A friend asked me yesterday how the plain almond milk I’d made tasted. I told her it tasted like milk. I’ve been a vegan for two years and the taste of dairy milk is lost to me.
So I went to my husband, Pete Sawochka, the only vegetarian in the family who cannot give up dairy milk and cheese, and asked him to describe what dairy milk tastes like compared to my almond milk. Here’s what he said: “Well for one thing dairy milk not as sweet naturally. And if you’re talking about whole, dairy milk has a full, fatty flavor to it and the almond milk tastes a little water. Lastly there’s a taste in the main core flavor of dairy milk that’s just not there in almond milk. I would recommend sweetening the almond milk if a person is trying it for the first time.”
Pete is right. The taste of the almond milk is very bland with a very slight hint of almond in the background. If you’re trying almond milk for the first time, I recommend sweetening to start. One batch of almond milk we made yielded three cups. Add 1 or two tablespoons of either honey, agave nectar or other natural sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. While the milk won’t have the fatty taste of the whole milk, the sweetness of the milk will make up for that filling, fatty, smooth flavor that is missing. As a side note, if you drink skim milk like I used to, the thinness that skim milk has is very similar to the flavor of plain almond milk.
What can you do with your almond milk now that I’ve made it? I recommend you think of where you usually use dairy milk and replace it with almond milk. It’s great with cereal, works fabulously in a smoothie or replace it in a recipe that calls for milk in baking or cooking.
Here’s a super-chocolatey, sweet shake that is delicious and you can use your almond milk in it. In fact, I made my own almond milk for the first time last week in order to use it in this recipe and it worked out great. I did not sweeten my homemade almond milk because this recipe is already naturally sweet. Here’s the recipe:
Take 1 ripe avocado, 1 banana, 3-4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 or 3 dates pitted, 3 cups of almond milk and 5 or 6 ice cubes and blend the ingredients in a blender like we used to make the almond milk and enjoy! If you have a chocolate craving it’s awesome. And it makes enough to share a glass with family members!
My last tip has to do with the nut pulp we were left with. I’ve read that the pulp makes a great gluten free flour for gluten sensitive or intolerant people. Take the nut pulp, crumble the nut pulp in a thin layer on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate between four to six hours. Then blend the dehydrated pulp in a food processor or sift the flour after blending for a super fine texture.
I hope you enjoy the almond milk plain, sweetened, with some cereal for breakfast, in a smoothie or if you swap it out for dairy milk in a recipe.
Enjoy! Thanks for tuning in!