Why Make Your Own Almond Milk?
Almond milk is such an easy item to make and so delicious. While store brought almond milk is nice and convenient, I don’t think it is as healthy as home-made. For one thing, most store-bought almond milk is pasteurized, killing many valuable nutrients and extending the shelf life. Plus, additives like carrageenan (which is a suspected carcinogen) are in many soy and nut milks.
I am a firm believer in fresh, whole foods as mother nature intended. I love the idea of organically grown, lush and life giving, rather than pesticides, refined, processed and environmentally damaging. Plus, if you buy your almonds in bulk, you avoid plastic waste and help ween us off of our polluting petroleum dependency. Even the cartons that you buy almond milk in are lined in plastic (yes, I know- shocking) and plastic can leach toxins into your milk.
Does homemade almond milk cost more?
That depends on where you get your almonds and if you utilize the leftover almond meal. I get bulk, raw organic almonds for $8.99 per pound at Wholefoods, which is the best deal I have seen, so far, in my neck of the woods. What makes this more cost effective is that the leftover almond meal can be turned into a snack, extending the value of making almond milk. Click here to see many fun recipes utilizing your almond meal in delicious ways.
Now, on to the fun. Here are the ingredients and supplies you will be needing:
- Jar or glass cup (for soaking the almonds)
- Vitamix or blender
- Nut milk bag (click here for a nut milk bag made from 100% organic cotton, so you don’t get any yucky plastic chemicals leaching into your fresh almond milk.)
- Quart-sized (or larger) glass measuring cup or bowl
- Large mason jar or container to store your nut milk
- 1 cup of raw almonds (organic, if possible)
- 3-4 cups of filter water (depending on thickness desired)
- 2-4 pitted Medjool dates (depending on sweetness desired) or 3 table spoons of coconut sugar
- 1 whole vanilla bean, chopped (or 1/2-1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon of fine grain Himalayan salt or sea salt to enhance the flavor
NOTE: This recipe makes about 3.5 cups of almond milk.
STEP 1 (optional)
Soak raw almonds in filtered water for at least 7 hours in a jar or glass. Empty out almonds and water into a strainer and then rinse off thoroughly. I like to soak mine overnight and then make my nut milk in the morning to go into my smoothie.
NOTE: This first step is optional, but I think it will enhance the nutritional benefits of your almond milk. Everything in nature has natural defense mechanisms to help continue its species. Porcupines have quills. Jelly fish will sting you if you touch them. Nuts, seeds and grains have phytic acid. The acid binds to minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium, chromium, and manganese in the gastrointestinal tract, which inhibits our digestive systems’ ability to break the nut down properly. Thankfully, if you soak almonds, the acid is deactivated. Click here more information on why to soak your nuts.
Put the almonds and 3- 4 cups of filtered water into your vitamix or blender. Blend until nuts are finely ground. In a Vitamix, that takes under a minute.
When I first started “milking” my nuts (I know, I know, it does sound a little perverted, but I promise it is all perfectly G-rated), I liked to imagine that my nut milk bag, filled with pureed almonds and filtered water, was like a cow udder.
So, here is how you “milk your nuts”:
Get your large glass measuring cup or glass bowl ready. I like the glass measuring cup because it pours easily into another container. Holding your nut milk bag over it, pour about half the water nut mixture into it (depending on the size of your nut milk bag and glass bowl, you may be able to do the entire nut water mixture at once.) Then, repeatedly squeeze the nut milk bag, milking out every last drop of almond milk. Put the leftover almond meal into the fridge or freezer so that you can use it later for a fun recipe, such as homemade crackers.
If you use something the size of a large glass measuring cup, you may need to transfer the nut milk into another container, before milking the last half of the nut water mixture.
Put nut milk back into the Vitamix or blender and add in the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Viola! There you have it! Easy, breezy almond milk. Please refrigerate. This should last at least 48 hours.
Have you ever made nut milk? What is your experience? Know of any fantastic nut milk recipes? If so, share in the comments sections below.