Almond milk has become popular even among those who do not have dairy sensitivities – the mild nutty flavor is a great addition to chia seeds, cereal, smoothies, coffee, or on its own. Grocery stores offer a wide variety of almond milk – vanilla, unsweetened, strawberry, chocolate….but unfortunately most options contain added sugar, artificial flavoring, and a hefty price tag. Until a few months ago I never realized how easy it is to make – and I haven’t used store bought almond milk since! Homemade almond milk is entirely customizable and only takes 10 minutes to make. Plus, the leftover almond meal can be used to make silky smooth almond flour. Check out this recipe for homemade almond milk, almond flour, and learn how to avoid common mistakes.
Serving Size – 4.5 cups (1 liter)
Soak Time: at least 8 hours
Prep Time (After almonds are soaked): 10 minutes
- Mixing Bowl or any large bowl to soak the almonds
- Measuring Cups
- Nut Milk Bag to strain the milk
- Canning Jar or air tight pitcher
- 3 cups raw, unsalted almonds
- 4.5 cups cold water plus more for soaking
- Your choice of flavoring: vanilla bean, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, agave, honey, maple syrup, stevia, dates
- The first step is to soak your almonds. Place 3 cups of almonds in a large bowl and fully submerge them with water. This will allow the almonds to soften up. Make sure to keep the almonds soaked for at least 8 hours. If you do not have much time, boil some water and use that to soak the almonds. The longer the almonds stay submerged, the creamier the milk will be later. The water will begin to get murky and the almonds will fatten up – totally normal!
- Once your almonds are done soaking, they will feel very soft and some of the skins may have fallen off. Use your colander to drain all of the water from the almonds. You will replace this with clean water later
- Put your almonds in the blender and measure out your desired amount of cold water. I make batches of 3 cups almonds to 4.5 cups water for a creamy whole milk consistency. Here are additional ratios for guidance:
1 cup almonds : 1.5 cups water = creamy whole milk consistency
1 cup almonds : 2 cups water = 2% milk consistency
1 cup almonds : 2.5 cups water = skim milk consistency
4. Blend the almonds and water on high for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Blending will allow the water to combine with the almonds and separate from the almond meal. The floating pieces will be separated in the next step. Some people end the process here since they do not care about the almond pieces (especially if they are only planning to use it for smoothies) 5. Prepare your nut milk bag over a large mixing bowl and then pour in the blended almond mixture
6. Squeeze the bag to end up with smooth milk in the bowl. You will have to squeeze very hard to get all the last drops – the only thing left in your nut milk bag will be coarse almond meal (Keep the almond meal! Scroll down to see how to make almond flour)7. Add your desired flavorings to taste and mix with a whisk until combined. I always add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (per 4.5 cups milk) with 1/8 tsp of ground cinnamon.
8. Transfer the almond milk to an air tight canning jar or container and refrigerate. Always shake well before serving
Choose your Flavors
This recipe is great plain, but for an extra kick you can dress it up to your tastes. My favorite addition is 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (per 4.5 cups milk) with 1/8 tsp of ground cinnamon. Vanilla bean powder also works great! For a sweeter taste, try adding 1 tbls of honey or maple syrup. For an experiment, you can try out 1 tsp of cocoa powder or crushed raspberries. The mixture may need another spin in the blender to be thoroughly combined.
Troubleshooting Almond Milk
- Milk has an undesirable consistency – consistency is up to you but I like a thick, whole milk consistency. If you do not like the consistency of your almond milk try these tips
- Soak the almonds for longer – the longer you soak, the creamier your almond milk will be
- Change the almond to water ratio – 1 cup almonds : 1.5 cups water = whole milk consistency, 1 cup almonds : 2 cups water = 2% milk consistency, 1 cup almonds : 2.5 cups water = skim milk consistency
- Use a nut bag for straining – if you want smooth almond milk, a mesh strainer will not do the trick. You will need to use a nut bag to attain that silky texture and separate all the almond meal
- Yuck! It tastes weird!
- Don’t use rotten or stale nuts – this one is obvious. It won’t taste good. You are more likely to accidentally use stale nuts so just taste them beforehand
- Don’t use roasted or salted nuts – roasted nuts will be more brittle and less likely to become creamy and salted nuts will make your milk salty. Try to use the freshest nuts and feel free to freeze your almonds to preserve their taste
- Letting the milk sit too long in the fridge- homemade almond milk doesn’t contain carrageenan, which is used to thicken store bought almond milk and help stabilize ingredients to extend shelf life in stores. Studies about carrageenan impact on health are not really conclusive. Some claim that it has deleterious impacts on our health, and others conclude that carrageenan isn’t really that bad (everything in moderation, right?). To me, the bottom line is that carrageenan is an additive without any real nutritional value. Anyways, the lack of carrageenan will cause your milk to taste less fresh after a few days. Sometimes I get too lazy to make small batches so I keep it in the fridge for over a week and still enjoy it. The milk definitely tastes less fresh, but you have to compromise sometimes.
Keep the almond meal for flour!
Almond flour is expensive, but luckily you can make almond flour and milk at the same time. Use almond flour for baking, smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, or muffins.
- Preheat the oven to 170 °F
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Spread the almond meal that was left behind in the nut bag evenly over the parchment paper
- Place in the oven for a few hours until fully dry
- The meal will still be coarse, so give it a whirl in your food processor for about 2 minutes until it becomes the consistency of flour
- Store in a dry place and enjoy!
Live Your Life & Enjoy!