When Will told me recently that he wanted to try making our own almond milk, I kind of rolled my eyes (in the nicest way possible). All I could picture was us turning into a couple of hippies who live off the land (is there land to live off of in Boston?) and who buy nothing that has been touched by a factory or processing plant. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the image made me giggle a little bit.
I have heard of people making their own almond milk, mostly through my friends who have done Whole 30 because most store bought brands contain a bunch of, well, preservatives. Not quite what you’re looking for when trying to get back to whole, natural foods. Anyway, I always figured that it would be a difficult, time consuming process — that and the fact that I’m just plain lazy when it comes to anything involving the kitchen. Can I buy it? Ok then.
But when I came home the other day to some almonds soaking in the fridge, and then later watched Will going through the process, I realized two things: 1. It’s actually pretty darn easy. 2. It takes about five minutes of your time. So I had no excuses left.
After doing a little research and realizing that it’s not as ambitious an undertaking as I originally thought, I came around to the idea. See, most store bought brands of almond milk contain, among other preservatives, Carageenans, which have been shown in some studies to cause intestinal inflammation, and has also been shown, in high doses, to possibly be a carcinogen. So I guess it could be a good idea to make our own, no?
If there are any drawbacks to making your own almond milk, they are not many. I’m not lying when I say that it only takes a few minutes of your time — 5 -10 minutes every few days really isn’t that bad, right? I guess the only other thing I can think of is that when you make your own, it doesn’t last very long (those darn preservatives are there for a reason when you buy it!). If you use a lot of almond milk, you will have to make it a couple of times per week, as it will only last for 3-5 days in the fridge. That’s not a problem in this household, as we go through it like wildfire, but if you only use it once every few days, I wouldn’t go making a big batch that will just go bad before you can use it. That just defeats the purpose, no?
Anyway, on to the recipe!
We watched this video and then altered the recipe a tiny bit to suit our taste.
Homemade Almond Milk – adapted from this recipe from Clean and Delicious with Dani Spies
1 large bowl
1 large mason jar — or something to hold the final product
Cheese cloth or a paint strainer bag (see picture below recipe)
1 Fine mesh strainer — if using cheese cloth
1 cup almonds – soaked overnight in water (or at least 8 hours, up to 2 days)
3-4 cups water – depending on consistency desired
1 Medjool Date – pitted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Strain the liquid from the soaked almonds and rinse them. In a high powered blender, add the almonds, water (desired amount), date, and vanilla extract. Blend at high speed for about two minutes, until it forms a white, frothy liquid. If using a paint strainer bag (what we used), spread the bag open over the large bowl. Slowly pour the almond mixture through the bag so that the liquid can drain into the bowl. After all of the liquid mixture has been poured, you will have the ground almond meal remaining in the bag. Close the bag around the almond meal, and lightly squeeze to extract remaining liquid into the bowl.
If using cheese cloth and a strainer, line the strainer with cheese cloth over the large bowl. Follow the same process as above, slowly pouring almond mixture over cheese cloth, and carefully squeezing out remaining liquid at the end.
Pour your almond milk from the bowl into your mason jar or other sealable container, and refrigerate for up to 3-5 days. Enjoy!
- Don’t throw out the leftover almond meal after straining the liquid! This can be used in smoothies, in oatmeal, or even in delicious paleo recipes like almond flour pancakes. Think outside the box here! Just store it in the fridge, and try to use it within a few days I’d say.
- We did a first run using the cheese cloth/strainer method, and found it to be far too messy for our liking. Will found the paint strainer bags for a great price (something like $1.99 per bag), after finding out it’s the same material that people use to make “nut bags” (tee hee– get your mind out of the gutter!) that are sold for $10 for this exact purpose. It was a clean and easy process using that and there was no need to dirty our strainer, making clean up even easier. Not to mention that the bag is easily washed out can be reused again and again.
don’t you call me a nut bag.. why I oughtta…
- We made our second batch with 1 C almonds and 4 C water. I thought it was fine, but Will found it a little watery, so we will probably do the next batch with about 3 C water instead. Play around with it a bit to find your desired consistency.
So there you have it, I think I’m converted. All aboard the hippy train! 😉
Readers: Have you ever tried making your own almond milk? What’s your favorite recipe to use almond meal/almond flour?