Making your own almond milk seems intimidating at first, but it is actually really easy, and worth the time and effort. I don’t always make my own almond milk, but most of the time I am using my own homemade stuff, and it tastes so wonderful!
The reason I started making my own almond milk was because I read about how easy it is, and how making things yourself allows you to know exactly what goes into the things you put into your body. It is important to know that kind of stuff, and although store bought almond milk isn’t a terrible thing to drink (at all, I still do!), the real stuff is far better.
I used to have a cheap blender and I made almond milk myself, so don’t try to use excuses saying that your blender isn’t good enough to make some, it is, and I have some tips and tricks to get it perfect!
The stuff in the store has so many listed ingredients, which is a shame considering the stuff you can make at home is just two—almonds and water. Here are my 6 steps to making and enjoying homemade almond milk.
Soaking your almonds before hand is critical to the success of making almond milk. Soaking makes the nuts nice and soft, which allows them to fully get pulverized in the blender when it comes time to make the milk.
Not only is this step important for blending ability, but soaking the nuts is also important for helping with digestion. Nuts have something called phytic acid, which is also found in beans and legumes. Phytic acid is a protective mechanism for the plants, it helps them to deal with stressful times, and allows them a better chance of survival at those times. The problem is, phytic acid inhibits the absorption of nutrients, the very ones we are eating the nuts to get. So although you have to soak the almonds for milk making purposes, you should be enjoying soaked nuts all the time when you choose to eat nuts.
Soaking should be done overnight, or for 8 hours, in a jar of clean water. If you plan on soaking them for longer, be sure you store the nuts in the fridge.
This step is optional, but it is especially helpful for those who are not working with one of the fancy high-powered blenders. I would get a few unbroken chunks when I used my old blender, but this was all fixed once I started peeling the nuts after soaking.
I know, peeling nuts sounds like torture, but it is actually super easy, the white creamy inside of the almond will pop right out, so it only takes a few minutes, I like to do it watching tv, or chatting with my family. You can simply get rid of the peels once you are finished.
Like I said, you don’t need to peel the almonds, but when you do the result is the creamiest almond milk ever! The left over pulp is also very nice, fine ground and white, making it perfect to dehydrate and use as almond flour after. You can also use the unpeeled pulp to make flour later too.
This is the easy part, once you have the peeled (or unpeeled) almonds ready to go, add them to the blender with water. I usually soak less than one cup of almonds, and after soaking you will notice they are much bigger, about a cup. I use just over 4 cups of fresh pure water in my blender and let to go! I have a Blendtec and it takes less than one minute to get the milk nice and smooth.
You can use less (or more) water too, depending on how thick you like/need your almond milk, I think I might make mine a bit thinner next time, but choose as you like, if it is for drinking, this ratio works well.
While I don’t have a fancy nut milk bag, this is exactly what their purpose is! I use a clean foot of a stocking, but a fine mesh sieve would probably work too. Pour your milk through one of the above-mentioned options and squeeze out the liquid into a bowl. My tip: don’t squeeze it into something small; a large bowl is your best option, sometimes it sprays around, not cool.
5. Add Ins
This again, is optional. It really depends on what your almond milk will be used for and what kind you normally buy. If you want to add things to flavour your milk, this is the time to do it. Here are some of my ideas, but anything would work.
If you are choosing any of these you can rinse out your blender and put the strained milk in with your additions and blend. I usually just go for some salt and vanilla and whisk it in the bowl, but if you are using a date, you should probably use the blender!
6. Store and Use
I recommended you use the fresh almond milk within 5-7 days, it tastes best at this time. Mine has never made it past this amount of time either. Also, shake the almond milk before using, it will separate and settle because there is no emulsifiers to keep it mixed. I love to steam my almond milk and add it to my coffee, or use it in a smoothie after my Zumba classes!
Amanda’s Homemade Almond Milk (makes ~4 cups)
After soaking the almonds for 8-12 hours, remove the skin and add the nuts to the blender with the water. Blend on high until you can tell all the nuts have been pulverized. Strain the mixture through a nut milk bag, a stocking, or a fine sieve into a large bowl. Add in the salt and the vanilla to the milk and whisk to incorporate. Store in a seal-able container in the fridge for up to 7 days (I love my mason jars).
You can follow this method for all nut milks, though I have not tried. If you are using cashews, you don’t even need to strain, they are so soft!
Don’t throw away the almond pulp, there are a ton of recipes out there for how to use it up, store it in the freezer until you have enough to make a recipe. You can also dehydrate the pulp to make it into almond flour, giving you more options!
If for some reason you don’t like almonds, you should be aware that homemade almond milk tastes a lot more like almonds then anything I have had from the store, so keep that in mind.
Have you ever made your own almond milk? What do you make at home instead of buy?
Amanda is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist out of Southwest Middlesex, and London ON. She works with clients to help them achieve their health and wellness goals!
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