The Misner Plan includes a few non-dairy milks in its food lists – almond, brown rice, coconut, hazelnut and hemp milks. But these milks are typically bought at the store and come in a box with a list of ingredients on the side. Have you ever looked at the ingredients on those boxes? Some of the special ingredients include: tricalcium phosphate, vanilla extract, carrageenan, xanthan gum, gellan gum, gum acacia, natural flavors, and brown rice sweetener.
Okay, so some of those ingredients are less desirable than others. I’m not a fan of tricalcium phosphate being in my almond milk, nor do I want vanilla extract or the others ingredients either, to be perfectly honest. But my mother never taught me how to make these alternative milks, nor did my home economics teachers (do the schools even still offer home economics?).
I’m still learning how to do some of the things we have incorporated into the Misner Plan and making alternative milks is one of them. I’ve made brown rice milk and just learned two days ago that my juicer can make almond milk. I tried making it in my VitaMix and it is a LOT of work, but it sure tastes wonderful. There is no comparison between homemade almond milk and store-bought almond milk.
As a rank beginner, I would like to share about my rice and almond milk making methods.
To make rice milk, I tried two methods. The first was to cook organic brown rice in my rice cooker. Then I took out ¼ cup of the cooked rice and put it into the VitaMix, processing it with 1 ½ cups of purified water. It turned out pretty good, but also it was sort of bland. It would be good as a base milk for a smoothie or a protein shake. I could envision adding unsweetened, organic cacao, the scrapings of a vanilla bean, and some raw coconut nectar to have a lovely chocolate protein shake. Or I could go toward strawberryland and blend in frozen strawberries, a shake of cinnamon and a little raw coconut nectar if needed. Yum!
The second method I tried actually worked a little bit better, but I’m not convinced it was the healthier of the two methods. It is probably healthier to blend the whole rice with the water. I got organic brown rice farina (made to cook rice cereal for young children – or people who love rice cereal), cooked that and processed ¼ cup of it with purified water. The consistency was much more like milk, but the flavor was still quite bland. I liked drinking this on the warm side with a little cinnamon. It was delicious that way.
Making homemade almond milk was fun, but it was labor intensive and messy, at least the way I did it! To start, I covered 1 cup of almonds with about one inch of purified water and soaked them uncovered overnight. In the morning, I drained off the soaking water, put the almonds into my VitaMix with 2 cups of fresh water and processed them until I had fairly smooth milk. But wait! There’s more! After blending them, I had to separate the almond meal from the almond milk. I found that easier said than done.
I lined a large strainer with two layers of cheesecloth, placed it over a bowl, and poured about a cup of the milk into the strainer. Well, a little bit of milk dripped slowly from the strainer, and I quickly realized I was going to need to help the process along.
I gathered up the cheesecloth and began gently pressing. More milk began to pour out, and I figured that a more firm technique would be faster. That was when my cheesecloth kind of ripped and out squirted almond meal AND almond milk. Oh darn, now I had to start all over. I finally got the technique right and ended up with about 2 cups of almond milk.
Here’s the problem: it was so delicious and so amazing that I drank down the entire two cups and had nothing left for later after all that messy, difficult work! I’ve made almond milk this way a few more times and resisted the urge to just drink all that I made in one sitting, but I think that the effort of making it and the ensuing mess has deterred me from doing it more often.
After reading online that my Breville Juice Fountain Crush Slow Juicer can make lovely almond milk (http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/homemade-almond-milk/), I believe I will revive my almond-milk-making days (for the record, this recipe would not be Misner Plan approved with the addition of vanilla extract and stevia, but I could always add the scrapings of a vanilla bean and a bit of raw honey – but probably just drinking it plain would suit me better). The site I found this information on has a lovely hazelnut milk recipe which includes dates and cinnamon: http://www.rebootwithjoe.com/homemade-cinnamon-hazelnut-milk/. This recipe is certainly Misner Plan approved.
Please share the results of your endeavors with me to let me know what worked for you!