Simplified: Homemade Almond Milk & Chai Spice Chia Pudding

I’ve spent a lot of time lately doing things to simplify my life, like selling and donating about 70% of my possessions (and I’m not done yet!) and moving into a tiny, cheap apartment for the summer -since I’m de-cluttering my life in so many ways, it seemed only natural to extend it to the kitchen, which had me craving a super simple breakfast this morning.

I’ve definitely mentioned before that my favourite recipes are always the simplest ones, like these raw vegan Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies, which my friend Chris recently suggested would go deliciously well with a super easy Almond Milk, like the one we’re making today!

Raw food pushes all of the right buttons for me in terms of super simple recipes – no cooking time, no processed foods with extra ingredients, just some real foods, some chopping, blending, soaking, marinating and we’re generally ready to go. So, uh, let’s grab some almonds, some chia seeds, some spices, and get to ‘er!

I have to admit there was a slight ulterior motive to my almond milk craving this morning – coffee! The times when I do want a milk in my coffee, homemade almond is definitely my first choice – creamy enough, neutral tasting, and no weird curdling happens! I soaked some almonds overnight, and “milked” up a batch this morning, with more than enough for coffee and a simple, quick & delish little Chia Seed Pudding to fill my belly! Om nom nom.

Almond Milk

This recipe can generally be used to make any type of nut or seed milk, with a 1:4 ratio of nut/seed:water, and varied soaking time depending on your nuts (heh). Hemp seeds are one of the easiest, requiring no soaking whatsoever, but hemp milk is also more likely to curdle if you use it in a coffee or another warmed situation, so keep that in mind!

1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight (1-2 hours can be sufficient if you’re in a rush)
4 cups water
Optional: dash of sea salt, 1-2 medjool dates/tbsp agave, dash of vanilla extract

Soak almonds overnight, or for a few hours/however long you’ve got. Drain and rinse almonds, and place in blender with 4 cups of water (or less if you want a reeeeeeally creamy milk), and any of the “optional” ingredients. Blend until almonds are a fine pulp.

Place a nut milk bag (or “nut sack” as my friend Megan likes to call it), cheesecloth, or fine mesh strainer over a medium-sized bowl, and pour the contents of your blender in. You’re going to need to “milk” the bag a bit to get all the liquid through. When you’re all done, you’ll have a big ol’ bowl of milk, and a bunch of dry-ish almond pulp leftover. The pulp can be used to make anything from almond “parmesan” cheese, or as a “flour” in cookies, breads, crackers or anything else you can imagine!

The nutsack:

The pulp:

The milk!

Milk stores about 5 days in an air-tight container in the fridge, but is best when it’s super fresh.

Ok, so, now that we’ve milked our almonds, what do we do?!

Drink some coffee and look down on the city:

Make some Chai Spice Chia Seed Pudding!

This is a fave breakfast “cereal” of mine, packed with omega-3’s, calcium, protein and fibre, chia seeds are also amazing at keeping you hydrated throughout the day due to all the moisture they absorb and hold! My usual go-to flavour is Chocolate, but I opted for a new flavour combo this a.m. – a spicy-sweet Chai pudding! You can throw in any spicy-spices you like, but I went with some cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne and vanilla here! And sweetened only with a banana, yum.

Chai Chia Seed Pudding (say that 5 times fast!)

1 cup almond milk
1 banana
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg
dash cayenne
dash sea salt
dash organic vanilla extract

1/4 cup chia seeds
optional: cacao nibs, hemp seeds, shredded coconut, other nuts/seeds, sliced banana

Combine first set of ingredients in blender until smooth. Combine this mixture with chia seeds in small mixing bowl or serving bowl (I skip a dish and just mix ‘er up in the bowl I’m eating out of!), making sure it’s well mixed and not clumps of chia seeds remain. Allow to sit 10-15 minutes, until seeds have soaked up liquid and pudding is thick. Top with additional optional ingredients for texture and fun, and then om nom nom down!

Now it’s time for me to go frolic in the sun before I whip up a simple little raw dinner, I’m thinking nori rolls…or a burger.

What are your favourite simple recipes? Or are you a fan of more complicated dishes?

4 thoughts on “Simplified: Homemade Almond Milk & Chai Spice Chia Pudding

  1. So cool. I like your recipe. So creative. And thanks for the plug to my blog. Hoping you are enjoying the hot sunny weather in TO. Finally, this weekend, summer as hit here on the coast. Stay well. Chris.

  2. I think I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow. I’ve missed your blog because your posts always tell me what to eat. I’ve been starving here! Like the idea of blending the banana and almond mild, never thought of that!

  3. I finally bought chia seeds the other day so I think I’ll definitely use the spices and chia to make chai chia oats for tomorrow. Sounds super tasty. Love the cayenne for a real kick in the morning!

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