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“Homogenized” Almond Milk (non-separating)

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Often I get emails or comments regarding almond / nut milk asking if it is normal for the milk to separate after it sits in the fridge for a few hours.  The answer is yes.  I know it doesn’t look appealing, but it is just a nut milk characteristic.

Anyway, my thought process got me wondering how I might get the the milk to homogenize, thus making it look much more appealing.   To me, I really don’t care that it separates, you just have to give it a shake and all is right in the universe again.  BUT, if you are trying to entice your family into switching over to non-dairy milks, it can make or break the deal.

 I can envision a little one opening the fridge door, she sees a jug of milk and thinks… “Mmmm, milk, that looks good”.  Then she closes the door and opens it up again, only to find almond milk sitting there as the new replacement.  It is separated and looks spoiled.  She slams the door shut and spreads her arms across it as though the almond milk were trying to escape the fridge.  Her face is wrinkled as her lips form the words, “Gross! I am not drinking that stuff!”.

Even after hours of pleading with her, telling her it tastes good and there is nothing wrong it… she stands her ground.  You shake the jar in front of her and the nut milk looks great but she still has that memory stuck in her head and there isn’t a chance that she is even  going to try it.  What to do?  Well my dear readers I have a solution for you.

Use this recipe as a blueprint.  You don’t have to add any type of sweetener or if you like the idea of doing so, you can use any desired sweetener other than more dates.  The key ingredient in homogenizing the milk is the lecithin.  Many people have soy allergies, and most soy is genetically modified.  Thankfully we have a wonderful alternative, sunflower lecithin. You can use sunflower or soy based, and you can use it in powder or liquid form.  Same measurement across the board.

Lecithin is a fat emulsifier so it brings the water and the fat from the nuts together, holding them in suspension.  It gives foods a creamy, moist, and smooth texture.   On top of those favorable side effects… sunflower lecithin has many wonderful health benefits as well.

Ready for some big words? Sunflower Lecithin is a phospholipid based dietary supplement rich in Phosphatidylcholine (PC), Phosphatidylinositol (PI), Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and Omega-6 (Linoleic Acid), which are considered beneficial to the brain and nervous system.  Those words about taxed my brain out… looks like I need some more lecithin in my diet. :)   The effects can vary from person to person but there are numerous health uses for lecithin, so feel free to do some investigating of you own.

Ingredients: yields 2 3/4 cups milk & 1/2 cup almond pulp

  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp sunflower lecithin, liquid or powdered
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt

Preparation:

Soaking process:

  1. Place the almonds in a glass bowl or stainless steel bowl and cover with two cups of water.
    • Do not use plastic bowls for soaking.
    • Always make sure you add enough water to keep the nuts covered.  They will swell over time as they plump up.
    • Keep the bowl at room temperature and cover with a breathable cloth.  If something comes up and you won’t be able to use the nuts within the 24 hour period, store them in the fridge, changing the water 2x a day.
    • If there are any floating nuts, toss them.  That can be an indicator of them being rancid. Better to be safe than sorry.  Think of them as, “floaters are bloaters.”
  2. Add 1/4 tsp of Himalayan pink salt, this helps activate enzymes that de-activate the enzyme inhibitors.
  3. Soak for 8-24 hours.
    • This is great not only for reducing phytic acid but also softens the nuts, making them blend easier and smoother.
    • Skipping the soak process will result in a less creamy milk.
    • If you already have soaked/dehydrated nuts in your freezer or fridge, I suggest soaking them again for the purpose of just softening them.

Blending process:

  1. Once the nuts are done soaking, drain, rinse and discard the soak water.
    • Do not reuse the soak water for the milk making process.  This is full of the phytic acid / enzyme inhibitors that were drawn out during the soak process.
  2. Place the nuts in a high-powered blender along with the water.
  3. Start the blender on low and work up to high, then blend for 30-60 seconds or until the nuts have pulverized.
    • A high-powered blender will accomplish the job much easier.
    • If you don’t own one such as a Vitamix or Blendec, you might have to blend for 1-2 minutes.
    • Do not sweeten or add flavorings until you have strained the milk.

Straining the milk:

  1. Turn the bag inside out and keep seams on the outside for easier straining, cleaning and faster drying.
  2. Place the nut milk bag in the center of a large bowl.
    • Instead of a nut bag, you can drape cheesecloth over the edges of the bowl and pour the milk through it.  I find this process messier and it doesn’t seem to filter it as well.
    • Desperate?  Don’t have a nut bag or nut milk while you are vacationing in France?  Take off one of those silky-French knee-high nylons, wash it and pour the milk through it.  I am here, always thinking for you. :)
  3. With one hand holding the nut bag, pour the milk into the bag.  Lift the bag and the milk will start to flow through the mesh holes in the bag.  The finer the mesh, the more filtered the milk will be.
  4. Gather the nut bag (or cheesecloth) around the almond meal and twist close.
  5. Squeeze the nut pulp with your hand to extract as much milk as possible.
  6. Do not toss the nut pulp.  Freeze and dehydrate it, which can be used in other recipes such as smoothies, crusts, cookies, crackers, cakes or raw breads.

