By

Kate is a food writer, restauranteur and wife of Giancarlo Caldesi. Her book The Italian Cookery Course was shortlisted for the Andre Simon Awards and the Guild of Food Writers Cookery Book of the Year...

‘Enjoy almond milk as a healthier alternative to cow’s milk, which can have negative effects on a damaged or sensitive gut for some people. It’s delicious hot or cold – we have it for breakfast on gluten-free oats with half a banana, or in hot chocolate (see recipe below). It also makes good savoury dishes, such as mild curries.’

Almond milk

Makes 400ml

Ingredients

  • 100g almonds (skin-on produces more flavour than blanched)
  • 400ml water

Method
1
Soak 100g almonds in enough cold water to cover for 3–8 hours in the fridge, changing the water once during this time.
2 Strain the almonds, discarding the water.
3 Blend the nuts in a food processor with 400ml fresh water until the nuts are finely ground and you have a creamy milk. Pour into a large lidded jug or bowl, cover tightly with cling film and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Katie’s tip: ‘This recipe produces a thickish milk with fine bits and a mild flavour. For a smoother milk, strain the blended milk through a fine sieve. Save the almond meal that’s left in the sieve and dry it on a baking sheet in a very low oven, ready to use as a substitute for ground almonds.’

Cook’s know-how
Why soak the nuts? Soaking breaks down the layer of phytic acid around the nuts, which can irritate the gut. Plus it makes the nuts easier to whiz in a food processor.

Per 100ml serving
153kcal
13.9g fat
1.1g saturates
1.7g carbs
1.1g sugars
2.5g fibre
5.3g protein
0g salt
60mg calcium
0.8mg iron

LOW SAT FAT
LOW SUGARS
LOW SALT
VEG
GLUTEN FREE
DAIRY FREE

How to make almond milk hot chocolate

Makes 1

Ingredients

  • 1 mug homemade almond milk
  • 2 heaped tsp cacao powder
  • Vanilla extract, to taste (optional)
  • Maple syrup, date syrup or xylitol to taste
  • Cinnamon powder, to dust

Method
1
Heat a mug of homemade almond milk.
2 Stir in the cacao powder and vanilla, if using.
3 Add your choice of sweetener, then dust with cinnamon powder.

Health note
Cacao powder is high in iron, potassium, magnesium and fibre. It is also rich in antioxidant flavonoids called flavanols, which may increase brain function. Flavanols are normally stripped away when chocolate is made and anyway most good effects would be negated by the use of sugar in the processing. Cinnamon helps to slow down the insulin spike caused by sweet foods.

PER MUG
289kcal
24.5g fat
3.1g saturates
7.3g carbs
4.7g sugars
6.6g fibre
10.3g protein
0g salt
112mg calcium
2.3mg iron

LOW SAT FAT
LOW SUGARS
LOW SALT
VEG
GLUTEN FREE
DAIRY FREE