The thought of making my own almond milk always seemed so cumbersome and unnecessary to me. But desperate times call for desperate measures: When I realized we forgot to pick up our weekly carton of almond milk at the grocery store, and I needed some milk for my cereal and tea, I decided to take measures into my own hands.
After a quick Google search for instructions, I simply blended a cup of raw almonds with four cups of water in my Vitamix. I didn’t even strain out the pulp – just poured it right over my cereal. I was instantly sold on the ease of preparation. The next time I wanted to make almond milk, I planned ahead by soaking my almonds. Soaking almonds for at least an hour, or overnight if you have time, is beneficial because it makes them softer to blend. Soaking also releases enzymes in the nut that makes them easier to digest and releases healthful nutrients.
Homemade Almond Milk
1 cup of raw almonds
4 cups of water
2-6 dates or ¼ cup honey (optional, depending on how sweet you like it)
Pinch of salt
Soak almonds in the water with a pinch of salt overnight. Drain, and add almonds, four cups of water and dates or honey into a high speed blender. Blend on high for a full minute.
You can drink the almond milk as is. Or, if you’d prefer a thinner consistency without any almond “grit,” strain the milk using cheesecloth to catch the pulp into a pitcher, and chill before drinking. If you don’t strain the milk, give your pitcher a good shake or stir before pouring, since the liquid and pulp will have separated a bit.
Don’t like almonds? You can try raw cashews or even sunflower seeds. For some almond milk variety, adjust the flavor using spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, a splash of pure vanilla extract, or a heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder for a rich chocolate milk.
Use your almond milk in soups, smoothies, cereal, oats, or on its own, ice cold with some cookies to dunk. Don’t toss out the leftover pulp! Check out Choosing Raw for a delicious Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookie recipe that uses the pulp and pairs perfectly with your homemade almond milk.
TELL US: Have you ever made your own non-dairy milk?
Janel Ovrut Funk, MS RD LDN, loves experimenting with vegetarian and vegan cooking. Read her food blog, Eat Well with Janel, and follow her on Twitter @DietitianJanel. Catch up on her previous posts here.