Welcome to Super Food Nerds, a column written in alternating installments by Rupa (food and beverage editor, culinary staff) and Jonathan (research librarian, same place). Each will be dedicated to a particular topic — how to DIY something you don’t normally DIY, how to perfect a dish usually taken for granted, plus best techniques, underlying chemistries and a handful of inexplicable preferences. Basically, if they can overthink it, they’re on it.
Our staff librarian and trend forecaster has been saying for ages that nut milks (almond, cashew and so on) are on the rise, almost poised to edge out soy milk in the not-milk-but-called-milk category. We thought we’d see what all the fuss was about — and if we could make almond milk at home.
You can make almond milk a couple of ways: If you have a fancy blender, you can just whiz together almonds and water. If you have a regular blender, it’s a little easier if you soak the almonds in water for a day first to soften them. We soaked ours for a day, then rinsed them and put them in the blender with fresh water. We blended the mixture for a couple of minutes and then strained it into cheesecloth set over a strainer. (Real aficionados have a designated cheesecloth bag — called a “nut bag” — for straining almond milk, but we aren’t quite that far along yet.) Squeeze out the cheesecloth to get every last drop of liquid, then add a sweetener (or chill it and drink on its own, as is).
It’s good in the fridge for up to three days, but it does have a tendency to separate, so shake it up well before pouring yourself a glass.