How To Make Almond Milk

When I committed to October Unprocessed last year for the first time, I didn’t think it would be that big of a challenge considering how I eat already. I am a whole foods kind of girl. Already, when I go to my local co-op, I buy one-ingredient items or produce. I’ve already gotten into the habit of “processing” from scratch the foods I want to eat, such as condiments and bread.

But when the month began and I took a closer look at my daily food choices, I realized I had room to grow. I took on the challenge with gusto as an opportunity to learn how to make the processed foods I do indulge in. I came to realize that going unprocessed does not mean totally abandoning the foods I love or surviving a month of diet-like denial.

Often we buy processed foods out of convenience, thinking it would be too complicated, time-consuming or just plain impossible to make them from scratch. Well as it turns out, almond milk, a processed food I used to buy on a regular basis, is not. A product that used to come from the store in a tetra pak now sits in a mason jar in my fridge, with an ingredient list that consists solely of water and almonds.

A result of last year’s challenge has now become a seamless part of my weekly routine and a constant reminder of how easy and satisfying going unprocessed can be.

As far as the economic benefits are concerned, I was able to get about three cups of raw almonds out of a pound, which yields about three quarts of almond milk. Considering that I spent around $6 for the almonds and usually spend $2 – $2.50 on a container of almond milk, I pretty much broke even as far as cost was concerned.

However, the benefit that comes with making your own almond milk, besides the pride, is being able to make the quantity you want. Drinking a quart of almond milk can be a little bit of a challenge for one girl, but being able to make just a pint, which is not an option with commercially produced non-dairy milks, is priceless. Also, the almond paste bi-product I strain out makes a great, protein-tastic addition to a smoothie.

Let’s also consider packaging. Like I said, I was able to get three quarts of almond milk out of one package of Trader Joe’s raw almonds. So theoretically, I went from three rectangular containers to one plastic bag. Better yet, when I buy my almonds in bulk with my reusable produce sack, I’m down to no packaging at all! Score!

So, the verdict? Making your own almond milk is totally worth the effort and makes me happy every week! Check out this short video to see just how easy and fun it can be!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ANZ5XpuH5M

4.56 from 9 votes
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Almond Milk

From Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It by Karen Solomon. Be advised: Homemade almond milk is a little grainier than you’ll be used to if you’re a processed almond milk drinker. It grows on you though and is virtually unnoticeable in a smoothie.
Course Beverage
Cuisine American
Prep Time 6 hours 2 minutes
Total Time 6 hours 2 minutes
Yield 4 cups
Calories 205 kcal
Author Karen Solomon

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 4 cups water plus more for soaking

Instructions

  1. Put the almonds in a mixing bowl and cover with water. Let sit for at least 6 hours.
  2. Strain the almonds and put in a blender with 4 cups of water. (It must be a blender, not a food processor – trust my previous experience on this one.) Blend for a full 2 minutes.
  3. Strain the blended mixture into a quart-size canning jar using a fine sieve. Press the solids through with a rubber spatula.
  4. Periodically, scrape the solids from the sieve (save them for smoothies) and rinse the sieve to enable more liquid to pass through.
  5. Strain the first liquid through the sieve again, this time without pushing the mixture through. What you end up with in that jar is your finished product – DIY Almond Milk!
  6. Enjoy within 5 days.

About the Author

Stacy Brewer, teacher, artist, urban farmer, and self-proclaimed garden nerd, is committed to cooking with as many local and seasonal ingredients as possible and raising as much food as she can in her yard. She writes with heart and humor about all things gardening, preserving and crafting on her blog, Seattle Seedling.

You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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Sharon
Sharon
October 3, 2012 1:29 pm

Clarify the recipe?

Do you use the soaking water to blend the almonds?

Ger
Ger
October 3, 2012 4:38 am

5 stars
Wow looks good, can i have some! 😀

Cheryl
Cheryl
October 2, 2012 9:01 am

I just made my first batch of almond milk and we love it! I’ve been so frustrated at not being able to find almond milk without carrageenan added! This is perfect and only costs $1.33 a quart using almonds bought at Costco. The graininess didn’t bother us, but I would like to find a nut milk bag and see what the texture is like after using it. Thanks for the recipe!!!

Jennifer L.
Jennifer L.
October 2, 2012 8:53 am

I don’t have a blender, but have an immersion blender. Do you think that would work?

marge201
marge201
October 2, 2012 10:00 am
Reply to  Jennifer L.

I too have no blender but have an immersion (and a really good one–All-Clad 600W from Sonoma; I love it!) so I might try that.

Also, Susan, I’m a fan of the 40-calorie milk too. It sounds like the idea of using more water is the ticket. Must buy raw almonds and try this!

Winnie
October 2, 2012 7:29 am

I love homemade nut/seed milks, and I always strain with a nut milk bag so they’re smooth. I had sunflower milk with my breakfast today.

Susan H
Susan H
October 2, 2012 6:03 am

I have a question. I normally use Almond Breeze unsweetened 40-calorie milk. Do you think I can safely assume that the homemade version would have about the same calorie content? Or does anyone know if, in the processing, A.B. removes some oil, making their product less caloric?

Elle
Elle
October 2, 2012 12:05 am

My daughter loves almond milk – it is about 4$ a quart where I live so it’s a rare treat for her. I’m glad I can now make some at home! Thanks for the recipe and the other ideas in the comments!

Deborawh
Deborawh
October 1, 2012 8:29 pm

Valya Boutenko has a wonderful recipe for the leftover almond meal that can be made into a sandwich filling.I believe she calls it spicy almond cheese. It is made with olive oil, red onion, dill, red pepper and lemon juice and makes a very delicious sandwich with a slice of tomato and lettuce, or as a filling in a rolled leaf of Romaine or a destemmed collard leaf. It can also be stuffed into a hollowed out peppers for a treat. As a raw food chef, I also like to add some lemon juice, unsweetened coconut and agave into the pulp, form it into cookies and dehydrate, for a nice healthy treat with a cup of tea. On the subject of the actual milk, I will make my almonds go farther by using 6 or more cups of water for every cup of almonds which makes it more like a… Read more »

marge201
marge201
October 1, 2012 6:35 pm

Very interesting! I love making my own stuff and saving $$ and packaging. I make my own yogurt and hummus and they’re both killer. I also make my own veggie wash.

I have located my very old Krups blender base and an equally ancient blender bowl but they don’t match!! Any cheap blender will do? How about the vanilla? I really like Blue Diamond unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Does anyone know if Blue Diamond’s high calcium content is related to the other stuff they put in there? The “more calcium than milk” claim is one of my motivations in using it. I’ve got a fine sieve that I bought for cleaning quinoa. I’m almost set to try this!