Chocolate Almond Milk & A Trip to VRG

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almond milk, chocolate almond milk, vegan milk, vegetarian milk My dietetic internship is finally is coming to a close – only 4 more weeks!  And after 10 months of long days, intense classes and enough driving to last me a lifetime, our internship director has been nice enough to provide us with some not so intense and really fun activity days.  Like this past Friday, we got to go on a really cool field trip to the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) in Baltimore, MD.

chocolatealmondmilk2 It was such a fun a day!  We learned all about the VRG, what they do, how they’re involved in the profession of dietetics and how they can help us effectively educate clients who are vegetarian or vegan.  One of the best things about this group is the massive amount of education they provide to the public.  Really, really massive amounts.  Anything you could think you even MIGHT want to know, they have.  You have to check out their website:  http://www.vrg.org.

chocolatealmondmilk4 Before we arrived on Friday, the VRG director gave us a little “homework” to do – we had to create a vegan snack to share with our group plus a few of the employees there.  Awesome!  My typa homework!  I thought about making all types of snacks – cookies were my first idea.  But I knew my friend Amy would totally be baking something – she’s the resident intern baker (check out her blog here).  Can’t compete with a seasoned baker!

chocolatealmondmilk3 However, what I could do though, was make something to go along WITH her delicious cookies (and they were delicious)!  OK soooo what goes really well with cookies?  Milk, of course!  I couldn’t bring cow’s milk obviously, so I decided to whip up a batch of my homemade almond milk.  I think my plain almond milk is pretty good, but I wanted  to make it a little more special for this fun event.

chocolatealmondmilk5 Enter in:  homemade chocolate almond milk!  Yum!  This was probably the most decadent and rich almond milk I’ve ever made.  And just as easy too (for those of you who have never made almond milk, SO easy).  I used unprocessed and unsweetened cocoa powder which gives this milk a really rich flavor – kinda of like dark chocolate.  The espresso and vanilla really bump up the “chocolatiness” of the milk – if you don’t have these ingredients or don’t want to use them, that’s totally fine.  The chia seeds are also optional.  But they give the milk a nice mouth feel – similar to 1% milk which makes you feel like you’re getting a decadent treat!

Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Almond Milk:
Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw almonds, soaked (either overnight or in boiling water for 4 hrs) See 2nd picture above for the difference between a soaked and unsoaked almond.
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp brewed espresso or strong coffee
  • 1/4-1/3 cup unprocessed, unsweetened cocoa powder (start with smaller amounts and continue to add until desired to flavor)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup agave syrup (or other equivalent amount of sweetener; start with smaller amounts and continue to add until desired to flavor)
  • tiny pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Soak your almonds either over night (about 8 hrs) or cover them with boiling water for about 4 hours.  Drain and rinse almonds a few times.
  2. In a high powered blender, add in almonds, water, vanilla, espresso, cocoa powder, sweetener, salt and chia seeds.
  3. Blend on high speed for about 3-4 minutes or until all ingredients are completely pulverized – nothing remains.
  4. Taste milk and adjust for seasonings.  Depending on how chocolately or sweet you like it, add more of the cocoa powder or sweetener.
  5. Strain milk mixture through a nut milk bag (you can buy them here).  Pour into pitcher, cover and refrigerate until cold.
  6. Milk will stay fresh for about 4 days store covered in the refrigerator.  Serve ice cold.  You can keep the remains of the blended almonds and bake with it.  I do not have any recipes on that yet, as I’m not a great baker.

You tell me!  Have you ever made your own nut milk?  What’s your favorite type of alternative milk – soy, almond, coconut?

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