The chocolate almond milk is soooo good and comes from "Raw Food Real World" recipe book. It is the only chocolate almond milk I have ever made and it is delicious. We always use raw/organic almonds.
Here is what I do: You will need a nut milk bag to squeeze the milk out of after you have blended the almonds. I just don't know of another way that will render you a nice nut milk with no grainy bits. You can buy nut milk bags at any health food store or order them on line. You can use multi layers of cheese cloth in a pinch but the bag is much easier.
You need to soak your almonds in filtered water 12 hours. If push come to shove I will do it in less but 12 hours but 12 hours or over night is optimal. This allows the raw almond to sprout.
Nuts have phytic acid. Phytic acid is also found in grains and legumes. Just as with grains and legumes, soaking nuts is essential for proper digestions. When eating nuts that haven’t been soaked, the phytic acid binds to minerals in the gastrointestinal tract and can not be absorbed in the intestine and to many bound minerals can lead to mineral deficiencies. By soaking, you are breaking down the phytic acid so it can be absorbed properly.
Nuts also have high amounts of enzymes inhibitors. This is another reason why un soaked nuts are hard to digest. Soaking nuts neutralizes the enzymes allowing for proper digestion. (taken from whole lifestyle nutrition web site.)Take one cup of raw organic almonds and cover them in filtered water at least by one inch. The almonds will soak up the water and plump up. When you are ready to make your milk drain the almonds and rinse them well. Next.......
Plain/Vanilla/Unsweetened Almond Milk: I do not like thick almond milk. Most store bought brands are a little on the thick side for me. Its more like drinking cream than milk. BUT! if you like yours thicker than cut back on the water. (If you want 1/2 gallon then double the recipe. That is usually what I make or I would forever be making almond milk.)
Into the blender place the one cup of soaked almonds with 4 cups of filtered water and blend on high speed till the almonds are completely blended up. About a minute or so. I have a Vita mix. I have never tried this with any other blender so I can't tell you how it would work. I imagine if you have a strong blender it will work just fine.
I then add a pinch (tiny pinch) of salt and literally a drop of vanilla. You can use as much or little of the salt and vanilla as you want. You may also add agave or honey or pitted dates for sweetness if you like a sweet almond milk. I personally don't like it sweet and really don't like but a pinch of vanilla. Add 1 tsp. to 1 Tbl. of lecithin OPTIONAL. More on Lecithin below. Blend again. Pour into a nut milk bag that is over a bowl and wrapping the top of the bag start to squeeze the liquid out of the bag. Do this till there is nothing but dry almond pulp left in the bag. There will be a little foam on the top. I spoon some of this off but don't usually spoon it all off. Pour into a storage container and place in the fridge. This should last you 3-5 days if kept refrigerated.
Chocolate Almond Milk (Raw Food Real World): double for 1/2 gallon, I always do.
Drain and rinse 1 cup of soaked raw almonds. Place in blender with 4 cups filtered water. Blend till smooth. Pour into nut milk bag and squeeze till all milk is out and nothing but dry pulp is left in bag. Rinse out blender and add the newly squeezed milk back into blender. Add
1 1/2 Tbl. raw cocoa powder (this varies depending on how chocolatey you like it to taste. I like it a little less on the chocolate. The original recipe called for 2 Tbl.)
pink of salt
1/2 cup agave nectar or raw unfiltered honey
1 1/2- 2 Tbl. vanilla (I would say start with 1 Tbl. and add till it tastes right for you. )
1 1/2 - 2 Tbl. coconut oil
1 tsp. too 1 Tbl. lecithin (this comes made from soy or from sunflowers.)
Blend till smooth. I scoop the foam as much as I can and then pour into container and store in fridge for 3-5 days.
The original recipe calls for lecithin. It is used as a fat emulsifier. Making things creamy. It is mostly made of soy beans. We ingest a very limited amount of soy and only organic. Usually oganic tofu for some recipe. Other than that no soy. If I use it I use only lecithin made from sunflowers. Research it and if you want to add it you can. Add 1 tsp. to 1 Tbl. to the blender with the rest of the ingredients.
Anyway, thats it. Go and enjoy good home made organic almond milk. For us it is much cheaper to make it. We pay around $10 a pound for organic raw almonds. So compared to the carton it is the better way for us to go, particularly since we haven't found an organic brand of almond milk.
Lets talk Lecithin:
One of the issues with home made nut milks is they separate. The fat from the nut and the water separate into what looks unpleasant (like dairy milk gone bad) There is nothing wrong with the nut milk it just needs a good shake or stir and back to beautiful. BUT, if you want keep it more combined and the fat suspended in the water more like a homogenized nut milk would look then Lecithin is the answer. Lecithin comes in soy or sunflower form. You can buy both GMO free but it is a little harder to find organic. I would say do the research. Lecithin has a lot of wonderful health benefits and I would urge you to also research that as well.
Now there is real debate over the safety of Lecithin during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Two thoughts on this is again is be your own advocate and do the research and also speak with your doctor about it. I know that it being soy or sunflower can make a difference. So I leave you with that choice.
I would not based on my research be concerned if pregnancy or breastfeeding isn't an issue. I think lecithin is a VERY good and helpful supplement. BUT! You do the leg work and decide for yourself.
Your nut milk will not suffer without it other than the inconvenience of halving to stir it to make it look pretty again.