This past week, I bought my first blender. Yes, my very first blender. I have resisted for a long time because I don’t like clutter and didn’t want to crowd an already small kitchen. With the juicing and green smoothie craze–and because I tend to do what everyone else does–I finally caved and picked one up. It seemed that the blender to get was the Vitamix. But I couldn’t stand to part with several hundred dollars (I mean, this thing starts at around $500 depending on the model) for a blender, no matter how many horsepower it had. In the end, I opted for something “good enough” and came home with an Oster blender that looks like it was made in the ’70s. Which was kind of the point. If it was good enough back then, why couldn’t it be good enough now? I has two functions: pulse and blend, which is all I need.
And now I want to make everything with it. It’s so fun to use, I had no idea. Yesterday, I even blended pancake batter in it. But the one thing I’ve really wanted to make is nut milk. I don’t drink a lot of regular milk (from cows), and nut milks sold in boxes have additives, so making my own seemed like a good alternative. Plus I like having an excuse to use those cute jars, which makes me feel nostalgic and sentimental for a time I don’t really remember. Now I’m kind of obsessed with making nut milk–which sounds kind of funny. I think I like knowing what I’m drinking in, and flavoring it the way I’d like. I made this vanilla honey almond milk today and loved the coolness and freshness.
I looked at a number of recipes to get a general idea of how to make nut milk, so to be honest, I’m not sure to whom exactly to attribute this adaptation. It’s so easy to make, too, with just a few ingredients, all that’s really needed is a little forethought for soaking the nuts ahead of time. I reduced what seemed like the normal suggested amount of water for a richer flavor. (You can always add more water if you’d like to thin it out a little) A number of sites suggest using a nut bag to filter out the meal from the milk–or you can choose not to strain the milk if you don’t mind the grittiness. I use a cheese cloth over a mesh strainer placed over a bowl, and that works fine for me. (After straining, you’ll have both a rich almond milk and very finely ground almond meal. Spread the almond meal over a baking sheet and allow to dry in the oven on low heat, to use it for baking or other recipes.) Now that I’ve started making my own nut milk, it’ll be hard to go back to the boxed kind.