Flavoring:

  1. I recommend flavoring your milk after the pulp has been removed.  That way the pulp remains neutral in flavor for other recipes.
  2. Add the dates or sweetener of choice, lecithin, vanilla and salt.  Blend for 30 seconds on high.

Thickeners and Emulsifiers:

  1. Lecithin – thickener and emulsifier
    • Add up to 1 Tbsp per every 2-3 cups of water used.
    • I highly recommend sunflower or soy lecithin.
  2. Coconut butter/manna
    • Add up to 1 Tbsp per every 2-3 cups of water used.
    • Do not use coconut oil.  It hardens when chilled and may create small gritty pieces in the milk
  3. Nut butters:
    • Add up to 1 Tbsp per every 2-3 cups of water used
    • If using store-bought, watch for added ingredients such as salt.

 Storing and expiration:

  1. Store the milk in an airtight glass container such as a mason jar.
    • Always label the contents and the date that it was made.
    • If for some reason separation still does occur, just shake the jar before serving and the milk will come back together.
  2. Fridge – The milk can last anywhere from 3-5 days in the fridge.
    • If the nut milk prematurely sours it may be from unclean blender, nut milk bag or poor quality nuts.
  3. Freezer – There are several ways to store nut milks in the freezer.  Freeze for up to 3 months.
    • Pour the milk into ice cubes trays and freeze.  This is great for plopping into smoothies.
    • Freeze in 1 1/2 pint freezer-safe jars.
    • It is important that you only freeze glass jars that are made for freezing.  I have tested this and sure enough, I have had jars crack on me, resulting in throwing everything in the trash.  Sad day.
    • You can use smaller jars for better portion control if you don’t plan on using a full 1 1/2 pints worth.
    • Pay attention to the “maximum freeze line” indicated on the jar.  If you don’t see that, then it’s another indicator that the jar isn’t safe to place in the freezer.

Nut bag maintenance:

  1. It is important to keep the nut milk bag clean!
  2. Wash with an organic, scent-free soap, such Dr Bronners.  Do not use laundry soap. (always refer to the manufactures cleaning method as well)
  3. Rinse well air dry. Ideally in the direct sun to receive free sterilizing from the warm rays.  Nylon nut milk bags should not be placed in the sun as the ultraviolet rays can damage the nylon.
  4. Do not hang the bags outside on the cloths line to dry.  We don’t want an air-raid of bird poop coming down on it.
  5. Proper bag storage –
    • I like to roll mine up and store in a glass jar. This will help keep it clean, protect it from dust, and accidental hole damage. A holy bag has no purpose when it comes to nut milk making.
    • Also, if you use nut bags for multiple reasons, it would be a good idea to store them in separate jars, labeling them for their purpose, such as; nut milks, juicing, sprouting.

The photo below… the almond milk sat in the fridge for 24 hours… no separation.

homoginazed-almond-milk-5678

How about a nice chocolatey rich raw brownie to go with that milk?

Recipe coming soon!

Orange-Infused-Chocolate-Brownie-Sheet-Cake-1

 

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40 thoughts on ““Homogenized” Almond Milk (non-separating)

  1. Ela says:

    Oops! I think you left out the word “lecithin” in your ingredients list. But yes, lecithin is awesome for making nut milks that don’t separate. I really appreciate you sharing these important tips as well as your beautiful recipes.
    Blessings!
    Ela

    • amie-sue says:

      I did… thanks for letting me know. My silly fingers can’t type as fast as my brain thinks. hehe Have a great evening Ela! amie sue

  2. Lakisha Cleveland says:

    That’s awesome. You make checking my email at 2am so enjoyable! I’ll be looking forward to that brownie recipie. Have a great day!

    • amie-sue says:

      Well I am happy knowing that I am making someone’s 2am waking, more enjoyable hehe… all while I am snuggled in bed sleeping. :) Enjoy and have a wonderful evening, amie sue

  3. Diana says:

    Amie Sue, hello and thank you for all your life-saving work! I’ll post my thoughts on the almond bread page, but had to mention this before talking about my own experiences with almond mylk as it’s different from yours and perhaps it has to do with how I make mine … ???

    I tried about 4-5 years ago to make almond mylk the most straightfoward way – with the blender and straining. Boy, never again! It was a huge mess!

