How to make homemade almond milk in 3 easy steps + a Spiced Vanilla Almond Milk recipe

November 5, 2014

How to make homemade almond milk recipe | One Hungry Mama

We’ve just crossed into holiday cooking season and here I am offering you a tutorial on how to make homemade almond milk. This recipe does not call for butter. The vanilla almond milk recipe doesn’t even have sugar (it’s sweetened with prunes!). No pie crust. No heavy cream. But, still, this is our favorite recipe right now. The spiced vanilla almond milk, in particular—it has a warming, holiday flavor that’s perfect for right now. My boys have been drinking it warmed with a little honey mixed in. I plan on using it to make a healthy holiday nog and plenty of holiday spiced smoothies, so keep an eye out.

Making homemade almond milk may seem like an unnecessary bother to some—I get it. This process may not be for everyone, but it’s too easy not to share. Plus, I’ve been reading up on carrageenan, a common additive in nut, soy and grain milks that helps to thicken them and it’s definitely questionable, especially consumed in great quantity. Given how frequently my boys drink almond and soy milk, I’m thinking homemade is the way to go.

Thank goodness making almond milk from scratch is so easy with such a worthwhile payback. (It tastes so much better than the store bought kind.)

Here’s the deal:

How to make homemade almond milk recipe: Soak almonds | One Hungry Mama

1. Soak the almonds.
Start by soaking raw almonds in water. Make sure that they are covered by at least an inch of water; tap is fine. An 8 hour to overnight soak is ideal for a thick, full-bodied milk, but the recipe will work even if you can only soak them for a couple of hours. If you have to leave them for more than overnight, that’s okay, too; the almonds can soak for up to 2 days. Drain soaked almonds, discarding the soaking water.


How to make homemade almond milk recipe: Blend almonds | One Hungry Mama

2. Blend the almonds with fresh water.
Add the plumped almonds to a blender along with fresh water. For every cup of almonds that you have soaked, you’ll need 2 cups of water. Filtered water is best, but whatever you normally drink is fine. Now blend! Blend, blend and blend some more. I blend for a full minute even in my high-powered blender. If your blender isn’t super powered or you’re using a food processor, go for 2-4 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary. You want the almonds to turn into a very fine pulp.


How to make homemade almond milk recipe: strain almond milk | One Hungry Mama

3. Strain the almond milk.
Using a nut milk bag (yes, there is such a thing; more on that in a minute) or a strainer lined with a fine mesh cheesecloth placed over a large bowl, strain the nut milk from the blender. No matter what you use, be sure to really press on the almond meal to extract all the milk. One cup of almonds (blended with 2 cups of water) has consistently yielded 2 cups of milk for me, but I press like my life depends on it! The liquid will go through—this is the magic stuff—and the almond pulp will remain.

Once you have collected all of your almond milk, pour it into a jar and refrigerate. It will stay good for 2-4 days. Use it as is (in cereal, smoothies, baking, etc) or stir in your favorite sweetener. We use honey when the boys just want to drink a glass of almond milk.

You’ll also be left with a hunk of velvety almond meal. I’ve read about all kind of applications, but the only one I’ve tested myself is adding it to oatmeal. Delicious.

About that nut milk bag.
It may seem ridiculous to suggest that you buy a $10 nut milk bag but, if you think you’ll do this more than once and it fits your budget, it’s actually worth it. The mesh of a nut milk bag is super fine and does a perfect job separating the almond milk from the meal. A cheesecloth can work, but it’s trickier for sure: Make sure to use a fine mesh gauge and fold it over a few times. You may need to strain your milk more than once if you want a perfectly smooth milk (which I prefer).

And that Spiced Vanilla Almond Milk recipe, too.
I’ve been making double batches of my almond milk so that I can have 1 jar of the plain stuff and 1 jar of the Spiced Vanilla Almond Milk I was raving about earlier. I’ll soak 2 cups of almonds in one bowl and then use half of them as directed above and the other half in this Vanilla Almond Milk recipe from Oh She Glows. Angela calls for adding a whole vanilla bean (you can substitute vanilla extract, but the bean is divine), a dash of cinnamon, and a couple of dates to sweetened things up. I’ve substituted prunes and they work just as well.

I cannot say emphatically enough how HEAVENLY the spiced Vanilla Almond Milk is. Make this recipe even if you don’t drink or have never used almond milk. It’s perfect for a cup of chai, my Masala Milk, Vanilla Gingered Milk, or or even just warmed with a bit of honey (and also steeped with a few slices of fresh ginger, if that’s your thing). It’s holiday drink goodness at it’s best. Trust me on this one.

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