Cinnamon-Vanilla Almond Milk

Remember when I told you that while I'm not a picky eater, there are a handful of things I despise? Well, while I may not HATE milk, I definitely don't love it. As a child my mom (thankfully) never forced me to drink milk with dinner. In fact, I only consumed it as in add-on to other items like cereal, lattes, and baked goods. When I finally discovered almond milk in college I was in heaven. The combination of subtle sweetness, nuttiness, and ease on my stomach makes it a much better option for me than regular milk. I use almond milk as a replacement in everything (coffee, smoothies, baking, sauces, etc), and often times I drink it straight up.

You know how people say that everything is better when it's homemade? Yeah, well this is no different. In fact, this may be where the statement originated from (no, I don't always pull erroneous facts out of nowhere). But in all seriousness, homemade almond milk is a astronomically better than store bought. You can truly taste the distinct almond flavor and can customize it how ever you like. The combination of cinnamon and vanilla is my favorite but nutmeg, cocoa, honey, maple, and even turmeric are wonderful additions.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup almonds soaked for 10-12 hours

2 dates soaked for 2 hours

3 cups filtered water

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

a dash of sea salt

*you will need a nut bag or mesh strainer and coffee filters or cheese cloth to complete the process. I use the

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Soak almonds for up to 12 hours. I usually do this while I am sleeping or at work.

2. Pour all ingredients in to a high speed blender and blend until thoroughly combined. About 2-3 minutes on high.

3. Pour the contents in to a nut bag over a bowl and gently squeeze to remove all of the milk. Spend extra time making sure you squeeze out every last drop!

4. Pour in to an air tight container and enjoy! This should last in the refrigerator tightly sealed for 4-5 days.

*The leftover almond mixture, called almond meal, can be stored and used for a number of delicious things. You can add it to baked goods like cookies, granola, or muffins, you can dry it out to make almond flour, or you can add it to 2 ingredient pancakes (recipe here).