Thursday, March 17, 2011

Almond Milk

Once again, you all probably know all there is to know about making your own Nut Milk, etc.  But just in case, I thought I'd post some of the things I learned the hard way in my experimenting throughout the last month or so.  And if you have tips for me, I'd love to hear them.  I am a complete novice, but I've learned a thing or two.  I was desperate after spending almost $11 for a gallon and a half in one visit to the grocery store...ouch!

There are a ton of great videos on Youtube on making your own Almond Milk that you can go check out, and it's very easy.

Step 1:
Soak 1 cup of raw almonds in water at least 4 hours, at most overnight.

Step 2:

Rinse almonds and put in blender with 3 cups filtered water.  If you want a thicker milk, put only 2 cups water.  If you want thinner, put in 4 cups.

Step 3:
Blend.  I thought this would be too much for my little hand me down garage sale blender, but the almonds are so soft it doesn't take much to make a thick frothy milk.

**You can drink it like this if you prefer. Or...

Step 4:
Strain the milk through either cheesecloth (Walmart has a pre-packaged cheesecloth in the fabric section, Winco has it next to the kitchen gadgets...if you do use cheesecloth, you might want to double it up to catch more), or a Nut Milk Bag (anywhere from $8-15 online), a sprout bag (online or Good Earth has them for about $13, a strainer (I have a handheld strainer that has tiny holes and works really well, but I have to use a spoon to press the nut meal down to get all the liquid out), or you can even use a paint strainer bag from a home improvement store (they have 2 for $2, so it's obviously more cost effective).  If you use a bag, strain the milk through the bag, and then use your hands to squeeze out the liquid.  Save the Almond Meal for other uses.

**You can drink it like this if you prefer. Or...

Step 5: pour the milk back in the blender and sweeten however you prefer.  This is where there's a ton of trial and error.

First, some almonds leave a pretty bitter taste.  For some reason, the Good Earth bulk almonds made some gross almond milk.  BUT...I put it in the fridge and was planning on just calling it a loss, but a few days later, the bitterness settled at the bottom with the dregs and the stuff on top was delicious!  So don't throw it out if it's not good at first!

Once you have a good base, you can try anything as sweetener.  I tried Stevia and thought it was nasty (does anyone have a good use for Stevia?  I spent $11 on that stuff and it grosses me out).  I tried just agave and it was pretty good.  I've tried honey and medjool dates with marginal success.

Our best successes so far have been Banana Almond Milk (put 1 cup of milk in the blender with half a banana and a pinch of nutmeg...Jocelyn calls it a milkshake and I feel good she's getting some fruit too), and Vanilla Bean (Scrape the seeds of one vanilla bean and put it in the entire batch of Almond Milk.  I also added a bit of agave and I think it doesn't taste too far off the yummy store-bought vanilla stuff, although it's less "manufactured" tasting if that makes any sense).  And if you live near a Sunflower Market, that is the cheapest place I've found for Vanilla Bean.  $4 for 2 beans.  Last summer I bought 2 beans for $12 to make Pioneer Woman's Vanilla Bean Scones which were literally To. Die. For. although not in keeping with this lifestyle :(

Winco is the best source I've found for almonds so far ($3.68/pound in the bulk section), but someone told me Costco has a great deal too. I just haven't checked it out yet.

Bottoms up!

OH!!  There's quite a bit of Almond meal left over from each batch, so I've been getting double duty out of the almonds (they're so expensive, you may as well use them twice and get the entire nut in your body!).  Keep it in the fridge in a ziploc or other airtight container.  I put some of the almond meal in my smoothies every morning.  I've put it in smoothie popsicles I made for Jocelyn, and I've put it in some muffins and breads, etc.  There's a lot of recipes online for almond meal pancakes, etc. but my meal isn't very fine, so I haven't used it in anything that you can't conceal it very well.

Do any of you have more tips to add?  I am all ears!


  1. BLESS you for posting this. I have had "make almond milk" on my to-do list for ages and haven't been brave enough to attempt it! Thank you, thank you!

  2. Woot, woot! I we had our very first ever home made almond milk on top of our oatmeal today! Delish. I also used it to make the Snickerdoodle Muffin recipe and officially had a vegan muffin! Yahoo!

  3. What did you use to sweeten it? Or did you?