Do you buy almond milk at the store? Did you know it’s less expensive and quite simple to make your own? Keep reading to learn how to make easy homemade almond milk.
In my recent quest to eliminate dairy from my diet (darn sinuses!) I have been taste-testing a lot of nut milks. By far my favorite is almond milk – especially the vanilla variety. I love the flavor it brings to my overnight oats. At first, I just purchased almond milk at the store. However, I quickly discovered how easy it is to make your own almond milk.
Why Make Your Own Almond Milk?
The best reason to make your own almond milk is to avoid preservatives and additives. I like my food chemical free 🙂 Here is a list of ingredients in a common brand of almond milk:
- evaporated cane juice (sugar)
- almonds (interesting, this variety has more sugar than almonds as the cane juice is listed first.)
- calcium carbonate (they are trying to make up for the calcium that you get from real milk)
- natural vanilla flavor (don’t be fooled by the term “natural” – it is not regulated so anyone can use it without any set standards. This is most likely artificial vanilla flavoring, not true vanilla extract.)
- sea salt
- potassium citrate (a preservative)
- carrageenan (extracted from seaweed, usually used as a thickener, probably added here to simulate the thickness of real whole milk)
- soy lecithen (an emulsifier, probably added to keep the milk from separating)
- Vitamin A Palmitate (added Vitamin A, probably synthetic)
- Vitamin D2 and D-Alpha-Tocopherol (added Vitamins D and E, again most likely synthetic. Vitamins created in the lab are not absorbed as well by the body as vitamins obtained naturally in food)
When you make your own almond milk at home, the ingredient list shrinks to just almonds and water. That sounds preferable to me!
Easy Homemade Almond Milk Recipe
This is so quick and easy, it almost doesn’t need a tutorial. Just soak some almonds, blend with water, strain, and you’re done. You want to use a ratio of 1 part almonds to 4 parts water. Since I am the only one in my house who drinks almond milk, I make a smaller batch to ensure I use it all before it goes bad.
- 1/2 cup whole almonds
- water for soaking
- 2 cups filtered water
Soak the almonds overnight in 3-4 cups of water. Drain, discarding the soaking water. Add 2 cups filtered water to your blender and the drained almonds. Blend on high for a minute or two. I use a Vitamix, but I imagine you can make almond milk using a regular blender as well.
You will need a nut milk bag or a fine strainer to strain the pulp from the milk. I started out with a strainer, but then bought this nut milk bag.
I prefer the nut milk bag because you can squeeze it to help the process along. Although it is doable with a regular strainer, it takes a lot longer for it to strain completely
Remove as much milk as you can from the pulp. Store the almond milk in the refrigerator and shake before serving.
Makes about 2 cups of almond milk and 1/2 cup almond pulp depending on how well you were able to strain it. Homemade almond milk can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days.
The leftover almond pulp can be used in cookies, crackers, etc. You can even dehydrate it to make almond flour. We love using it as a breading for faux-fried chicken!
Flavoring your easy homemade almond milk
My favorite variation is sweetened vanilla almond milk. To make it, I soak 2 medjool dates (pits removed) in 2 cups of filtered water for about 15 minutes. Drain your soaked almonds then add to the water and dates in the blender. Blend on high, then strain. To the finished product add 1 tsp pure vanilla extract.
You could also add some cacao powder to make chocolate almond milk. Or what about some cinnamon? The possibilities are endless.
Cost Comparison: Easy Homemade Almond Milk vs. Storebought Almond Milk
You can get 32 oz containers of Almond Breeze for $3.94 each when you buy in bulk. Raw almonds cost me $6.64 a pound at my local health food store. I use 1/2 cup (approx. 3 oz) to make 2 cups of almond milk. So it costs me approx. $1.25 to make 2 cups of almond milk or $2.50 to make 32 oz. So you save about $1.50 per 32 oz each time you make your own almond milk. Of course, this will vary depending on your prices at the grocery store.
When you make your own almond milk, you avoid needless chemicals and additives. In addition, you save money over storebought. Considering how easy it is, it is well-worth it to make homemade almond milk. So tell me… Have you ever made almond milk at home? What are your favorite flavors?