One thing you definitely can’t get in Jozi, or Berlin for that matter, is bubble tea delivered to your apartment. My favorite flavors are almond and coconut. A couple times a year my college girlfriends would roll into NYC for a girls’ weekend and we would order bubble tea almost immediately. I’m on a mission to make my own bubble tea (that post will come next week) but first I needed the most important part: the almond milk. Instead of picking it up from Woolworth’s I decided to make my own.
You will need:
1 cup raw Almonds
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 vanilla pod/bean with the insides scraped out or a teaspoon of vanilla extract
a pinch of cinnamon (to taste)
4 cups water
a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer or a nut bag, (that’s right a nut bag is a thing, people)
a rubber spatula
You must think ahead for this recipe a bit because you gotta soak the almonds in water in the fridge over night. Or you can soak them before you go to work in the morning and make it when you get home. After your almonds have soaked for at least 8 hours (full disclosure: I let mine soak for 24 hours before I had time to get to them) you will need to blanch them. Blanching is achieved by putting them in boiling water for one minute then shocking them in an ice bath. Then drain all the water and peel off (most of) the skins with your hands. Another disclosure: I skipped this step. And my almond milk was delicious.
After that, throw your almonds and a cup or cup and a half of water in a blender. After it is purified as it will go (if it seems extremely dry add another half cup of water then blend some more) add in your maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla bean or extract, along with the remaining water. Continue blending until completely liquified, 2 or 3 minutes. Take your fine mesh strainer or nut bag and pour the mixture through. I suggest using a bowl for this as it takes some maneuvering with your rubber spatula to squeeze all of the milk out of the pulp. Put the pulp in a container in your fridge (lasts 1 week) or freezer (lasts 3 months-ish) because I’m going to show how to make granola out of that.
Voila you have your almond milk! Be smug at how healthy you are pretending to be while you enjoy it with cookies or save it for the bubble tea I’m going to show you how to make next week. It will last in your fridge for 3 or 4 days. I have a convenient ceramic milk bottle from Crate and Barrel to store mine in. That is because my husband drinks an absurd amount of milk like some freaky growing child and I set out to beautify my fridge but I honestly can’t keep up with him so it just sits in the cupboard until I have almond milk that needs storing.