how to make your own almond milk

how to make almond milk // the muffin mythWhen I first moved to Sweden I had a list of foodstuffs I needed to source out in order to ensure my happiness. Among other things, tofu, nutritional yeast, and soy milk were must haves. I’ve always been a soy milk girl when it comes to non-dairy milks, though I know that these days it isn’t particularly in vogue and people are slurping back almond milk like nobody’s business. I still treat myself to soy milk from time to time, but I don’t often buy it. My gripes with most store-bought nut milks are threefold. First, I find the protein : fat ratio is usually not what I’m looking for, second, there is usually a lot of added sugar, and third, most are loaded with all kinds of thickeners, stabilizers, and preservatives.

how to make your own almond milk // the muffin myth

I’ve come around to almond milk lately, especially when it’s home made. Soak, blend, strain, and boom! You’ve milked those almonds like a boss! The best part is how much better the almond milk is than the store bought stuff. Unless you water it down, home made almond milk is much creamier – in a good way – and it has a natural sweetness to it that the commercial version can’t rival. No preservatives, no thickeners, no added junk. It’s amazing!

how to make almond milk // the muffin myth

You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to make your own almond milk; just a blender, and something to strain the almond pulp with. If you have a nut-milk bag a) you’re my hero, and b) you already know what you’re doing so pay no attention to this. My straining set-up is pretty basic: I put a mesh strainer in a large glass bowl, and line the strainer with an old triangular bandage leftover from my days as a first aid instructor (I also use it for making ricotta and paneer). Cheese cloth probably isn’t fine enough to strain out the almond meal, so if you’re thinking of using that, I’d double it up.

how to make your own almond milk // the muffin mythhow to make your own almond milk // the muffin myth

Bonus! You get leftover almond pulp! There are all kinds of things you can do with this stuff – I biffed mine into the freezer to save for baking, but you can also dry it out into almond meal, toss it in smoothies, or fertilize your garden. I’ve got an almond meal muffin coming at you asap, so hang onto it!

how to make your own almond milk // the muffin myth

Want it on the sweet side? Try tossing a couple of dates into the blender with the soaked almonds. A touch of honey or maple syrup would also work nicely. You could also add vanilla extract (hey, we’ve made that too!) to round out the flavour a bit. I often make savoury cottage cheese muffins with lefotver almond meal, so I left mine unsweetened and unflavoured. However you like it, I hope you give this a go. It’s easy, nutritious, and delicious. Home made almond milk for the win!

But listen, I don’t always buy my own almond milk, and making your own almond milk doesn’t make you a better person. The quality is definitely better when you make it yourself, but life happens and we don’t always have the foresight to soak almonds overnight or the time or motivation to deal with straining nut milk and dealing with the leftover pulp. Give yourself a break, and save tasks like making your own nut milk for a weekend affair if it doesn’t fit into your life during the week – it sure as heck doesn’t fit into mine. If you’re buying commercial nut milks, try to find one without added sugars and with as few ingredients as possible. I’ve found a brand that works for me in a pinch (and my local grocery store has also started carrying unsweetened cashew milk, hello!) and I’m sure you can too.

MM_Know_Icon_FINALAlmonds are high in monounsaturated fats – this is a healthy fat when consumed in moderation, the same type as is found in olive oil. Almonds are also a good source of manganese, vitamin E (which has antioxidant properties) and magnesium. Note! When we strain the pulp out of the almond milk, we’re straining away a lot of valuable nutrition. The milk won’t contain any fiber, and not much in the way of protein. It still has a good amount of vitamin E and calcium, however. Whole nuts are the way to go if you’re looking for a source of nutrients, but almond milk is a good alternative to dairy for those who can’t tolerate it or those who just like to mix it up.

how to make homemade almond milk // the muffin myth

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how to make homemade almond milk // the muffin myth
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how to make your own almond milk

Homemade almond milk has a shorter shelf life than the store bought stuff. I've read that it will last anywhere from 3-7 days, but in my experience 7 is pushing it, so I'd err on the side of caution and use it up within 3-5 days. Blanched almonds are totally not necessary, I just happened to have some on hand. There is a lot of valuable nutrition in almond skins, so I would have preferred them with their skins on.
Servings 4
Author The Muffin Myth

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 3-4 cups cold water

Instructions

  1. Place the almonds in a jar or glass bowl and cover with water. Place in the fridge to soak overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
  2. When you're ready to milk your almonds, drain and rinse well.
  3. Prepare your straining setup by setting a mesh strainer into a large jug or bowl, and then lining with a double layer of cheese cloth, or with a nut milk bag if you're fancy like that.
  4. Place soaked almonds into the jar of a blender with 3-4 cups of cold water. How much water you use depends on how creamy you want your almond milk, and the capacity of your blender (you can always add more water to the milk after straining if your blender is small). I prefer 4 cups of water.
  5. Blend on high speed for 2 minutes, then carefully pour the mixture into the prepared strainer.
  6. Wait a minute for the liquid to pass through, then get down to business squeezing as much liquid as you can from the almond meal.
  7. Pour the liquid into a clean glass jar and store in the fridge. Reserve the almond pulp for later. Now you've made your own almond milk. Yay!

