June is almost coming to an end and my summer to-do-list including recipes to prepare, places to go see and countless other things to do is way longer than one summer alone can cover.
As long as I don’t get a chance to plan a trip, I will focus on cooking and preparing at least one part of all those yummy things that I’ve been looking forward to! And the summer – being my most favorite season – is represented at its best by cold drinks, tasty salads and more refreshing dishes. Right now I tend to be still in a ‘refreshing drinks’ mood. After making verbena syrup last week, this weekend was the almond milk’s turn! Inspired by the Sicilian summer drink ‘latte di mandorla’. It is easy to make, all you need is three ingredients, and the satisfaction alone of knowing that you made it yourself is worth a try!
I have never been a milk drinker. The only way to motivate me to drink milk is combined with cereal, or a hot chocolate, or any other sweet combinations. But you’ll never see me drink a cup of pure milk by itself. Almond milk is the only one that I enjoy drinking plain, just the way it is! It’s light, healthy and so so delicious!
The best part is its versatility: You can either drink it, freeze it and turn it into a granita sorbet (instructions on how to freeze it here), replace the milk for a bowl of cereal in the morning, make smoothies out of it combined with different fruits, and you can also prepare desserts with it! If you try this recipe, do not trash the squeezed, ground almonds! You can use those as well for baking almond cakes or cookies (either fresh or after drying them in the oven).
ALMOND MILK – LATTE DI MANDORLA
400 gr / 14 oz of almonds (with or without skin)
1.2 l / 40fl oz of filtered or bottled water
sugar (or healthy sugar substitutes)
cheesecloth or gauze
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HOW TO BLANCH ALMONDS:
Put the almonds in a pot of water (approx. double the amount of water than almonds). Bring it to a boil at medium to high heat. Leave on the stove for a few minutes. Then make a test by carefully taking out one almond and check if the skin can be removed easily.
Note: The easiest and fastest way is to hold the almond between the thumb and forefinger, and pinch it. That way the almond will slide right out of the skin.
If it can be removed easily, take the pot from the stove. Drain and run under cold water.
Remove the skin as described above.
Drain the peeled almonds on paper towels.
Pour them in a pan and toast at medium heat until they start getting a light brown color.
PREPARING THE ALMOND PASTE:
Pour the almonds in a blender or food processor with half of the water (about 600 ml / 20fl oz).
Blend until you get a creamy texture.
Lay the cheesecloth into a bowl (it can be also helpful to use a strainer, and lay the cheesecloth inside of it).
Pour half or less of the mix into the cheesecloth.
Squeeze and strain out the milky liquid.
Repeat with the remaining blended cream.
Pour the almonds back into the blender or food processor.
Add the rest of the water and sugar.
Note: The amount of sugar depends on how sweet you like it. We used agave nectar.
Blend for a few seconds. Repeat the previous steps.
Once you have taken out all the milk, pour into a bottle.
You can store it in the fridge for about 2-3 days. Shake it before you drink it.
Prep Time: 45min.
Serves approx. 1 l / 34fl oz