Gadget Or Gimmick: Almond Cow

Making your own almond milk from scratch can be delicious but messy. After blending pre-soaked almonds and water with desired flavors, the resulting pulpy mixture has to be strained and then strained again. The process, which typically involves cheesecloth, is messy as well as time-consuming. So when we saw the Almond Cow on Kickstarter in February, we were intrigued. The device promised to both streamline and simplify the process of making almond milk at home. So, as soon as it was available on the market, we got our hands on one to test out.
The Almond Cow is a high-powered immersion blender and strainer all in one. The pre-soaked almonds go into a metal basket that is then attached to the lid, where the actual engine and blade are located. The pitcher is then filled with water, and a one-touch button blends the almonds long enough and at a fast enough speed to force out the creamy, liquid bits of the almond and keep the pulp inside. The result is almond milk you can drink immediately, no straining required.
The device worked just as promised, and did create a large batch of almond milk in a flash. Both the cage and the jug have fill lines, meaning you don’t even have to measure as you go. The only awkward part was getting the metal cage to attach to the lid. Because you have to fill it up with almonds first, you have to kind of shake it sideways to then have enough room for the blade. However, after a few runs, we were able to get it done without much trouble.
The resulting almond milk, when compared to store-bought, certainly tasted like a sharp departure. It had a creamier mouth-feel and tasted (perhaps not surprisingly) just like almonds. I am not a regular almond milk drinker, however, so I enlisted the help of some office taste-testers, including those who regularly use it as a milk substitute in their coffee and cereal. The praise was universally positive, with one tester appreciatively gasping, "Holy balls!" after their first sip.
Almond Cow also has the benefit of allowing you complete control over the flavor while still using the mess-free system. We just added some agave and a pinch of salt, but Almond Cow also has recipes for strawberry and chocolate almond milk, also with no straining required. The only limitation to crafting other options from there, like cinnamon-vanilla, is your imagination.
Delicious taste aside, however, the Almond Cow is not cheap. It retails for $175 and considering that almond milk is cheap and whole almonds are expensive, it’s not an investment that will necessarily pay for itself over time. While it’s a huge improvement over traditional nut milk methods, it’s also large — if you have a small kitchen or only see yourself using it occasionally, storage alone might be a reason to pass. But if you’re regularly making your own nut milk, this device delivers on its promise to let you make it quickly — and enjoy it just as quickly.

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