Make a Sunday batch, be stoked all week
Little did you know you can milk an almond…
Well, kind of. At least you can make a drinkable substance from it. But just because you can milk something doesn’t mean it’s good.
In fact, most almond milk recipes are gross.
Bad texture, funky taste, too much water yadda yadda yaa. But please, don’t blame this on the almonds, it’s the recipe’s fault.
The solution? Make this almond milk recipe, it’s gooooood. Like so good it’s drink-on-its-own worthy.
After years of soaking, blending, straining and chugging, we know what’s up.
Follow these simple tips so you never feel obligated to smile after choking down a funky glass of almond milk again!
Why Make Your Own Almond Milk
Before delving into the how-to’s, let’s get a few things squared away.
Such as the one question you’ve been asking yourself since you clicked on this recipe: why go through the trouble of making your own almond milk when you can buy an inexpensive jug from the store?
Well well well, so glad you asked. There are many reasons. To name a few:
- Homemade almond milk is simple. Almond + Water + Optional Sweetener. That’s it.
Store bought almond milk in not. They’ve got dozens of ingredients, most of which you can’t pronounce (therefore you shouldn’t eat).
- Of the ingredients you can’t pronounce, we’ve got carrageen, which is extracted from a red seaweed and used in foods to thicken and emulsify them.
Carrageen has been linked to a handful of health issues.
According to Joanne K. Tobacman, MD’s research, exposure to carrageen causes inflammation, and upon eating foods that contain carrageen, we’re ingesting enough to cause inflammation within out bodies.
As we know, inflammation is the derivative of many major diseases .
In addition, animal studies have associated carrageen with malignances and other stomach problems .
As of November 2016, the National Organic Standards Board no longer permits the use of carrageen in organic foods.
If I haven’t sold you yet, then how about this:
The European Union has banned the use of carrageen at certain levels in infant formula.
If it ain’t good for them, it ain’t good for nobody!
- Some store bought almond milks contain Soy Lecithin.
Lecithin is an essential fat needed by our bodies. It can be found in all sorts of foods, in this case soy beans, and is used as an additive to help ingredients from separating.
This study examined pregnant rats who consumed 2-5% of their diet in soy lecithin. The results were “behavioral and neurochemical abnormalities in the exposed offspring.”
That being said, it’s extremely unlikely someone would consume a diet consisting of 2-5% soy lecithin. However, that study is enough to make me avoid eating it!
Not to mention, soy beans are “the most heavily genetically modified food in the country”.
If GMO’s are something you avoid, then add soy lecithin to your black list.
Why Soak the Almonds?
Almond milk recipes typically require the almonds to soak before use.
This is for a few reasons. The obvious: soaking allows them to break down into the desired product more easily.
It also helps to make a creamier product. It’s true! The longer you soak the almonds, the creamier the milk will be. I typically soak them for 48 hours before blending.
Plus, there are some potential health benefits.
By soaking the almonds, we break down the phytates, or phytic acid, found in them. Phytates are antioxidants found in nuts, seeds and whole grains.
The concern with phytates is that they bind to certain nutrients, therefore slowing down our body’s absorption.
However, according to Dr. Weil (my #1 go-to) “The presence of phytates in foods really isn’t the worry that some individuals believe it to be.”
Regardless, in order to achieve a desirable product, we’ve gotta soak those almonds.
What to do with Your Almond Pulp
So we blend the almonds, then we strain out the milk, leaving us with a bag full-o-pulp.
Some people throw it away. That makes me want to cry.
This product is pure gold, waiting for us to get creative with it.
The most valuable use for it is to dry it in the oven and turn it into almond meal – an awesome ingredient for gluten free/paleo baking!
Simply spread it evenly on a baking sheet, and cook at your oven’s lowest temperature until completely dry. Then grind in a blender or food processor, turning it into flour,and voila!
You can also add almond pulp to oatmeal or smoothies.
Not to mention in your compost, but I think it’s too delicious to toss in there.
Homemade Almond Milk Shelf Life
The one downside to making almond milk at home is the shelf live.
But let’s be real, that’s because we aren’t adding a bunch of chemicals and crap to it. And really, should anything last on a shelf for weeks/months at a time?!
That being said, homemade almond milk will stay fresh in your fridge for a few days.
I typically add a piece of tape with the date it was made to the top of the jar.
Since the process is so easy, whipping up a deliciously fresh batch will quickly become part of your kitchen routine.
Smaller, more frequent batches are key.
Tools for making Perfect Almond Milk
Use what you can, there’s no need to break the bank for homemade almond milk.
That being said, having the right tools will make your life easier.
- Blender or Food Processor.
This is actually a crucial tool for making a desirable drink.
The first time I made almond milk was in a Magic Bullets I borrowed from a friend. I broke it 2 minutes in. It sucked.
Nowadays I use my Blendtec Blender. Game changer.
If you don’t have a high speed blender, that’s ok. BUT you’ll want to blend the nuts for as long as possible for the creamiest outcome.
- Most recipes call for cheese cloth. I laugh at them.
Sure you can use it, but don’t you want to know what’ll make your life 10 times easier and ultimately save you a ton of money?
A Nut Milk Strainer Bag.
I bought mine on Amazon for under $10. It’s reusable, and with as often as I make almond milk that’s really important to me.
Plus, it has a drawstring around the perimeter so your pulp goes directly in the bag.
I don’t know if I’m alone here, but I always struggled to keep the pulp within the edges of the cheese cloth, which resulted with pulp in my milk.
Flavoring Your Almond Milk
I’ll be honest, I’m a purest and drink my almond milk as plain as possible.
But you know I’m weird, and I completely understand most people don’t like it this way.
When I make almond milk for friends and family, I typically toss a few other ingredients in the blender to win them over!
When drinking any type of milk, most people expect something similar to dairy milk, which is naturally sweet in flavor. Unflavored nut milk doesn’t offer the same sweetness.
Which is why people typically add something to it, such as:
- 2 Teaspoons (or more to taste) of sweetener. I use maple syrup. Honey, agave nectar or coconut sugar are also good alternatives.
- 2 Dates (in lieu of sweeteners above)
- 2 Tablespoons Cacao Nibs. Soak these overnight with the almonds. In combination with the sweetener above, it makes for a delicious chocolate milk.
- ¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¼ Teaspoon Cinnamon
Almond Milk Recipe
Ready to make a batch of milk you’ll actually want to drink?!
Awesome, let’s get started! Let us know in the comments below what you think
- 1 Cup Raw Almonds
- 4 Cups Filtered Water (plus more for soaking)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- check out optional additions above
- Place almonds in a mason jar or container and cover with 1 inch of water. Cover the jar, and place in the fridge for 24-48 hours.
- After they’ve soaked, drain and rinse almonds thoroughly.
- Process almonds, 4 cups of water and salt in a blender until the almonds are finely ground.
- In a large bowl, place a nut milk strainer bag, or a triple layer of cheese cloth.
- Pour blended ingredients into cloth/bag. Gathered the edges of the cloth/bag around the almond pulp and squeeze the ingredients to let out as much liquid as possible.