 



 

Comments

  1. What a great post. I have a friend who constantly keeps homemade cashew milk in her fridge. I asked her about her recipe and thought about trying it with almond milk. Now I’m just going to make your recipe…tried and true, right! Looks fantastically creamy and delicious. I like the idea of using dates to sweeten it up too.

    • Thanks! Ooooh I bet that cashew milk is goooood! I haven’t tried making homemade cashew milk yet (though I’ve soaked cashews and blended them into smoothies) but the store bought stuff I found is pretty good so home made must be amazing. That’s next on my nut-milk list!

  2. Okay so I was always a milk drinker. I still love me some cow’s milk, but make it the exception rather than the rule (usually when I’m getting a frapp at Starbucks or something). Cow and goat milk went the way of the dodo when we were trying to wean the kid off bottles (and she had some stomach thing and threw up milk a couple of times and refused to touch it ever since). We tried soy and she didn’t like it, and I’m a little leery of all the studies around how it affects hormones, etc. She drinks almond milk that I now buy at costco because we go through 3 2-litre boxes every 10 days or so.

    I made my own almond milk at one point and it was bitter. I think I either soaked the almonds too long or maybe it was the metal pot I was using. I’ll try it again, in glass and throw some honey in to sweeten it up.

    And cashew milk sounds intriguing.

    • I still love me some cows milk too.

      Did you taste the almonds before soaking? It could be they were bitter to begin with. Try a soak in glass and give it a whirl – hold off on the honey until you’ve tasted it, you may find it sweet enough as is.

      • They were raw, organic almonds I got from a vegan coworker who makes her own. The nuts themselves tasted fine.Her batch was fine. I ended up stuck and work and they soaked for just about 48 hours in a metal pot.

  3. This is reminding me to get out my jelly bag set-up (it’s never seen jelly) and get to soaking! I agree wholeheartedly on not getting stressed about doing everything yourself. When there are decent alternatives projects such as this can be a pleasure, not a chore. Lovely images. Very clear!

    • Thanks Kellie! I think that in this day of bloggers and pinterest people sometimes feel pressure / guilt over not doing it all, and that’s totally not my message! I’ve got store-bought almond milk in the fridge right now! I prefer home made for flavour and conceptually, but we can’t do it all all the time!

  4. I have a question about the soaking water – why rinse the almonds and use fresh water to make the milk? Why do we discard the soaking water? Doesn’t it have nutrients in that will be thrown away? Thank you.

    • Good question. Soaking nuts and seeds allows them to get into a pre-sprout condition during which they release inhibitor enzymes into the water. This makes the nutrients in the nuts more bioavailable and the nuts easier to digest, but the water can become bitter in the presence of these inhibitor enzymes. So the water should be discarded, and the nuts well rinsed before proceeding to the next step.

  5. Interesting, I hadn’t thought of using dates to sweeten almond milk, I look forward to suggestions of what to do with leftover almond pulp!

  6. I tried the almond milk and it is pretty good. I find the taste is a little “green” or “raw”. I am wondering about roasting the almonds after soaking?

    • Do you mean roasting after soaking but before blending? I wouldn’t recommend that. It would toughen the almonds up and you’d lose moisture, which is why they were soaked in the first place. How long did you soak your almonds for? Did you soak in a metal container?

        • Try a shorter soak (around 8hrs or overnight) and in a glass container. I heard from another reader who had a similar experience with a really long soak in a metal container. She said her almond milk tasted really bitter.

  7. I made the almond milk as per your recipe. However, I had soaked the almonds for 48hrs in a plastic container along with 20 pcs of pistachioo. Also I was changing the water twice a day. bothwere soaking together for 48 hours. I made the milk . added four pcs. of dates and drank it. it was good tasting milk. . remainder portion I stored in a plastic container overnight in the refrigerator .When I drank that milk, in the morning, the milk tasted very BITTER. Please help where did I go wrong. I am awaiting your reply.

    • Hi Prema, I suspect the very long soaking time is where things went wrong. The recipe specifies to soak the almonds overnight or for about 8 hours. If left soaking too long nuts can bloat and ferment.

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