I can’t remember when or why I stopped drinking cow’s milk at home. It was definitely before I stopped drinking tea because I can remember using soya milk in tea and, although it was *okay*, the tea wasn’t quite the same, so it was probably around then I stopped drinking tea as well as moo juice. I remember *why* I stopped drinking it though and that’s because I decided drinking a cow’s bodily fluid was ick and so the only time I buy milk now is when I’m having work done to the house and need to make the workmen tea and coffee (except for the plumber who keeps things simple and has black coffee with no sugar). Despite my aversion to cow’s milk because of its ickness and my house being a dairy-cheese-free zone, hypocrisy kicks in when I’m out of the house and I want a hot chocolate or a pizza and no vegan options are immediately available. Luckily, dairy alternatives are becoming more and more available with vegan milk and cheese being offered in more and more places.
If you’ve been to the supermarket lately, you’ve probably seen all the different types of milks available in the fridge and on the shelf. Here’s a run down of some milk alternatives and what you can do with them.
I went to buy almond milk in the little Tesco the other day hoping it was on offer for £1 like it is sometimes, as I’m too tight to pay the full £1.80. While, yes, it wasn’t on sale for £1.80, instead of going down to a budget-friendly £1 as I’d hoped, it had gone up to £1.99. Yeah, one pound flipping ninety flopping nine! Well, fuck that, I thought, and went home and made myself some cashew milk instead.
Since switching from non-vegan instant hot chocolate to vegan not-instant-but-worth-the-tiny-extra-bit-of-time-it-takes-to-make-it (not its official slogan) Cadbury Hot Chocolate, I’ve been through a lot of soya milk. While I don’t believe the scare stories about soya being bad for you and if you eat or drink it you’ll grow an extra head or whatever the latest rumour is, I still like to make my own versions of shop-bought products when I can because a) they’re purer; b) I get to use my kitchen gadgets; and c) it gives me something to write about on this here blog.
Going back to ‘b’ for a moment, when I received my Optimum G2.1 high powered blender, one of the first things that came into my head to use it for was nut milk, especially as it came with a nut milk bag and the blender itself has a pre-programmed setting for nut milk.
I had a nose around the internet for an almond milk recipe and a lot of them involved dates and vanilla and stuff, so I decided to make my pure almond milk purely out of almonds and water – nut milk doesn’t get any simpler than this. As you’ll know, almonds aren’t cheap, so this almond milk isn’t as cheap as a carton of almond milk you can buy in the shops but you can keep the almond pulp to use in other ways, so there’s no wastage. And in case you’re thinking, ‘I bet the nut milk bag is a pain to clean’ – it’s not. I thought it would be but it’s not like muslin/cheesecloth and it rinsed clean in a bowl of soapy water in a few seconds and if you haven’t got a nut milk bag, you can get one on Amazon for a few quid.
Put the almonds and water in a high speed blender and process on high for 2 minutes (or if you have an Optimum G2.1, choose the 'nut milk' option in the menu.
Strain through a nut milk bag, keeping the pulp for another use and store the milk in the fridge
If the almond milk is too bitter for you on its own, you can sweeten it with a couple of dates and/or a tsp of vanilla extract. Also, you can soak the almonds in hot water for an hour or two instead of overnight if you're in a hurry.
This almond milk is lovely in hot chocolate – just be prepared to be asked ‘how do you milk an almond?’ if you tell your friends you made it.
Disclaimer: I am an Ambassador for Froothie and any links to their products in this post are affiliate links which, if purchased through, won’t cost you any more but will earn me a small commission. I only endorse products I am happy with and I have not been paid for this post. For more information about the Optimum G2.1 blender mentioned in this post, you can read my review here.