Tag Archives: almond milk

Courtesy Katie Snyder

How to make nut milks

Many people today have started to stray away from dairy products. Instead they are choosing alternatives such as almond and even hazelnut milks. Unfortunately, even some of those items still contain preservatives. They may also contain carrageenan, an ingredient which studies have correlated to increasing risks of glucose intolerance, stomach ulcerations, and some cancers.

There’s got to be a better way, right? There is. You can make your own.

Judy Nicassio, a certified nutritionist at Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics, LLC, shared the following recipe. (Photo provided by Katie Snyder).

Nut milk process, by Katie Snyder

Nut milk process, by Katie Snyder

Ingredients:

1 cup nuts of your choice (preferably raw and organic)

4 cups very hot pure water

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Use liquid stevia to taste (optional)

Directions:

Place nuts in a large bowl and add pure water to cover by approximately 2 inches.  Let soak for at least 12 hours (the longer the nuts soak, the creamier texture of the milk).

Drain nuts and discard liquid.

Puree nuts, 4 cups of hot water, and sea salt in a blender on high speed until very smooth, approximately 2 minutes.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or nut milk bag (easy to purchase online) into a medium bowl, pressing down on solids.  Discard nut pulp.

If you prefer a thinner texture, add more water to desired consistency.

Store in airtight container (mason jars work well) and chill until cold.  OR you can also pour the nut milks into ice cube trays.  Once frozen, remove and transfer to plastic bags for convenience.

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A Tusconan’s quest for the best latte in the Valley

Writing has always come easy to me, though my best writing happens in coffee shops. The collective chatter of people, background music and the sound of a steaming espresso machine inspire and motivate me. Of course, the best part of writing at a coffee shop is the caffeinated beverages. I can sit and write for hours while sipping on my favorite espresso drink, an almond milk iced latte.

When I lived in Tucson, this was easy. I had a go-to coffee shop with the perfect almond milk iced lattes. I make the five-minute drive at least three days a week, where I would sit at a table, surrounded by artwork and music. It was the perfect atmosphere for writing.

Since moving to Phoenix, it has proven difficult to find that ideal coffee shop. Over the past several weeks I have searched high and low for the best almond milk latte.

You may be thinking, “What is so hard about that? It’s just a latte.” Let me tell you, there is nothing simple about it. Almond milk is temperamental. Depending on the brand, it can be sweet, watery, chunky, thick, smooth or just plain boring.

Besides using the best brand of almond milk, you need the perfect espresso. If you only have one of the two, the drink will be awful. And I have tried my fair share of awful almond milk lattes.

When you find this golden drink it will be thick, smooth, bold, decadent and delicious. You should melt into the naturally sweet almond flavor mixed with the strong and nutty espresso – pure perfection.

Call me goldilocks because this latte cannot be too strong or to weak, too boring or bland; it has to be just right. After sampling these caffeinated drinks at over eight coffee shops, I did manage to find some truly delicious lattes.
Now I am not one to decry a specific establishment. I will only detail the places that I found truly exceptional.

My quest began at Lux Coffeebar, 4402 N. Central Ave. The cozy and crowded café serves an assortment of baked goods, breakfast, lunch, dinner, espresso and alcoholic beverages. The atmosphere alone had me swooning. With an exposed wood beam ceiling and brick walls, the space was filled with wood tables, plush armchairs and couches. The espresso was strong; the almond milk sweet and nutty. To top it off the perfect start to my adventure, my latte was served in a glass mason jar.

Over the next few weeks I stopped in at coffee shops all over the Valley. My next find was at Songbird Coffee and Tea HouseSongbird Coffee and Tea House, 214 E. Roosevelt St. The small café is quaint and inconspicuous; two large windows look out onto the street and fill the space with light.

The latte was beautiful, I watched the barista fill a cup with almond milk, add ice, then pour the espresso into the creamy milk. The dark, thick liquid spread and turned the milk a golden caramel.

It may sound odd, but I can usually tell the quality of the latte just by looking at it. The bad ones don’t mix well; the almond milk looks watery with odd floating bits in the espresso. The good drinks blend into one cohesive latte. The almond milk iced latte at Songbird was the latter.

Echo CoffeeSince you can only say so many things about an iced coffee I will name the last three coffee shops under my umbrella term of a great almond milk iced latte – La Grande Orange, 4410 N. 40th St.; Echo Coffee, 2902 N. 68th St.; and Nami, 2014 N. 7th St. Each had strong espressos, with quality almond milk. I am truly overjoyed to find so many great coffee shops.

While this is not a comprehensive list of coffee shops that serve the best almond milk iced lattes, it was great start. The adventure has only just begun.