Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Great gadgets and almond milk cappuccions
Even though I am on a remote island in a fjord in Norway, I have some fabulous gadgets to play with here. One of them is a Nespresso machine which makes the milk foam right in the machine and you just need to press the cappuccino button and hey presto, in a few seconds, there it is. So, suffice it to say, I've been drinking gallons of coffee... we all have.
In general I have been substituting dairy wherever I can but this little addiction has lead to a significant increase in my milk intake. The man I work for is a doctor of nutrition and has done extensive research on what happens to proteins when they are heated, and it's not good. In fact its really bad. Most milk substitutes are made using extreme temperatures, so they were not keen on me getting store bought rice or soy milks. So I looked into making my own raw almond milk.
I did a little research online and discovered how ridiculously easy it was, and I got to use another amazing gadget they have here... the thermomix. To read more about this fantastic machine, click here. I am so getting one when I get home, and am sure I will write allot more about it. But not now.
Back to the almond milk. All you need to do is soak the raw almonds for between 12 - 24 hours in water, then put them in a blender with water, a pinch of salt and some form of sweetening (I have tried agave syrup and dates - the agave syrup tasted best). Then blend it to a fine pulp and strain it through a colander lined with clean jcloth (or muslin or nut bags - but jcloth is easy, cheap and accessible). You then return the pulp to your blender, add more water, blend it again, and strain it again. You can add as much or as little water as you like making the milk creamier or lighter. Here is video I found online which illustrates the method (if not my recipe) really well, click here.
Firstly - it tastes delicious! In fact I think it might taste better than cows milk. Secondly, once adding it to the nespresso machine it frothed up exactly the same way as the regular milk does. There has been much excitement around this and we all feel way less guilty about drinking so many cappuccinos and lattes now! It also makes a great dairy free white sauce and is delicious on cereal.
The milk keeps well in the fridge, even though it does separate over time and you need to mix up before using it. One of our guests thought the milk had gone sour and threw it out... oops!
I used 250g of raw almonds (then soaked them), to that I added 3 Tbsp of agave syrup, a pinch of salt and three litres of water divided into two batches for the double blending mentioned in the method above. But experiment with the quantities and make it the way you like it.