Last summer a couple of buddies visited from out of state to do some hiking. I noticed that Karen, who’s lactose intolerant, packed powdered almond milk as an essential part of her kit.
Since then I’ve seen a bunch of questions on the forums about powdered almond milk for backpacking and camping but I can’t find a lot of information about it. So I thought I’d do some research and write about it myself.
Where to buy it?
At the time of writing I only aware of two producers that manufacture powdered almond milk: a New Zealand company called Natural Sugars and the Spanish company, Ecomil. It looks like Natural Sugars only supply Australasia. But you can buy Ecomil’s Almond Milk Powder here on Amazon.
How to avoid the bad stuff…
Beware “almond powder mixes”! These guys are definitely not the same as powdered almond milk; they are typically used to flavour Taiwanese ‘bubble tea’ and are often entirely synthetic. That’s not a problem if you’re looking to make a bubble tea, but if you are making some oatmeal one day into a 6-day thru-hike, it could make for a nasty surprise.
Also if you are lactose intolerant or vegan, you’re going to want to double check to make the ingredients don’t include milk powder (which is also quite common with the bubble tea mixes).
How to prepare it
So I’m used to normal milk powder which hydrates really easily. This is because it started off as a liquid. It’s not quite as straightforward with almond milk because it is comprised of ground vegetable matter and water. This can easily result in a ‘gritty’ texture or ‘floaters’ which tend not to be qualities people seek in their first cup of joe in the morning.
The simplest way to avoid these issues is to follow these simple steps:
- add a little bit of water to the powder
- make a paste
- beat it until it’s smooth
- then add a bit more liquid to thin it out
How to make almond milk powder
To get started you'll need a good food dehydrator (check out these well-reviewed options). You'll also want a dedicated coffee grinder, because if you use the same grinder as you do for coffee, you’re milk powder is going to taste like coffee and your coffee is going to taste like almond milk! (No need for an electric one, here's a good selection of affordable manual coffee grinders).
- 1Line a dehydrator tray with a non-stick sheet
- 2Heat your dehydrator to 135°F (57°C)
- 3Pour in 2 cups of almond milk
- 4Dehydrate for up to 18 hours or until completely brittle
- 5Grind the pieces into a fine powder with a coffee grinder
To make a cup of almond milk:
Step 1 - Combine 2tbsp of almond milk powder with 2tbsp of water
Step 2 - Mix into a paste
Step 3 - Add remaining water while whisking
So there you go! If you think I’ve missed anything or have anything to add, please drop a note in the comments!