Raw food: Make your own almond milk (and a smoothie)

Make your own almond milk and a blueberry-bee-pollen smoothie.
(Betty Hallock / Los Angeles Times)

You don’t have to be an adherent of raw food (nothing heated to more than 115 degrees) to appreciate some dishes in the raw.

A story about the new raw food restaurant M.A.K.E. and its culinary academy uncovers a cuisine that’s coming in from the fringe. (Who doesn’t love zucchini “noodle” lasagna, anyway?) “I think now a lot of people who are not strict about raw food are incorporating it into their diets,” says M.A.K.E. owner Matthew Kenney.

Much of the cuisine at M.A.K.E. might require advanced culinary skills to prepare -- dumplings whose wrappers are made with dehydrated coconut puree, served with sesame-ginger foam and garnished with nasturtiums and micro-cilantro, for example.


“There’s a lot of preparation that goes into the food,” Kenney concedes. “We don’t buy bread or buy pasta – we have to make everything we serve.... But it’s getting easier. There are a lot of recipes with no dehydration, dishes that can be prepared in 20 to 30 minutes max. The more we get into it, there can be very elaborate contexts.”

But not everything is elaborate. Like smoothies. And the almond milk that goes into them. It’s delicious and easy. Just don’t forget the soaking.

Almond milk

From Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy

3 cups water

1 cup raw almonds soaked minimum 4 hours, strained and rinsed

2 tablespoons of sweetener of choice (such as honey, agave or dates)

Pinch of salt

1. Blend the water and almonds in a high-speed blender until thoroughly blended, then strain through a chinois, nut milk bag or cheesecloth with strainer. Strain again.

2. Clean out the blender. Return the almond milk to the blender and blend with sweetener, vanilla and salt. This will keep refrigerated for two to three days.

Blueberry Bee smoothie


From Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy.

1 cup blueberries

1 cup banana

3/4 cup almond milk

3 teaspoons honey

1/2 teaspoons hemp seeds

1 teaspoon bee pollen

Pinch of sea salt

Blend the blueberries, banana, almond milk, honey, hemp seeds, bee pollen and sea salt until smooth. Garnish with bee pollen if desired.