Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Almond Milk and Coconut Milk


Just popping in quickly tonight to post the milk recipes I have. There are a hundred different recipes online, so I am by no means the authority on these, but this is what I do and it may or may not be to your liking. 

With both recipes it is very easy to adjust ratios of ingredients to suit both taste and budget. If you prefer a more ‘meaty’ milk with a stronger taste, use more almonds or coconut. If you prefer to make your milk more cost effective, or prefer a more subtle flavour just use more water. 

Both milks can be sweetened with a natural sweetener such as honey if desired. I leave it out, but if you are new to these types of milks it might be a good idea until you adjust to the taste.

You will need a couple of tools to make either of these, but once you have them you will be ready to set up regular production!

Tools:

  • Large bowl or jug to soak in (preferably with a lid just so no foreign objects get in while soaking...this happens frequently with small children in the house! You will also need the bowl to strain the milk into at the end
  • Mesh straining bag, or muslin or some type of fine mesh fabric (clean of course!) that will be suitable for straining the liquid from the pulp (see photo below for a picture of the bag I use. They are easily available on Trade Me)
  • Blender or food processor, preferably high speed to make the process a little faster
  • Jug to store it in, also best to have a lid to seal the jug in the fridge. Keeps it fresh longer, and stops spills.
Mesh straining bag - such a simple little piece of equipment!



Almond Milk

Ingredients:

1 cup almonds
3 cups filtered water 
½ tsp vanilla essence

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, put the almonds with enough water to cover them (preferably filtered water). Soak for 12-18 hours, or overnight is fine.
2. When the soaking time is up, drain the water from the nuts (soaking the almonds releases the phytic acid).
3. Give them a good rinse under fresh water as the water they were soaking in will be a little dirty
4 Place the almonds into a high powered blender with the 3 cups of water and vanilla essence.
5. Blend for a few minutes until well pureed. You will end up with fine flakes of almond and a milky consistency to the liquid
6. Place the strainer bag over a large bowl and tip the almond mixture in to the bag. Squeeze all of the liquid into the bowl. You will be left with the milk in the bowl, and almond pulp in the bag.
7. Keep your almond milk in a sealed container in the fridge. It will last for about 2-3 days, so I recommend not making too much at one time.

If you are like me and hate waste, you can use the almond pulp to make all sorts of delicious things. Check out my almond fruit bread recipe for a tasty, healthy energy boosting snack idea http://www.keepingitreal.net.nz/2013/07/home-sweet-home-and-delicious-nut-loaf.html

Cheats Coconut Milk

Ingredients:

1 cup desiccated coconut
2 cups filtered water
½ tsp vanilla essence

Directions:

     1.     Soak coconut in the water for a couple of hours
     2.     When the soaking time is up, place the mixture in a high-powered blender and blend for a few
     minutes until well combined.  There is no need to use different water for the coconut milk as you will have done with the almond water.
     3.     Pour the blended mixture into the mesh straining bag. Squeeze out all of the liquid.

Again, you can use the resulting pulp to make tasty goodies if you like to utilise what you have available in the kitchen. If you find that you have more pulp available from making milk regularly you could always freeze it to save for your next load of baking. Here’s my recipe for Coconut, Walnut and Apricot Thumbprint Biscuits for one idea http://www.keepingitreal.net.nz/2013/08/coconut-apricot-and-walnut-thumbprint.html

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this coconut milk recipe is really the cheats version which is the perfect solution if you don’t just happen to have a whole coconut in the pantry (who does!). If you are at the supermarket and happen to see a whole coconut, pick one up. I am going to hunt one down next time I’m shopping to try and give some real coconut milk a go. In the short term though, this cheats version is doing a great job as a substitute. 

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