About Sprouted Almonds
It's easy to sprout almonds. In just 10-12 hours the goodness locked inside the kernel changes into a growing, living food. Sprouted almonds are moister, softer to chew, and easier to digest. They taste so much sweeter and lose that strong “almondy” flavor The sweetness is a definite plus!
Sprouting enlivens the enzymes that are dormant within each almond. These enzymes activate when they come in contact with water (the soaking process), and the nuts are “awakened”. The potential growth for each almond is to become a tree—and when we eat sprouted almonds our bodies receive this concentrated vital energy and nutrition (page 20).
If I run out of sprouted almonds, that’s okay—unsprouted almonds are nutritious too. There are times when we make milk this way, having forgotten to start the sprouting process the day before, or because we’ve used up all the milk. But I try to make sure that most of the time the almonds are soaked. One good reason is because the fat digesting enzyme, lipase, is only available to humans once the almonds have sprouted. Otherwise this enzyme remains dormant because of the almonds' own enzyme inhibitors that change only when conditions become favorable for its growth (soaking). This is why seeds can still sprout after hundreds of years.
Sprouted almond milk has a natural sweetness and a delicate flavor that stands on its own. Adding a few cashews creates a creamier milk with more “body” that can be used with every dish. Vanilla is like “icing on the cake”, and honey is not necessary at all.
Unsprouted almond milk has a stronger “almondy” flavor, just like eating raw almonds. This is why honey and vanilla are in the recipe—to add sweetness and flavor.
Steps To Sprout Almonds
Use only raw, whole, unpeeled almonds. I start soaking either in the morning, or the night before. Check the almonds and discard any that are broken - these can be used in other recipes.
1. Put 1/2 cup almonds in a wide mouth glass jar or ceramic container.
2. Cover with two cups of pure, cold water.
3. Place anywhere in the kitchen away from direct sunlight to keep from overheating the water. Almonds do not need light to sprout, only normal room temperatures. Soak for about 10 - 12 hours. I like to rinse the almonds after they have soaked for several hours, then cover again with fresh water and continue the process.
4. After soaking for 10-12 hours, pour the water off the almonds (or directly through a strainer) and rinse with cold water. Don’t be surprised that the water is brown. This comes from the cinnamon colored skins. Drain.
5. Keep the almonds in the glass jar and cover. Or, if using a strainer, slip it inside a clean zip lock bag to hold in the moisture. Refrigerate.
6. Leave the almonds in the jar, or wrapped, until you are ready to use them. The almonds will become even sweeter and moister in another day.
Remember to rinse and drain the almonds each day. Store remaining almonds in the refrigerator—they will stay fresh for 4 - 5 days. If at any time they develop an odor, taste bitter, or look mildewed, throw them out and start another batch.