i was having coffee a few days ago, as a creamer I added almond milk i then sat down to sip after beginnng what was seeming to be a lazy, rainy Sunday. i am a label reader, if my food has a label I will probably read it, my eyes go straight to the ingredients . i don’t know how my almond milk carton slipped under my radar, but it did. as I enjoyed the beans I read the label and there it was in bold letters “CARRAGEENAN.” up until earlier this month I hadn’t run into this ingredient much; I noticed it was in my “au-natural” deodorant, I was curious then and googled it, the results were a discomforting but not horrendous. however finding it in my food was entirely different.
i poured my coffee down the drain with the rest of the carton of almond milk.
i am endlessly frustrated with the junk that is constantly put into food that is sold for human consumption. perhaps I am dramatic but I can’t sit and snack on hydrogenated oils, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, and a myriad of other red flag ingredients. add carrageenan to that list. if you arent aware of the dangers of this product, i wont soap box it, i’ll just summarize it:
Carrageenan – is derived from red seaweed (sounds safe, right?) and is used as a thickener, stabilizer, and/or emulsifier in many dairy (sour cream, yogurt, ice cream, etc), dairy alternatives (non-dairy milk, non-dairy cheese, etc), and deli meat products; extensive research links carrageenan to gastrointestinal inflammation, lesions, and even colon cancer in animals (bad news).
honestly don’t take my word for it, research it a bit yourself and be ready to pour out your milk.
what to do? i am not a calf, so dairy milk isn’t an option, nor is soy milk. i searched online for an almond milk supplier that did not use harmful ingredients, the closest I came was Whole Foods house brand, which does not include carrageenan, but does have a lot of extra stuff in it. alas, we know what that means….Homemade!!!
my almond milk was sooo easy to make I will never buy that pre-made-sit-on-the-shelf-stuff ever again. so here is what i did…
soaked almonds in water for a day (24 +hours)
for sweetness I placed a pitted medjool date in the blender with 1/2 c. water. blend
once tender I poured the almonds and soaking water in blender too, and added a lil vanilla extract. this is where it gets personal, you can make the milk as creamy, thick, or runny as you like by added less or more water.
blend for 45 sec. stop for a minute. blend. stop. blend… I did this about 8 times, taking a break after 45 seconds because I didn’t want to overheat and blow the motor.
if you want a smooth texture keep blending until you get it. for my milk I didn’t mind it a grainy as I knew this batch would be mostly for oatmeal and smoothies.
to get the grainy texture removed from your milk you must use a cheese cloth, and don’t waste the left over almond meal, roast it or throw it on a salad.
this milk is perishable so if you aren’t going to use it in the coming days, you might want to freeze into ice cubes for easy usage.