Written By Holly Brooke Edibles / First Look / Pantry / Victoria Jun 9, 2014 New-School “Milk”: Mylkmaid Beverage Co. SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestAlmond milk is a creamy, non-dairy beverage that has been around for a lot longer than you’d think. Dating back to the Middle Ages, almonds were a staple in medieval kitchens. As cow and goat milk tended to spoil quickly, milk was often turned it into cheese or butter, while almond milk was used for drinking. In today’s market, non-dairy alternatives are more popular than ever. Take a walk down the “milk” aisle and you’ll find a variety of substitutes including soy, hemp, rice, and coconut. Recently, however, almond milk has been gaining popularity among consumers with sales reaching an all-time high.Local entrepreneur Kiley McLean (pictured in topmost photo, on right, with her sister Cara on the left) has tapped into the goodness of almond milk as the founder and creator of Mylkmaid Beverage Co. McLean started making almond milk for herself a few years ago, and when her friends and family tried it, they raved about it.“They saw me making it at home, and soon I was making it for everyone. Personally, I never enjoyed the taste of store bought milks. The extended shelf life alone means additives and preservatives, which I try to avoid. Homemade almond milk tastes amazing and it’s as fresh as it gets,” says Mclean.The process of making almond milk requires soaking the almonds in water over night (McLean soaks hers for 12 hours)—the longer you soak the almonds, the creamier the milk as well as soaking allows for easier digestion. Afterwards, the almonds are rinsed and blended with filtered water. The resulting liquid, drained from the almond meal, is the almond milk. So why “Mylk” you might be wondering. McLean wanted it to be clear that this is a milk-alternative, and not to be confused with animal milk—in other words, milking almonds is the new moo. Almonds are rich in minerals, vitamins, and calcium. It’s low in fat, calories, and is cholesterol-free. McLean’s mylk is organic, all natural, free of additives and preservatives, soy-gluten and dairy-free. Because it’s so fresh and unpasteurized, the mylk only allows for a shelf life of 3-4 days.When it comes time for production, it’s a full family affair. McLean relies on help from her mother, sister, and boyfriend to ensure her supply is ready for market.Currently, McLean sells her mylk on Saturday’s at the Moss Street Market. The 8oz bottles sell for $5 and 12oz bottles for $7. While this may seem to cost a fair amount more than commercially-made almond milks, McLean’s consumers aren’t having a problem paying the difference; it’s a fresh, local, and handmade product. For many market goers, knowing that their groceries haven’t been shipped thousands of miles and stored for days is the greatest appeal.“So far, it’s been amazing. People are loving the mylk!” says McLean. “It has that old school, vintage-style I wanted to bring forward. Remember the days when milk was delivered in glass bottles? You waited for the milk to come each week and you’d return your bottles at the same time. It’s comforting to know where your food comes from,” McLean says (with a 25 cent deposit, she encourages customers to return their bottles for reuse).Currently, McLean offers Original (unsweetened), Classic (sweetened with organic mejool dates), and Vanilla. The pinch of salt she uses comes from Vancouver Island Sea Salt. Lookout for new summer flavours, such as strawberry and fig mylk. Pre-orders and home deliveries can be arranged online through the website. WebsiteEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgFacebook: mylkmaidTwitter: @MylkmaidInstagram: @mylkmaidalmond milkmoss st marketVictoria SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Holly Brooke Holly Brooke is a true B.C. gal. 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