Recipes: Activated Almond Milk

Almond Milk1To activate nuts means to soak and dehydrate them, releasing the enzyme inhibitors and naturally occurring chemicals that protect the nut from animals, bacteria, viruses and weather.  This compound, called phytic acid, is the principle storage form of phosphorous in plant tissues, especially found in bran, nuts and seeds.  Phytate, as it’s called in salt form, is not digestible to humans or non-ruminate animals because we lack the enzyme phytase that is required to the remove phosphates.  When we consume phytic acid, it makes essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron unabsorbable in our bodies.

So simply said: we want to soak, activate and sprout nuts and seeds for optimal nutrition.  Each nut, seed and grain has a different length of time that it should be soaked or sprouted.  This Soak + Sprout guide shows the different times:
sprouting-chart1Soaking and sprouting mimics germination, essentially waking up the nut or seed so that we can absorb the highest amount of nutrition it has to offer.  By soaking with just a little bit of lemon juice, it helps neutralize the phytic acid.  When making activated almonds, you can soak and dehydrate several cups of nuts at one time for a large batch, then freeze what you don’t use in an airtight container to always have some on hand when making milks, flours or snacks.

almonmilk2ACTIVATED ALMOND MILK

1 cup activated almonds
4 cups filtered water
pinch Himalayan pink salt or sea salt

Optional Flavorings:
1 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
2-3 dates
1 tbsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 tsp rosewater

To Activate Almonds, place 2 cups of unroasted, unsalted raw almonds in a bowl with a squeeze of lemon juice and cover with purified water.  Soak for 8 hours.  Drain and rinse well. If you’re in a hurry, it’s okay to go ahead and use the nuts now for milks or other recipes. If you want to go the next step to “activate” then you’ll proceed to dry them out again. If you own a dehydrator, spread on your dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for 12-24 hours to dry.  Otherwise, spread thin on a baking sheet and cover with a porous cloth to allow air in while drying.

To Make Milk, place 1 cup activated almonds, water and your flavors of choice into a high-speed blender.  Blend smooth and frothy.  Pour through a nut milk bag, cheesecloth, or other fine mesh strainer to separate the pulp from the liquid.  Store the milk in an airtight container in your fridge for 3-5 days.

To Make Almond Flour, save your pulp to make almond flour by spreading thin on a teflex sheet and dehydrating for 6-8 hours.  Once dry, add the pulp back into your blender or food processor and grind into a fine powder.  Store in an airtight container in your freezer.  If you don’t have a dehydrator, spread thin on a baking sheet and place in oven on lowest temp for 10-15 minutes, checking frequently to ensure it does not burn.  Baking it in the oven isn’t truly “raw status”, but it still provides you with homemade almond flour that’s great for making gluten-free treats.

Dosha Qualities
Decreases Vata (-)
Decreases Pitta (-)
Increases Kapha (+)

13 Comments

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13 responses to “Recipes: Activated Almond Milk”

  1. Nicole says:

    Are there any compounds released that are in soaked nuts that would cause allergic reactions that are not normally seen when the whole nut is consumed? Previously I thought my husband was allergic to something in commercial nut milk (like an additive) but when I made hazelnut milk (and used both the milk and meal in banana pancakes) this week, in less than 30 minutes he had a reaction. He’s also had the reaction to coconut milk and soy milk even though he can eat coconut/drink coconut water and eat tofu/edamame without a problem.

    • Hi Nicole! This is a curious question, it sounds like he is reacting to a preservative in the boxed milk alternatives, but it would not explain why he reacted to your homemade sprouted hazelnut milk. Have you tried an allergy elimination diet to see if he’s having reactions to more than just nuts/seeds?

  2. Liana Lawrence says:

    HI THE FULL SOAKING CHART IS NOT VISIBLE ON THE PAGE
    also I
    understand that most of the phytic acid in almonds are in the skin and
    may not be good to include in almond flour. Shold one then blanch the
    almonds to remove the brown sheath?

    • Hi Liana! Thanks for the heads up about the soaking/sprouting chart – it’s showing up normal on my computer but I’ll look into the back end of things and see what could be happening. For the skin question, soaking them should assist in removing the enzyme inhibitors, you can even add a little acid (lemon juice or apple cider vinegar) to the water to help break it down more. Sally Fallon talks about this method in her book “Nourishing Traditions”. If you’d like to skin the almonds, you can certainly do this, too. To make the process quicker, I put the soaked/dried almonds in a towel and rub them together to help remove the skins. Or you can make it a labor of love and sing/chant a mantra as you peel each almond 🙂

      • Liana Lawrence says:

        many thanks for an answer. can I use homemade whey and sea salt to soak the nits in? I would love to see the full circular chart! is there a way to email it to me? maybe it does not display well in firefox browser.

  3. Mark Raymond says:

    You mention soaking and dehydrating. Dont you mean rehydrating? To add water to the dried nuts is rehydrating…

    • Hi Mark! Great question. You soak them overnight to release the phytic acid and can either use them after this when they’re still moist for almond milk or another desired recipe. Or you can spread them on a baking sheet or dehydrator sheet to dry them out again to have around for snacks – this is process or soaking then rehydrating is called “activating” the nuts, making them easier to digest.

  4. Fei says:

    Hello, what is the lemon juice for soaking the almond?

  5. Fei says:

    What is the benefit for soaking the almonds with lemon juice?

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