I recently tried a vegan smoothie using almond milk, dates, and who knows what else. I’m determined to try and recreate it, but it starts with a good almond milk. You can buy it, sure, but this is much more fun, really not that difficult & best of all, you know exactly what’s going into it!
You need 4 things, almonds, water, dates and vanilla extract. Ideally you want to soak your almonds overnight, but if you want to soak them for an hour, that’s doable too. You can have them soaking while you make & eat your dinner, then peel them while they’re still soaking. This is a job that can be done in front of the TV, I’d know, I did it yesterday!
Once you’ve soaked and skinned your almonds, pop them in your blender with 2-3 cups of water depending on how creamy you like your milk, add 6 pitted dates and a couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract. I made mine with only two cups of water and it’s a thick, delicious milk. If I were not drinking it straight, I’d probably add a little more water.
Blitz this on the highest speed for a minute. You’ll need to strain it using cheesecloth or a nut milk bag, this will make your milk creamy, not grainy.
Make sure you squeeze out all that excess liquid!
This can then be refrigerated for up to four days. If you like it less sweet, use less vanilla and dates. A pinch of salt will also change the flavour just slightly.
According to some brief research, having almond milk, or the soaked almonds on their own, first thing in the morning sets your body up for good protein digestion during the day. Or so the internet says. I don’t drink this for the health benefits (which I hear are numerous) but because it tastes so damn good!
Makes about 2 cups
- 1 C almonds, soaked overnight & skins removed
- 2-3 C water (start with 2 & increase, too creamy is fixable, too watery is more difficult)
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 4-6 dates, pitted
- Put all ingredients into your blender and blitz at the highest speed for at least a minute.
- Strain mixture through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth (or old *clean* stockings would work) making sure to squeeze out as much milk as you can.
- Alternatively, you can blitz the almonds and water only, leave it for a few hours, then add your sweeteners (honey or agave) and salt.
When I make this again, I’d use 2 1/2 C water and maybe not so many dates. This batch is almost as sweet as a smoothie, but definitely a good base for recreating the smoothie I tried on the weekend!