Back when my husband and I tried the raw food diet for a month we wound up making a lot of food from scratch that we might have normally purchased at a store. One of those things was almond milk. At first making this sort of thing was truly intimidating, but once done we realized how easy it could be. Prep time is minutes, although twiddling your thumbs takes hours.
I was reminded of our foray into non-dairy milk making when I was on VeganYumYum a few weeks ago. She made her own soy milk, which, if you have ever done it, is both labor-intensive and time-consuming. She wasn’t exactly happy with the end results, either.
Inspired by her post, I decided to start making milk again, and am I glad I did. This batch turned out wonderfully. It was creamy, mostly smooth (mostly!), and didn’t even last a full week because we just couldn’t help ourselves.
Raw Homemade Almond Milk
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 7 – 8 cups water
- Agave nectar or another sweetener (optional)
Put your almonds into a good-sized bowl and fill the bowl up with water until they are covered well.
Cover with a towel and let sit in a cool place for about 24 – 48 hours (honestly, you could probably get away with less time, but I haven’t tried it). Rinse the almonds once a day, and if you are soaking for more than one day cover the almonds with water again.
Once they are finished soaking they will have become plump.
The difference is pretty amazing.
Pour off the water from the almonds and rinse well. Place the rinsed almonds into a blender (we use a VitaMix, but any blender should work fine), add the 7 – 8 cups of water, and blend for a few minutes or until well blended. At this stage you can add a sweetener if you want, but I left it out myself. Since the milk can potentially be used in a variety of ways it seems that you may want to leave the sweetener out.
When it is done blending it will look something like this…
…and it will have a lot of froth on top.
Strain the almond milk through a bag strainer (probably best), or through a fine sieve into your original bowl or another large container. We used to have a bag strainer, but found it hard to clean, so I used our small sieve.
If I am going to be making this on a regular basis I need to get a good sized sieve.
As you are straining it you will be getting a lot of almond meal. It is up to you if you want to conserve this or throw it out. You can do a variety of things with it – i.e. dehydrate it, turn it into a flour, mix it into some bread, etc.
After you have finished straining it, strain it again into your final pitcher or container. This will ensure that it is as smooth as possible. You can strain even further, but it is up to you.
The final result – about a half gallon of good and easy almond milk. Store in the refrigerator and try to use within a week. You will need to stir the almond milk every time you bring it out of the refrigerator to use since it does settle.
In thinking about making your own milk there are a couple of things to consider. Firstly, it amazes me how many ingredients are in commercial vegan milks. There’s usually a lot of sugar, not many ingredients I even recognize, and some are just plain unnecessary.
Secondly, the actual price of the product in the store compared to the price of making it at home is definitely less (of course this depends on how much you pay for almonds). If you pay $3.99 for 64 ounces of Silk Soymilk, then it is about $0.49/cup. If you pay $1.59 for rice milk, then it is about $0.40/cup. If you pay $5.79/pound for almonds, and of that use one cup of almonds to make eight cups of almond milk, then your price will come to about $0.27/cup or $1.09 for 4 cups (32 ounces) or $2.17 for eight cups (64 ounces).
Bottom line, it’s worth it.
If you are allergic to tree nuts you can make other milks in similar ways, like sunflower seed milk. I made that this past weekend and it wasn’t quite as good as the almond milk, but it still turned out fine. Difference was the soaking time (about four hours).
Overall, this is a very easy, cost effective, and delicious way to get homemade vegan milk.