    I then bought a SoyQuick machine and I’ve never looked back and it’s seen continuous use since then. My SoyQuick has buttons on it, of course, but by pressing them in a certain sequence, one bypasses the heating process and gets straight to the grinding so it’s made for making nut mylks!

    I put one cup of peeled almonds (I started doing that after reading your site and deciding I would go that route again now that I’d discovered your croutons and I got such lovely results with the white, peeled almonds!!) into the special cup and twist it onto the blades. I add the water to the body of the machine and then drop the motor unit with blades and the screwed-on almond-filled “cup”, press the button sequence and walk away. About 3 minutes later after some intermittent grinding noises, I come back and pour out the almond mylk into my NutriShake and unscrew the cup with the now pulverized-into-pulp almonds and put that in the freezer.

    But the miracle is that this almond mylk never separates. In fact, I didn’t know it could because except for the one time before this machine, I’ve always made it with the SoyQuick. Sunny mylk, yes! Not only does sunflower seed mylk separates but it oxydizes almost immediately and becomes an unappealing muddy colour. That doesn’t affect the taste at all, but I just know I’d never get any non-vegans to drink anything with it if they saw the original state of the mylk. I’d have to hide it in a mylk-shake!

    But the almond mylk stays solidly white without separation and now I’m really wondering why … it’s all good, it can’t be bad, but I’m really curious now!!

    Thanks once again. I’ve been trying to go 100% raw for 24 years and no luck! The wheatgrass juice Hippocrates taught me about in 2010 and having “fast foods” were what was missing. I now have bread again that is raw and not the Nature’s Path manna bread which I can’t afford on a regular basis.

    Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!!

    Diana, Canada.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Diana…

      You know, I was just doing some research on a similar machine. I had another reader ask about using one for nut milk. From the videos that I saw, the pulp remained really wet when removed from the strainer. Is that the case with yours? If so, I didn’t find it easier than just blending the nuts with water and straining through the nut bag. I like to freeze my almond pulps for later use but I like them fairly dry from liquid before doing so.

      Does the machine heat the milk at all? Is the non-seperating nut milk consistent when any brand of almonds you use? I once got a hold of some amazing raw almonds that has such a gorgeous rich aroma of almonds when I blended them for the milk. I did it my traditional way, blender, water… strain with nut bag… and it didn’t separate. It was the only time that ever happened to me. Strange.

      Anyway, would love to hear more back if you would. It’s all so interesting.. all the possibilities in life. :) I do like using the lecithin due to the health benefits….options option options. hehe

      I so appreciate you sharing all of this Diana! Have a great evening, amie sue

  4. Mário R. says:

    What a genius recipe! Now, raw almond milk is much more appealing. Thousand thanks, Amie Sue!
    Have a beautiful week
    Mário R. (from Portugal)

  5. Ludia says:

    Amie Sue, you are a genius!!! There is no other way to say it. We have that very problem in the house here. Hubby prefers store bought almond milk precisely because of the separating problem…..little does he know…..ha! His life as he knows it, is about to change, LOL. Thank you, Ms. Genius. What an awesome discovery.

    • amie-sue says:

      mahahah I sense an “evil” plan taking place. :) This will be our little secret. Let me know what hubby thinks… hehe enjoy! amie sue

  6. Ludia says:

    PS. Can’t wait for the brownie sheet cake recipe!! Thank you in advance.

  7. Lisa Evers says:

    You are brilliant! I can’t wait to try this one. I so enjoy your recipes/pictures/stories and your kindness to share all. Wishing you a beautiful day!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Lisa, I appreciate that. I had a wonderful day… must have been your doing. hehe Enjoy and keep me posted if you give it a try. amie sue

  8. Lisa says:

    Juststopping by to say I ‘LOVE’ your label :)

  9. Joyce Barron says:

    Hi Amie,
    I love this idea because my grandkids think I drink rotten milk ;-) If I pour it on their organic cereal before they see what I have done, they are fine, but if like you say they see the “milk” they are like “I am NOT drinking that” ;-) I will give this a try and also make them chocolate milk this way. My question to you is where did you get that amazing nut milk bottle? I LOVE it and want a few for myself if possible. Thanks so much
    Joyce

    • amie-sue says:

      It’s as if I created this recipe just for you Joyce. hehe You will have to keep me posted if you can slide this by the grandkids. :) Good luck and I hope it is a win! Blessings, amie sue

  10. Ghaniya says:

    Hi Sue,
    Thank you ever so much. Great.
    Can one use raw suflower seeds say 2 tablespoons to get some lecitine ground together with the almonds if one doesnt get sunflower lecitine?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Ghaniya.

