Make Your Own: Almond Milk & Almond Cheese

What I love about homemade almond milk is how easy it is to make and the benefits it has compared to store-bought. For the most part, any nuts found in grocery stores in the US are pretty expensive compared to other foods, but if you are a constant almond drinker like I am, it might be worth your while to start getting up early to milk the almonds in the morning (yes, I know I am the corny, bad-joke telling friend).

I will tell you though, that making your own almond milk can be more expensive. That’s right, buying whole almonds cost you more money. So why am I writing about homemade almond milk in the first place? Well, if you are someone trying to lower their carbon footprint, trying to eat avoid processed ingredients or just looking for a new way to use food, then keep reading…

What’s the difference between store bought almond milk and homemade? I made this little chart to break down the differences:

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If you look at the ingredients list on the back of an almond milk carton, chances are you are going to find some sort of additive, stabilizer or emulsifier that is used to preserve the contents far beyond the true expiration date, add texture and taste to the milk. Some names you might read are soy lecithin, carrageenan, xanthan-gum, and many others. Now while these almond milk or beverage options might be more cost effective, they could be disrupting the microbiome in your gut.

A study released in the journal Nature shared that “mice on a diet containing emulsifying agents develop low-grade inflammation and obesity/metabolic syndrome.” Their conclusions being that “these conditions correlate with a decrease in gut microbiota.” This discovery should be concerning considering metabolism and immune development depend on a healthy gut microbiome to function optimally.

Reading about the negative effects of chemical additives in almond milk motivated me to learn how to make my own, which lucky for me and you if you are intrigued is super simple!

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Once you have your milk, you want to make sure it is sealed tightly and refrigerated to preserve it for the next 4 days. So now the fun part, what do we do with the pulp? Another reason I love making my own almond milk is the vegan cheese I make from the almond pulp! For this vegan cheese recipe you will only need 3 ingredients:

Almond Pulp leftover from the milk

2 tablespoons of melted vegan butter

1 tsp of salt

Mix the three ingredients with both hands making sure you are really blending everything together. Once you feel you’ve distributed the ingredients evenly, taste your cheese to make sure it is ready. If it is not salty enough for your preference add more as needed. Make sure you wrap your cheese or keep it in a sealed Tupperware once its done.

If you are not a fan of the vegan cheese, you can try using the almond pulp as a nutritious flour when baking.

To achieve the flour consistency, you’ll want to spread the pulp out on a baking sheet and dehydrate it at the lowest temperature in your oven. Once dry, blend the almond flour to make it a fine powder. You can then store the almond flour in the fridge until you need it to bake!

Let me know if you try out this recipe and if you are experiencing less tummy aches because of it!

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