The first time I made almond milk from scratch, I was in awe. Just ask my family, friends, and coworkers. For at least six consecutive weeks, in response to a question about what I did over the weekend, my answer was: “I made almond milk”. It’s creamy, thick, refreshing, pure, nutritious, and it tastes like real almonds. I could drink a big glass of this all on its own.
Once you try making almond milk yourself, I guarantee you will never go back to drinking store-bought almond milk again. If you look at the ingredients list on Silk or Diamond almond milk packages, you’ll see all sorts of nasty ingredients like carrageenan and locust bean gum (?!). These are thickeners (to cover up the highly diluted, watery almond milk) and stabilizers (for an extremely long shelf life), some of which may have negative health consequences. More info (ranting) on this to come in another post.
A few things to keep in mind before you try making your own almond milk:
1. Use RAW almonds! Trader Joe’s has the best prices.
2. Homemade almond milk has a relatively short life span. It will keep in the fridge for up to five days, in my experience, but sometimes longer. Just smell it before you use it.
3. Shake it well before you use it. It will separate when it’s been sitting undisturbed, so don’t be alarmed – this is totally natural.
4. The process can get messy. If you think you might be making this semi-regularly, it’s worth investing in a nut bag. This is the one I use. Bonus: the nut bag is fodder for all your jokes for at least a couple days straight.
5. Experiment with the flavorings. I love to throw a date or two in the blender for some natural sweetness, or stir in agave and vanilla at the end.
And with that, here is how to make almond milk:
- 8 oz raw almonds
- 2.5 cups filtered water
- 1 tsp of agave (optional)
- 1 tsp of vanilla (optional)
- Special equipment: cheese cloth or nut bag
- Place the raw almonds in a medium sized bowl and cover with water. Let soak overnight, or for at least six hours. [See photo below for what plump soaked almonds should look like]
- Strain and rinse soaked almonds with cold water.
- Put almonds and 2.5 cups of filtered water in a high-powered blender. Blend on high for a few minutes, or until almonds become like pulp. The mixture should be very thick and white.
- Place your cheese cloth or nut bag over a strainer set in a large bowl. Working in batches, if necessary, pour the almond and water mixture into the cheese cloth and use a spatula to push the liquid through. Then, use your hands to push the liquid through the cheese cloth or nut bag. Wring out as much moisture as you can, and be sure to keep the top of the bag closed so that the almond pulp does not spill out.
- Reserve the almond pulp for another use, if desired, or discard. You should be left with about 2¾ cups of creamy, thick almond milk.
- If you would like a little extra sweetness and flavor, stir in the the agave and vanilla to taste.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Shake well before using.