      No, that won’t work the same way. I have made sunflower seed milk before it separates the same way as almond milk. Sunflower lecithin is obtained via mechanical extraction from organic sunflower seeds. Have a great evening, amie sue

  11. Can soy granules be powdered down& used?

  12. Lana says:

    Is there anything else I can use to substitute for the sunflower lecithin? Agar, irish moss, etc…?

    • amie-sue says:

      You can use soy lecithin if you wish… Irish moss will work too. I haven’t tried agar but by adding a small amount, I don’t see why not. amie sue

  13. Manuela says:

    Dear Amie-Sue,
    wonderful, wonderful, wonderful…I LOVE YOU WEBSITE! Its my favourite Website for healthy food and raw recipie. Where you bought this awesome nut milk bottle???…it is so nice! Wishing you a great time! Manuela

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you thank you thank you Manuela. hehe I bought that bottle at a antique show and added the words “nut milk” to it. hehe Have a blessed weekend and keep in touch Manuela. amie sue

  14. mari says:

    Amie-sue, Thanks for the recipes of alomond milk I made it and taste good and looks good too! I have been waiting since you post this of wanting the “Chocolate Browine Sheet Cake” are you about ready?? Let me know have a good day busy lady.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Mari… oh, let me check on that. I think it might be ready. I need more hours in the day to keep up with myself. lol So happy you enjoyed the milk recipe. any blessings and watch your inbox! amie sue

  15. Glorianne says:

    I finally got some sunflower lecithin and just made some pumpkin seed milk with it. I am out of almonds at the moment and it’s a tasty alternative. Can you direct me to other recipes on your site that use the lecithin. I tried the search with no luck. As always, thank you for the most beautiful pictures, fantastic recipes and the kindness you share with all of us at Nouveau Raw! You are the BEST!

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Glorianne for such kind words. I woke up to them so my day ought to start out great. :) I use lecithin in quite a few recipes… you can look within the cheesecake recipes for starters. It is great to use in puddings and ice creams as well. I hope that you enjoy working with the product. Have a great day, amie sue

  16. Ella Fausz says:

    I had sunflowerlecithin I capsules,like a dietary suppsupplement. Can I open the capsules and use this for my almond milk?

  17. Joy says:

    I use an Angel juicer. It eliminates the need for the nut bag or cheesecloth. The milk comes out super creamy. I run the pulp through a few times with some water. The pulp comes out tasteless by the time I am done. It makes making nut milk painless and super fast.

    • amie-sue says:

      Yes, that is another technique. I have used my Omega juice too…. but it can void a warranty, so always double check that if that is a concern for you and others who read these comments. :) Thanks for sharing Joy! amie sue

  18. Karen says:

    Thanks for this golden tip Aime-sue, the milk is delicious and tasty! Definitely a keeper :)

  19. Florentina says:

    Thanks a lot! I am just curious about it and find this helpful website

    Thanksss

    Florentina

  20. Tania says:

    My almond milk still separated after using soy lecithin powdered. I was surprised and wonder why it separated??

    • amie-sue says:

      I am not really sure Tania. So far, every time I made the milk this way, it stays together. Sorry that I don’t have an answer. amie sue

  21. Veronica says:

    Mmmm…lovely!! I have made almond milk a few times but now even my 14 y old son wanted a full glass and that has never happened before! :)

    I have said it before but it cannot be said enough; your site is absolutely wonderful! It makes me happy to read your recipes, they are all so easy to follow and you explain everything so thoroughly!

    Earlier I always looked forward to your emails but I had to opt out to not be tempted by dessert recipes.. :( I have to be careful with sweets since they trigger my sweet tooth (even rawfood desserts) and I have stayed away from them, except fruit, berries and rawfood chocolate, for a while now and it works. (It is no fun though, I love a cup of tea and cake on the patio on a sunny Saturday! There must be a less sweet raw cake I can make but I haven’t dared to look at that section yet! Any suggestions would be so appreciated! :) )
    Maybe I will take a sneak peek on your ice cream recipes, Summer is just around the corner for us here in Sweden! Maybe I can sweet the ice cream with strawberries and vanilla.

    Oh, another thing; what happened to the Donate button? I found the blog post but no button..

    Have a lovely weekend!
    Veronica

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Veronica,

      That is so awesome to hear about your son. :) Nice to see younger ones enjoying such things.

      I appreciate your kind words about the site Veronica. I do my best to convey just what the heck I am doing in the kitchen. hehe

      I understand about obtaining from food temptations. Breaking sugar addictions can be tough. I wish you the best. In your case, I would blend young Thai coconut meat and enjoy as a pudding! Put a few berries on top. DELISH. Can you enjoy that?

      Well, I am tuckered out this evening but I wanted to respond to your comment. Have a blessed day, amie sue

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