Almond milk is a “milk-like” liquid that is made from water and almonds. The almonds are crushed, then soaked in water, then blended into the water, after which any remaining almond pulp is strained out leaving just the almond “milk.”
It is sometimes given to invalids who might not be up to managing dairy yet, as it is very nutritious.
The standard ratio of almonds to water when using American volume measurements is 1 part almonds to 4 parts water.
To make 500 ml (2 cups / 16 oz in volume) of almond milk, place 50 g (1/2 cup / 2 oz weight) of blanched, slivered almonds in 500 ml (2 cups / 16 oz in volume) of water in a sealed container, and refrigerate overnight. Pour into blender, blend till smooth. Strain through a few layers of cheesecloth, pressing to get all the liquid out. Sometimes, for some recipes, you may require a thicker almond milk, in which case you increase the quantity of almonds used or decrease the water.
Thorough blending, necessary for good flavour, means that to make larger quantities, it is better to make several batches one after the other, rather than trying to make it all at once. Some people sweeten it with a little honey or a date or two. Some people prefer to use unblanched almonds — almonds with their brown skins still on — which makes a browner and somewhat grittier milk.
Instead of discarding the leftover almond pulp, you can freeze it for use in cookies, muffins, breads, vegetarian meatloaves, poultry stuffing, or as a tasty topping for your dog’s next dinner. Some people even use it as a face scrub.
Refrigerate for up to 5 days; shake well before each use as it may settle.
Almond milk was more popular in the days before there was refrigerated animal milk that could be trusted (many people distrusted any milk that was sold, unless they saw it come from a cow with their own eyes.) It was particularly popular in the Middle Ages. Almond milk could be made as needed, and stored for a while unrefrigerated, and because it wasn’t an animal product could be used at times such as Lent when true dairy was proscribed by the Church.
Almond milk is a very common item in medieval recipes. Some recipes would call for the almond milk to be made from broth or wine instead of plain water.