For people who are lactose-intolerant or follow a vegan diet, almond milk is one of the possible substitutions for milk from cow, goat or sheep. It is not difficult to make at home. A good thing, because shop-bought almond milk often contains sugar and other additives like thickening and stabilizing agents. For culinary use, industrial almond milk can best be avoided.The packaging of this almond often contains the declaration that it is gluten-free. Well, all milk is gluten-free, and people who really need to avoid gluten know that. This is of the same level as ‘this lettuce is vegetarian’. And, by the way, lettuce is also gluten-free.
I use almond milk mainly in historical recipes. It was an important substitute for dairy milk during Lent. That is the period between Carnival and Easter during which in the Middle Ages not just dairy produce, but also eggs and meat were banned from the table.
Almond milk is prepared with almond flour. Grinding almonds is difficult to do because they contain a lot of oil. The result will be a paste rather than flour, unless you happen to own a device that is especially for grinding oil-rich ingredients. You could try grinding until they are just broken and then use the blender once water is added. I simply buy almond flour. There are two varieties, flour from raw and from toasted almonds. For historical recipes I use white almond flour.
Depending on the desired thickness of the almond milk, use 150 to 350 gram almond flour for 1 liter liquid. This liquid is often simply water, but in the past stock or wine could also have been used. Bring the liquid to the boil and the add almond flour. Turn off the heat. I use the blender to get the most out of the almonds.
Leave the milk for 20 minutes, then pour through a strainer. The resulting strained liquid is almond milk. The almond flour can be used in other medieval preparations, for example in dough.
Almonds have a high oil content. If the almond milk is left to stand for a while, the oil will separate from the milk and float on top. This is why industrial almond milk contains stabilizing agents. But simply stir or shake the almond milk, and the almond milk can be used.
Making almond milk at home
This a basic recipe for preparing almond milk at home, simply using almond flour and water.