I'm happy to announce I found a cow's milk replacement - homemade almond milk! I've tried it in several recipes so far and can't tell the difference at all.
Why homemade and not just buy it at the store? Well, as you may have guessed the almond milk in the carton has several added ingredients that don't sound good. Homemade is really not too hard at all - even with my sub-par equipment. All I have is an immersion blender. Because the almonds are soaked for 8 hours, they become much softer and my blender handled them just fine. Because the blender works best using the cup it came with, and it only holds 2 cups, I have to blend it in several rounds, but no big deal. If you have a full-size blender or food processor, this should be a piece of cake.
I will be updating old recipes on which I try out the almond milk substitution. Some I've tried: Cinnamon Rolls, Whole Wheat Buns, (there are probably more, but I can't remember...), smoothies, and oatmeal.
Lastly, this recipe leaves some almond meal behind. I've tried baking with it in recipes that call for almond meal, but it doesn't work. I'm pretty sure after 3-4 attempts, it's not my mistake, but the defunct almond meal. I'm still trying to come up with some ideas to use it up (I've been storing it in the freezer).
1 cup whole, raw almonds
3 1/2 cups filtered water
Soak the almonds in enough water to cover them for 8-12 hours. Add the almonds and 3 1/2 cups water to a blender and blend on high until the almonds are finely ground.
Prepare a fine mesh strainer over a bowl or a cheese cloth in several layers secured around a quart-size mason jar. Pour the almond milk into the prepared container and allow it to sit for several minutes to strain out the almond meal. Stir the meal in the strainer to help release all the milk. If using the cheese cloth, carefully bundle up the almond meal in the cloth and squeeze to release the milk.
Store in the fridge for about 5 days in a sealed container. Shake before using.
**Note: I've been using the fine mesh strainer method. Some almond meal leaks through, but since I'm not drinking the milk, I leave it in. Nut milk bags are available for purchase to make the straining process easier. I may end up getting one.