Today is the first day of Ramadhan and as I have promised myself, I will try to prepare healthy meals for Zu and I to break fast with. The intention is to cleanse our body and eat healthier. It also helps that I have been attending Raw Organic cooking classes recently which have opened my eyes to the possibilities of ingredients and the importance of being aware what we put into our body. Don’t worry, I won’t be turning vegan or vegetarian as I love my steamed fish and satay too much, but I would like to definitely prepare my meals healthier whenever possible. Today’s post is something which I learnt in my Raw Organic class with slight improvisation. The original recipe calls for Vanilla extract which I’m a little suspicious about its Halal status as it contains alcohol. However, I did read somewhere that imitation vanilla flavouring and vanilla pods should be fine as they are free from alcohol content, but I will have to do more research on this. As for now, I won’t be using any form of vanilla flavouring at all.
The ingredients for this recipe is straight forward and are easy to find in any supermarkets. Do bear in mind that the serving portion for this recipe is for 2 people (since it’s just the both of us and I don’t like to make too much food).
150g Almonds (this should make around 1L of milk, depending on your taste)
100g of mixture of dates and raisins
1L of water
Sodium Bicarbonate (optional)
Cheese/ muslin cloth
Blender (I use hand blender but a normal blender should be fine)
If you notice I did not include any sugar in this recipe because the sweetness comes from the of the dates and raisins and I do not want to include additional sugar in my food (where possible). Feel free to add in any additional sweetener to your milk.
1. Soak almonds for 8 – 10 hours.
I soak my almonds with half a tsp of Sodium Bicarbonate as the almonds that I buy are not organic and may contain traces of pesticides and chemical. Sodium Bicarbonate will help to ‘clean’ the almonds from any chemicals and prevent any direct exposure of harmful chemicals to our body. I change the water 2-3 hours and each time I replenish the water with half a tsp of Sodium Bicarbonate. At the end of the soaking process, I thoroughly clean the almonds to wash off any tracings of Sodium Bicarbonate.
2. Soak mixture of dates and raisins for 2 hours.
3. At the end of the soaking process, rinse almonds thoroughly and drain the dates and raisins mixture.
4. Place the almonds, date and raisins in a jug and add 1L of drinking water and start blending. Add more water if you find the consistency thick and adjust the liquid amount to your liking. Continue blending until the liquid becomes a smooth slurry.
I usually blend in pulses for up to 5 minutes because I want to extract as much juice as possible.
5. Place a cheese cloth on a strainer in a clean bowl (used only for fruits and vegetables). Pour the almond juice into the cloth to strain.
The picture below shows that I folded my cloth into 4 and it was a mistake for me to do this as it was hard for the liquid to flow. I then adjusted by opening the cloth fully to allow the juice to flow more smoothly.
6. Lift 4 corners of the cloth to help make the straining process easier. With clean hands, twist the cloth and squeeze out as much almond milk as you can.
7. After you have extracted as much milk as you can from the nuts, you will have ‘remnant’ nuts in your cloth. Do not throw this away as you can use it in your cooking and baking.
I will post up recipes which I have done using the ‘remnant’ nuts.
8. If you want, you can strain the milk again but this time through a fine sieve when transferring it into the jug. Your milk is now ready! You can store it in a closed container in the fridge for up to 2 days, but we usually finish ours on the day itself. Enjoy your fresh home-made almond milk!
Do feel free to improvise the recipe to your liking. I have also used a mixture of nuts (walnuts, sunflower seeds, and golden flaxseed) and they taste great.
Let me know how yours turned out, good luck!
Have a healthy Ramadhan,