from Tom Billings

Posted: Tue, 22 Jul 1997
Last Updated: 07 Aug 97

The material below is an edited, revised version of material originally posted on the veg-raw e-mail list in February, 1996.

First, I will present a detailed description of the method I use to make milk substitutes, then will describe some simplifications/options in making it. Equipment needed: stainless steel sieve with handle (2-3 cup capacity), bowl of a size such that the sieve can rest on its rim, cotton handkerchief (clean), tablespoon or similar large spoon, blender.

Time 0:
Take 1/3 cup unhulled sprouting oats, and: 1/4 cup sprouting wheat -or- other grains/seeds, and soak in water. Take 15 (large) - 20 (small) almonds and soak in water. After 30-90 minutes, change almond soak water (note first water is brownish with tannic acid). You may lose some water soluble nutrients, but you also lose much of the tannic acid; changing the water once gives a sweeter, final product. Note: the almonds are soaked separately from the grains. The oats and other grains/seeds are generally soaked and sprouted together, but they can be done separately if desired.

Time: 0.5 days
Take oat/wheat or oat/rice out of soak and put in sprouting environment. Similar for almonds, but sprout separately from grains. Optional: in a very small container, put 1 teaspoon of flax seed, and a small amount of cardamom seed, in water to soak: refrigerate. Place 10-12 lotus seeds in a small amount of water, and refrigerate.

Time: 1.0 day
Rinse oats and almonds in sprouting environment

Time: 1.5 days
Rinse oats again in sprouting environment. Rinse almonds and remove from sprouting environment - refrigerate.

Time: approx. 2.0 days
Now it is time to make the sprout milk. Begin by peeling the sprouted almonds. This is made much easier if you blanch the almond sprouts by putting them in a sieve and running hot water (from the faucet, 140 deg F, not boiling water!) over them for about 20-30 seconds. Peel almonds and set aside (blanch can be done earlier, at 1.5 days, if that is easier for you). Note: if doing more than 20 almonds, blanch only 20 at a time. If you do too many at once, they cool off and peeling becomes difficult.

Take grain out of sprouting environment, and (optional) soaked flaxseed from refrigerator - rinse in sieve, put in blender. Take 1.75 cups water, put half in blender with grain. Run blender at medium for about 60 seconds. Then add the rest of water, run on high another 60 seconds. Then turn down to low, let run for 1 minute at least.

Place the sieve on the rim of a bowl. Turn off blender, pour contents into sieve. Use large spoon to stir mixture, with liquid draining into bowl. Use 1/3 cup water to rinse blender, put rinse water into sieve. Using spoon to apply pressure to sprout pulp in sieve, press as much liquid out of material as possible. Discard pulp, clean sieve. Rinse blender again, discarding rinse water. Now put peeled almonds in clean blender, also drain soaked lotus seeds and place in blender. Can add optional ingredients in blender here: sweetener - 1+ tbsp raw honey, or freeze dried sugarcane juice. Flavorings: 1/2 level tsp of cinnamon, or 1/2 inch of vanilla bean. Other options: small amount of acidophilus powder.

Now line the sieve with clean handkerchief, and strain the milk mixture through it into the blender. Use handkerchief to make a small bag in the sieve; lift bag up and down to speed filtration. When most of the liquid has drained through the sieve, use large spoon to press remaining pulp in the wet handkerchief. Later, wash handkerchief (can use cheesecloth here instead). This step is not absolutely necessary, but it makes a smoother product and removes tiny oat hull pieces not filtered out in the first filtration.

Now turn blender on medium for a few seconds to grind up almonds. Then turn to low and let run for 2 minutes. Finally, you're done. Pour sprout milk into glasses (will yield 2 good sized glasses, about 3 cups), refrigerate. Will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.