If you’ve never tasted homemade almond milk, you’re in for a treat. Besides being cheaper than store-bought versions, homemade almond milk contains more almonds (meaning more nutritional value). The homemade version also has a purity of flavor that will make you vow to never again buy packaged almond milk. And that is a smart decision—even the best quality packaged almond milks have added gums and stabilizers to increase shelf life. Many even contain carrageenan, a potentially dangerous substance shown to cause inflammation and impair insulin function.
Sometimes when you make things from scratch you are in for a time-consuming process. Not so with almond milk! An overnight of soaking and 5 minutes of blending and straining the next morning is all the time needed to make a quart. Start with the best almonds you can buy—ideally they should be raw, unsalted, whole, and organic. Use spring water or filtered water. One teaspoon of sea salt. And that’s it!
Consider buying a nut milk bag to strain the nut milk. Reusable nut milk bags cost less than $10. Look for them at any health food store or amazon.com. Alternatively, a fine mesh sieve, some cheesecloth, or even a pair of pantyhose works. If you like a flavored or sweetened almond milk, add your own high-quality ingredients. Two or three Medjool dates (pits removed), a tablespoon or two of maple syrup, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, or a tablespoon of ground cinnamon are all great options to try.
Experiment with other nuts or seeds, for they too can produce a delicious nut milk using the same technique. With seeds, reduce the volume from 1 cup to ¾ cup. In fact, cashews blend so well you may not even need to strain the milk.
- Soak it Up. Put 1 cup raw, organic whole almonds in a bowl with the teaspoon of sea salt, and add enough spring or filtered water to cover almonds. Cover bowl with a towel and soak almonds overnight, either in the refrigerator or on a countertop.
- Drain and Prep. The next morning, drain almonds, rinse them well, and place them in the blender, along with 4 cups of spring or filtered water. (Note: These proportions will yield milk with a consistency close to skim or 1% dairy milk. If you want a heavier milk for use in coffee in tea, reduce water to 3 or 3½ cups.)
- Kick up the Flavor. If using any optional flavorings, add them to the blender now.
- Blend Away. Blend at high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until you can barely see any pieces of nut.
- Sift the Goodness. Pour almond nut/water blend through cheesecloth or nut milk bag into a bowl or jar. Squeeze the cheesecloth/nut milk bag to extract all the liquid.
- Savor It! You can store almond milk in a glass jar with lid in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Shake well before serving.