Almond milk is an absolute staple in my kitchen. I’m going to show you, step by step, how to make almond milk at home. It’s not as hard (or hardcore hippy) as it sounds!
Homemade vs. store bought
I mean, packaged almond milk is good and all. If you’re already using it in place of cow’s milk, you are a rockstar! Packaged almond milk is an amazing dairy substitute, and can be used in all sorts of recipes in place of milk. (If you want to know my thoughts on cow’s milk dairy, read them here.) But as amazing as store-bought almond milk is, it’s still a packaged product that contains some additives and preservatives that can irritate your tummy. Carrageenan, which is derived from seaweed, is used as a binding agent in many packaged foods including nut milks (and coffee cream, for that matter), and can further irritate any sort of inflammatory bowel disorder.
I usually rotate between store-bought almond milk and homemade; store-bought because I am busy, and homemade because I love the taste so damn much – homemade almond milk is truly next level. It’s much richer than packaged almond milk, and tastes like fresh almonds. And, best of all, there are absolutely no additives; it’s made from almonds and water. As natural as it gets.
Nut milks date back to medieval Europe and the Middle East, and were used as dairy substitutes during fasting.
Almonds are high in vitamin E (an antioxidant and one of the most important nutrients for skin health), magnesium (a mineral that helps to relax muscles, promote sleep and keep blood circulating smoothly) and tryptophan (the feel-good amino acid that helps to regulate appetite, elevate mood and promote good sleep).
You can milk almost any nut (or seed)
Don’t laugh, it’s true! Substitute cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts, sesame or sunflower seeds. Or mix ‘em up.
Making your own almond milk takes very little time. It just requires a little pre-planning in order to soak the almonds overnight. You may see some recipes that call for a little honey, dates, maple syrup or cinnamon to sweeten the almond milk. I haven’t incorporated any sweeteners into my almond milk because I want to give you the freedom to incorporate it into savoury recipes. Why limit yourself? Here’s the step-by-step recipe.
Amazing Almond Milk
1 cup almonds
4 cups water + soaking water
cheesecloth or a nut milk bag
1. Soak the almonds overnight in enough water to cover. In the morning, drain the soaking water and rinse the almonds.
2. Put the almonds in your blender and cover with 2 cups of water. Blend on high for a few minutes.
3. Next, take your cheesecloth (or nut milk bag) and lay it overtop of a small strainer. You want a double layer of the cheesecloth, in a big enough piece that it falls over the sides of the strainer.
4. Pour the almond milk mixture through the cheesecloth.
5. Take the almond pulp from the cheesecloth and return it to the blender with the remaining 2 cups of water. Blend again and once again pour the mixture through the cheesecloth.
6. You’ll want to SQUEEZE the cheesecloth in order to get all of the almond milky goodness into the bowl. You’ll now have 4 cups of delicious and creamy almond milk. Pour into a mason jar and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
NOTE: Do NOT throw out the almond pulp. Put it in the freezer, and stay tuned for an amazing recipe! Trust me because I’ve made many inedible things from the pulp and have learned much.
If you’re worried about what to do with all this almond milk, fear not. Here are a few of my fave uses:
- Make a matcha green tea latte
- Add 1 cup to your smoothie and experience creamy almond smoothie bliss
- Pour over oatmeal or amaranth porridge
- Use in place of cow’s milk in your next frittata
- Add it to coffee in place of cream (prepare thyself, this is one of my favourite uses for homemade almond milk)
- Gift it to a friend. I just brought some to the owner of my local coffee shop, a die-hard cream-in-coffee believer, to see what he thought. To be continued…
- Drink it!
Happy almond milking. xo Andrea