing I have tons of mixing bowls!
I left the almonds in the water for an extra 8 hours because I wasn’t home, it may have made the nuts a tad softer or allowed them to soak up more water, but I don’t think it made a significant difference.
This recipe calls for 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of almonds.
So I blended my 2 cups of almonds with 8 cups of water.
I have a 30 dollar blender, that isn’t high tech at all, so I had to do my milk in batches because there was so much of it
and I let my milk blend for about 4 minutes each time.
The recipes that I’ve seen say you can make your milk taste like vanilla almond milk by adding some sun dried dates. And wouldn’t you know it, I had some sun dried dates! So I popped those in too.
Essentially the recipe looks like this:
2 cups almonds, soaked overnight
8 cups water (not the water you soaked the almonds in)
12 sun dried dates
I love dates! One of my favorite recipes is dates stuffed with goat cheese or brie, topped with a walnut, wrapped in bacon and then warmed in the oven. OMG
However, that’s not on the menu today for so many reasons.
If you bought dates that haven’t been pitted, like I did, make sure to take the pits out before you put them in the blender
Date pits may look similar to almonds. But they are not the same, so take ‘em out!
This is what your milk will look like if you decide not to strain out the almond meal. You could do this, I tried it, it’s not bad, just very thick!
I opted to strain mine, which is extremely easy.
All you need is a pitcher, bowl, or large deep jar, some cheesecloth, and a heavy duty rubber band.
The milk will strain on itself pretty quickly, you might just want to prod it will a wooden spoon when you get to the last bit since the almond meal will be plentiful at that point.
I think its a great idea to save all that wonderful almond meal, I did. My batch of milk yielded roughly 2 cups of it, and that stuff is great for making raw desserts (recipes on how to use it coming in the next few days)!
Straining the almond milk reminds me of when I made goat cheese because like the cheese, its important to use to your hands to squeeze the last bits of moisture out of the cheesecloth.
When all is said and done, you’re gonna have about 8 cups of delicious milk to use. Because it’s raw though, it will only stay fresh for 2-3 days in the fridge. But since its so tasty, I doubt it will even last that long!
The dates that I added were a great way to impart just a touch of sweetness to this overwhelmingly refreshing milk, without being too cloyingly sugary.
Just this morning, I’ve already used about a third of my milk making a Banana Nut Smoothie! This is definitely a recipe I will continue to make, even after this raw food challenge is over.