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Chinese Almond Milk Recipe: How to Make This Delicious Drink at Home

If you're looking for a dairy-free alternative to traditional milk, Chinese almond milk is a delicious and nutritious option. This plant-based milk is made from almonds, rice, and water, and is a popular drink in China and other parts of Asia. Not only is it vegan and lactose-free, but it's also packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health.

A pot simmering with almonds, water, and sugar. A muslin cloth strained the mixture into a pitcher

Understanding how to make Chinese almond milk is easy, and you don't need any special equipment to get started. All you need is a blender, some almonds, rice, and water, and you're ready to go. The process involves soaking the almonds and rice in water, blending them together, and then straining the mixture to remove any solids. The resulting liquid is a creamy, nutty milk that can be used in a variety of ways, from drinking it straight to using it in recipes.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese almond milk is a dairy-free milk alternative made from almonds, rice, and water.
  • Making Chinese almond milk is easy and requires only a blender and a few simple ingredients.
  • Chinese almond milk is versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes, including seafood-based dishes.

Understanding Almond Milk

A bowl of soaked almonds, a blender, and a strainer on a kitchen counter. Ingredients like water and sweeteners are nearby

Almond milk is a plant-based milk alternative that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It is made by blending almonds with water and then straining out the solids, resulting in a creamy, slightly nutty-flavoured milk. Almond milk is a great option for those who are lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply looking for a dairy-free alternative.

Almond Varieties

There are two main types of almonds used to make almond milk: sweet and bitter. Sweet almonds are the most commonly used variety and are safe to eat raw or roasted. Bitter almonds, on the other hand, contain a chemical called amygdalin, which can be toxic in large amounts. Bitter almonds are typically used to make almond extract, but they can also be used to make almond milk if they are first blanched to remove the toxic compound.

Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts

Almond milk is a great source of protein, calcium, iron, and fiber. It is also low in cholesterol and high in unsaturated fatty acids, making it a heart-healthy option. Almond milk is also a good source of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage.

Here are some of the key nutrition facts for a 240ml (1 cup) serving of unsweetened almond milk:

  • Calories: 30
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 2.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Calcium: 45% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin D: 25% of the DV
  • Vitamin E: 50% of the DV

Proposed seafood suggestion: While seafood is not typically used in almond milk recipes, you can incorporate seafood into your diet by pairing almond milk with a seafood dish. For example, you could try making a seafood chowder with almond milk instead of dairy milk. Alternatively, you could use almond milk in a seafood-based smoothie, such as a green smoothie with spinach, avocado, and shrimp.

Preparation Essentials

A kitchen counter with a bowl of soaked almonds, a blender, a strainer, and a pitcher for straining almond milk

Before you start preparing your Chinese almond milk, there are a few essentials that you should keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Selecting Ingredients

The key ingredient in Chinese almond milk is, of course, almonds. When selecting almonds, look for fresh, raw, and unsalted ones. You can use either sweet or bitter almonds, or a combination of both, depending on your preference. In addition to almonds, you will also need water and a sweetener such as honey or sugar.

If you want to add some seafood to your almond milk recipe, you can use a small amount of dried shrimp or scallops. These ingredients can add a unique flavour to your almond milk, but be sure to use them sparingly as they can easily overpower the other ingredients.

Soaking and Straining

Soaking the almonds is an essential step in making Chinese almond milk. Soaking helps to soften the almonds and makes them easier to blend. To soak the almonds, simply place them in a bowl and cover them with water. Let them soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.

After the almonds have soaked, it's time to strain them. Drain the soaking water and rinse the almonds thoroughly. Then, add the almonds to a blender along with fresh water. Blend until the almonds are finely ground.

To strain the almond milk, use a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Pour the blended mixture through the sieve or cheesecloth and into a bowl. Use a spatula to press the mixture against the sieve or cheesecloth to extract as much milk as possible.

By following these simple steps, you can easily prepare delicious Chinese almond milk at home.

Cooking Process

A pot simmers on the stove. Almonds are being blended into a creamy liquid. A hint of vanilla and sweetness fills the air

Boiling and Adjusting Texture

To make Chinese almond milk, you will need to start by boiling water in a pot over medium heat. Once the water comes to a boil, add the soaked apricot kernels and brown rice mixture and cook for 20 minutes until it is fully cooked. After that, use a high-speed blender to blend the mixture with 600ml of hot water.

If you want to adjust the texture of your almond milk, you can add more or less water to the blender depending on your preference. For a thicker consistency, you can add less water, and for a thinner consistency, you can add more water.

Flavour Enhancement

To enhance the flavour of your Chinese almond milk, you can add sugar and almond extract to the blender before blending. You can adjust the amount of sugar and almond extract based on your taste preference.

As a suggestion, you can also consider adding seafood to your almond milk recipe. For example, you can add dried scallops or shrimp to the boiling water to infuse the broth with seafood flavour. Alternatively, you can serve your almond milk with seafood dishes such as seafood stir-fry or grilled prawns for a unique flavour combination.

