Day 5: How to Make Homemade Almond Milk


Truth be told, I still purchase cow's milk for my daughters (gasp I know).  I also on occasion drink it myself in the form of a latte, which honestly is quite rare as I prefer an Americano or regular coffee over many special drinks.  

A couple months back I was having some away time to write and noticed the coffee shop offered almond milk.  This isn't too surprising to find in a place like Bellingham with independent coffee shops, but it's also not the norm.  So, I took the barista up on the offer and bought a maple (almond milk) latte (yes real maple syrup).  Upon the first drink...bleh.  I'm a firm believer in giving food second & third chances.  Another drink...ugh, no dice.  It tasted like uncooked bacon or something.  Not the most appealing taste lingering on one's tongue.  

I would give that boxed almond milk another chance a couple other times; but, to no avail, the uncooked bacon taste.  It was then and there I would pick up the anchor and make some at home.  I was certain it was the additives in the milk that made it less than appealing.  Sure enough, my homemade almond milk was superb.  That already milky-like taste in almonds came through in the milk.  Steamed some up for lattes and it was no different.  Plus, super easy to make without utilizing a Vita-mix or Blendtec blender.  Use this in place of the milk to make your homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte. 

Homemade Almond Milk (printable recipe)

You can use a linen kitchen towel instead of cheesecloth, just not terry cloth.  You can also keep the almond pulp to use for future baking.  Simply spread on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 350.  Cool and store in fridge or freezer.  


1/2 cup raw almonds

3 cups water

2-3 Tb pure maple syrup (grade B)

1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt


  1. Soak almonds in a jar covered with purified water (using your Brita works fine) overnight or 8 hours.  
  2. Rinse your almonds, discarding the soaking water.
  3. Place almonds & 3 cups water into a blender.  If using a regular blender (non-Vita-mix or Blendtec), fold a kitchen towel and place on top of lid.  Puree or liquify the almonds & water until almonds have been thoroughly pulverized.  This can take about 45 seconds.  
  4. Take cheesecloth, folded, and line it in a sieve.  Put that cheesecloth lined sieve over a bowl and pour the almond mixture through.  The cheesecloth will catch the almond pulp.  
  5. Take the ends of the cheesecloth and wrap it up, in order to keep the almond pulp inside and squeeze the remaining milk out.  
  6. Add the maple syrup for taste to add a bit of sweetness.  Or if you are avoiding extra sugars, don't add it.  **You could use honey instead, or use a couple medjool dates while the almonds & water are being blended.**
  7. Store in the fridge for 3-5 days, or check for smell.  If it tastes sour, then it's time to throw it out.  

This is part of the Opening the Door to Autumn's Harvest Series

Spicy Coconut Green Bean & Sausage One Pot Wonder


We ate this at my in-laws house over Christmas and I loved it. If you were to step in my mother-in-law's (Cherie) kitchen, she would be the first to boast of her ineptitude in the kitchen. However, I think she's much harder on herself than anything. So I'm here to boast of her dish and give it special spot on my recipe wall of Fame. It's simple, quick, tasty, you can forgo the small pan to toast the nuts and make it in one pot. Plus, it has cumin, fits our eating plan & did I mention tasty? Try it.


A Year Ago: Posole & Cinnamon-Almond Danish Rolls

Spicy Coconut Green Bean & Sausage One Pot Wonder (printable recipe)

My sweet mother-in-law made this for us while we were visiting during Christmas. I made a couple changes...mainly increasing the amount of cumin, because lime/cumin/pepper flakes are divine.


1Tb olive oil or coconut oil

2 Tb blanched slivered almonds

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 Tb + 1 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp cumin seed

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp paprika

1/2 - 1 tsp red chili pepper

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1 lb sausage (pastured-raised)

1 can coconut milk (full fat)

1 lb of trimmed green beans, or broccoli

Juice of 1 lime (or two if you like)

Directions: In a small saucepan, heat 1 Tb olive oil or coconut oil over low-medium heat. Add slivered blanched almonds and
toast. Constantly stirring the almonds to avoid burning (it doesn't take long to toast). Transfer the almonds to a small bowl and set aside for later. In a large saucepan, add the remaining Tb of olive or coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions, stirring until they get a bit soft. Add the garlic & stir (about 20 seconds). Add all spices, ground cumin, cumin seed, coriander, paprika, and red pepper chili flakes. Now, stir constantly for 30 seconds to 1 minute. The goal is to toast the cumin seeds and cook up the spices. It will get a bit dry and that's okay--just keep stirring.

Add the sausage & salt to the pan and thoroughly stir the onion/garlic/spice mixture into the sausage. Continue stirring occasionally until the sausage is completely cooked. Pour the coconut milk in, stir. Add trimmed green beans and stir around. Turn the heat to low and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Cover the pan and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes (depending on how soft you like your green beans). Squeeze fresh lime juice over it and stir. Add the toasted almonds and serve.

Satisfaction & Lemon Ricotta Muffins

We've been busy, but that seems like a typical December response. Our oldest began her special little school this past week. It seemed harder for me than her. I'm amazed by her growth. This little girl is showing signs of improvement with every week, which makes me excited with anticipation to see it all unfold.

As I see life twirling around with what seems longer lines and crowded parking lots, I've been reminded to breathe and bring in my family to bunker down. Each night we light our Advent candle, read a small portion of Scripture, say a prayer of thanksgiving and see which girl gets to blow out the candle to conclude one more day.  I'm so thankful that I'm able to be in a season of seeing each day as a gift these days.  When I look back on the summer, walking in some of the darkest days I've known to see God's grace & faithfulness on the other end.  And now here I am in the season of Advent to welcome in the coming of not only Jesus' birth, but the reminder that he will again bring hope.

So remind me of this moment friends...when I begin to worry about whether V will move beyond her current developmental delays, about my health or my families', or anything else under the sun (you can fill in your own blank here), that there lies a hope, which I find in this Advent season.  I think King David puts it well:

I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.

Here's to some satisfaction with yummy muffins.  I have yet to make anything with gluten for a while, so these are from this summer.  However, I think they are fitting for any season, especially a Saturday morning cozy with your loved ones.  Where are you finding satisfaction or sharing that these days?

A Year Ago: Intensely Chocolate Cake & Cranberry-Orange Crostata

Lemon Ricotta Muffins (printable recipe)

This recipe is adapted very slightly from Giada De Laurentis.


2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Tb lemon zest
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 Tb fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup thinly sliced almonds

raw sugar for sprinkling
Directions:  Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with papers.  In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, & salt, whisk together.

In a large bowl, (or bowl of an electric mixer) using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter & lemon zest until light & fluffy (2 minutes).  Beat in the ricotta.  Then, beat in the egg, lemon juice, & almond extract until just combined.  Slowly add the dry ingredients and stir till just combined (the batter will be thick).

Scoop the batter evenly among the 12 lined muffin cups.  Sprinkle with thinly sliced almonds & some raw sugar on top of muffins.  Bake until the muffins just become pale golden on top, about 20 minutes (it will smell amazing).  Cool slightly.  Serve warm or at room temperature.