Perhaps the best part of driver’s ed my freshman summer of high school – besides the invaluable lessons I gained in conducting myself on the road, of course – was my instructor, Wendell. Not only did he have the innate ability to grunt instructions without sounding cross, he loved donuts. A man after my own heart.
Wendell took a poll one day and we all agreed that we should steer our school’s light blue driver’s ed van toward the Lamar’s Donuts one town over and load up with sugar, fat and dairy be before we set off for hours of driving practice.
As a high schooler, my absolute favorite thing to get at a donut shop was a maple long john (or two) and a jug of full fat chocolate milk. Oh glory. I know, the two worst things I could possibly pick for myself nutritionally speaking. But, I was 15 years old, rail thin and going to school in the SUMMER to learn how to drive. CUT ME SOME SLACK.
The moral of the story: My love for neither maple long johns nor super thick chocolate milk has faded. But what has changed is my body’s apparent inability to process dairy anymore. So, while I can still indulge in a donut every once in a while, the milk thing has got to change.
Enter: Homemade Super Thick Chocolate Almond Milk. It’s dairy free and soooooo delicious!
This milk is simple to make, requiring just 3 ingredients and supplies you likely have on hand. Ingredients are:
Dairy-free dark chocolate
Equipment includes a decent-quality blender and a very thin towel, cheesecloth or nut milk bag. You can try with a fine mesh strainer but I didn’t have much luck (too pulpy and I’m not much for pulp in my milk).
The best part is, you can make this in one afternoon if you’re in a hurry. Thanks to the genius of Kathy, we now know you can actually soak your almonds in boiling water, which makes them ready to blend into milk in about an hour!
But, for those of us who aren’t in a time crunch, overnight soaking is the way to go. The almonds are able to take their time and soak to get all plump and doubled in size for blending.
This almond milk is just what I was hoping for:
Not too sweet
And totally delicious with a donut (or anything)
I hope enjoy this milk! I’ve nearly finished mine off and am already dreaming up other variations. Votes on flavor ideas are welcome below.
- 1.5 cups raw almonds
- 3.5-4 cups filtered water
- 1 cup dairy-free dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped*
- Soak your almonds in warm water overnight at room temperature. Cover with enough water to ensure they're fully immersed plus 1 inch of water. No need to cover. If you're in a hurry, use boiling water - should reduce soaking time to 1 hour.
- The next day, drain and rinse your almonds under cool running water.
- Add almonds to a blender with 3.5 - 4 cups filtered water (the more water, the thinner it will be) and cover tightly with lid and a towel just in case any liquid seeps through.
- Blend on high for 1 minute or until the milk looks creamy and only small bits of almonds are visible.
- To strain the almond milk you can either use a nut milk bag, cheesecloth or my favorite: a super thin clean dish towel. Simply lay the towel over a mixing bowl and pour on almond milk, then gather the corners of the towel, lift and gently squeeze the liquid into the bowl until only the pulp remains. See this recipe for more visual help.
- Once the milk is thoroughly strained, you can either keep the pulp to add to baked goods (such as muffins, quick breads, granolas) or discard it. Your choice.
- To a separate small bowl, add your chocolate and melt in 30 second increments in the microwave, or over a double boiler (a large bowl over a saucepan with an inch of simmering water).
- Once melted, spoon 1/3 cup of almond milk into the bowl and whisk to combine. You're wanting a chocolate "sauce" so it will more easily mix with the milk.
- Once combined, add to the almond milk and whisk until well combined. Taste and adjust flavor. You could add more melted chocolate using the same method, or even another sweetener of choice or cocoa powder for a more well-rounded chocolate flavor.
- Transfer to a container with a lid and store in the fridge for several days. Shake before serving. You could also freeze this for longer-term storage.
*Nutrition information is an estimate and reflects one of 4 8-ounce servings.