Remember to adjust the seasoning and texture of your almond milk to your liking and experiment with different flavour combinations to find the perfect recipe for you.

Specialty Almond Milk Recipes

A woman in a traditional Chinese kitchen pours almond milk into a decorative porcelain bowl, surrounded by ingredients like almonds, sugar, and a small pot on a stove

Almond Tofu

Almond tofu is a popular Chinese dessert made from almond milk and gelatin. It is a refreshing and healthy dessert that is perfect for hot summer days. To make almond tofu, you will need to purchase apricot kernels, boil and grind them, then press the almond milk from the mixture. You can also use store-bought almond milk if you prefer.

To make almond tofu, you will need:

  • 2 cups of almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of gelatin
  • 1/4 cup of water
  1. In a small bowl, mix the gelatin with 1/4 cup of water and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the almond milk and sugar over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the gelatin mixture. Stir until the gelatin dissolves.
  4. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours until it sets.
  5. Once set, cut the almond tofu into small cubes and serve chilled.

Apricot Kernel Milk

Apricot kernel milk, also known as "Nan Xing Milk" or "Southern Almond Milk," is a traditional Chinese drink made from apricot kernels. It is a healthy and nutritious drink that is believed to have many health benefits, including improving your skin and hair.

To make apricot kernel milk, you will need:

  • 1 cup of apricot kernels (南杏)
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (optional)
  1. Rinse the apricot kernels with water and soak them in water for at least 2 hours.
  2. Drain the water and blend the apricot kernels with 4 cups of water until smooth.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any solids.
  4. Add sugar to taste, if desired.
  5. Serve chilled.

Seafood Suggestion: You can add some dried scallops to the apricot kernel milk to enhance the flavour. Soak the dried scallops in water until they are soft, then add them to the mixture before blending.

Serving Suggestions

A table set with a bowl of Chinese almond milk, surrounded by fresh almonds, a decorative spoon, and a sprig of mint

Desserts and Fruits

Chinese almond milk is a versatile drink that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a variety of desserts and fruits. If you're looking for a light and refreshing dessert, try serving Chinese almond milk with fresh berries such as strawberries or a fruit cocktail. Mandarin oranges and canned fruit also pair well with the subtle nutty flavour of almond milk.

For a more indulgent treat, consider serving Chinese almond milk with a slice of cake or a scoop of ice cream. The creamy texture of the almond milk complements rich desserts, creating a balanced and satisfying flavour profile.

Presentation Tips

When serving Chinese almond milk, presentation is key. Consider serving the almond milk in a clear glass to showcase its pale, creamy colour. You can also add a few drops of food colouring to create a more vibrant drink.

To make your presentation even more impressive, try adding a few slices of fresh fruit to the glass. The bright colours of the fruit will contrast beautifully with the almond milk, creating a visually appealing drink that is sure to impress your guests.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can even experiment with adding seafood to your Chinese almond milk recipe. Shrimp or prawns can add a savoury twist to the drink, while crab meat can create a creamy, indulgent flavour. Just be sure to use fresh seafood and cook it thoroughly before adding it to the almond milk.

Frequently Asked Questions

A bowl of freshly made Chinese almond milk surrounded by ingredients like almonds, sugar, and water, with a recipe book open to the "Frequently Asked Questions" section

What are the health benefits of Chinese almond milk?

Chinese almond milk is a healthy and nutritious drink that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is known to improve digestion, boost immunity, and promote healthy skin. Chinese almond milk is also a great source of protein, making it an excellent drink for vegetarians and vegans.

How can I make a simple Chinese almond milk at home?

Making Chinese almond milk at home is quick and easy. All you need is some apricot kernels, water, and a blender. Soak the apricot kernels in water for a few hours, then blend them with fresh water until smooth. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag to remove any solids. You can add sweeteners like honey or sugar to taste.

What's the difference between Chinese almond milk and regular almond milk?

Chinese almond milk is made from apricot kernels, while regular almond milk is made from almonds. Chinese almond milk has a nuttier and slightly sweeter taste than regular almond milk. Chinese almond milk is also known to have more health benefits than regular almond milk.

Can Chinese almond milk help soothe a cough?

Yes, Chinese almond milk is known to help soothe a cough. It is a traditional remedy for coughs and respiratory problems in Chinese medicine. You can add some honey to your Chinese almond milk to make it more effective in soothing a cough.

What are some traditional Chinese almond desserts I can try?

There are many traditional Chinese almond desserts that you can try, such as almond tofu, almond cookies, and almond jelly. These desserts are easy to make and are perfect for any occasion. You can also add seafood like prawns or scallops to your almond desserts for a unique flavour.

How is Chinese almond tea powder used in recipes?

Chinese almond tea powder is a popular ingredient in many Chinese desserts and drinks. It is made from roasted apricot kernels and has a nutty and slightly sweet flavour. You can use Chinese almond tea powder in your recipes to add a unique flavour and aroma to your dishes. You can also add seafood like shrimp or crab to your almond tea powder recipes for a savoury twist.