There are generally several types of nuts and seeds that you can buy in the grocery store bulk section, including unsalted, salted, organic, non-organic, gourmet flavors and candied. Due to a law made in response to few years of harmful bacteria contaminated produce, regular raw almonds are illegal to sell in stores, which forced businesses to sell only chemical or high-heat treated almonds. This makes raw almond availability rather scarce, and now raw almonds have to be bought directly from the growers. For some odd reason, this law only pertains to almonds, seeds, grains or other nuts.

I made the strange observation earlier this year that some grocers are selling organic sprouted almonds; I am guessing that this is due to the additional processes that the nuts must go through before they are sold to stores (someone please correct me if I am wrong). Maybe no one thought to sell them this way before, or maybe there was too much speculated financial risk of the projected cost. I am not sure, but these days people are definitely willing to pay for the convenience and availability of store-bought raw almonds. Let me tell you, sprouted almonds are more expensive and have a stronger flavor; a rare few tasted as intense as alcohol-free extract. It might be possible due to their increased nutrients and flavor from sprouting that fewer almonds are needed to make nut milk with the same amount of flavor, which may also help to balance out the price. As these almonds are already prepared through sprouting, they do not have to be soaked, which saves a bit of time and labor. Personally I still like purchasing raw almonds directly from the growers at the farmers market during peak season, since I don’t mind soaking and dehydrating the nuts myself.

Please see my previous cashew milk blog entry for general directions for making non-dairy milk. I have included some suggestions for sweeteners and spices.

Plain Almond Milk
My husband and I prefer to make lots of plain unflavored milk at once, so we can use it in a wide variety of foods, from smoothies to soups. Adjust the milk proportions and flavors as you like.

Yields 6 Cups

Ingredients
2 C Prepared Almonds
6 C Filtered Water
1 Pinch Sea Salt

Directions
Process the almonds, salt and water until the nut pulp is fine and the liquid turns white; the nuts can’t be over-blended. Strain the mixture through fabric, like cheese cloth or a nut milk bag, making sure to squeeze the ground almonds within the fabric to release more liquid without letting the pulp squish through. Set the pulp aside. Store the milk in a sealed jug or jar(s) in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.

Notes:
Reserve the pulp for another batch of milk, or dehydrate it into almond meal to later use.
You can also freeze the milk into cubes to melt into hot tea or coffee or make into ice cream.

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