Want to learn how I made the world’s best dessert smoothie? It all starts with homemade almond milk. Honestly, what took me so long to try making this at home? I can never buy boxed almond milk because I’ve never found an unsweetened version with no added sodium. I even had a pound of almonds in my freezer AND some unused cheesecloth back from my pre-vegan days. [editor's note: I am no longer straining my almond milk. If you want a silkier texture, strain it, but if you want to eat the whole food, you can skip that step].
For the basic recipe and tips on the process of making almond milk, I went to Gena’s tutorial on her Choosing Raw website. I followed her directions pretty carefully, soaking 1 cup of almond overnight in water:
After at least 8 hours of soaking, just rinse your almond with fresh water through a strainer. Then, gather a large pitcher, some cheesecloth or a nut milk bag (try searching for this online) and a high-speed blender with 4 cups of filtered water:
This is where Gena’s advice came in really helpful. I used a thick rubber band to secure the cheesecloth around the edge of the pitcher, otherwise it would have fallen into the pitcher when I strained the almond milk.
Use your high-speed blender to mix the water and soaked almonds for about a minute or so on high. You’ll get this:
You can use your almond milk like this, or you can strain it for a silky, smooth texture (don’t worry, we won’t be throwing out the resulting pulp). This next step takes a little time, you’ll pour the contents of the blender through the strainer, but it can take several hours for it all to go through (I helped the process along by pushing the contents down with a spatula):
I wasn’t patient enough to wait until it was finished straining to use some of the almond milk, so I poured off 2 cups to make what turned out to be the world’s best dessert smoothie! I’m crediting the homemade almond milk for the feat because it was so luscious and sweet. I simply combined 2 cups of the almond milk, a frozen banana, 1 cup frozen strawberry and mango chunks, 3 dates, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of flax meal, 1 tablespoon of cacao powder and a splash of vanilla. Honestly, best. smoothie. ever.
Carrie’s PB Cup Smoothie – Makes 2 Servings
2 cups homemade unsweetened almond milk (recipe below)
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen mango chunks and strawberries
splash of vanilla
1 tablespoon each flax meal, peanut butter and cacao powder
In a high-speed blender, combine all ingredients and whirl until smooth.
Homemade Unsweetened Almond Milk – Makes 4 Cups
1 cup almonds
4 cups filtered water
Soak almonds overnight or at least 8 hours in water. Drain and rinse. Combine almonds and 4 cups filtered water in a high-speed blender and whirl until smooth. Strain resulting mixture through a nut milk bag and let sit until completely strained. Refrigerate almond milk for up to 5 days.
As far as the almond pulp goes, I have a recipe for making it into cookies. There are also savory recipes you can make, like adding to a veggie burger. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I’ll be sure to post my results.
Now go make this smoothie!