How to Make Almond Milk




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How to Make Almond Milk ~ this is a game changer, I promise!  This non-dairy almond milk recipe is healthy, fresh tasting, and easy to make at home!

Photo of almond milk being poured into a glass.

I’m a new convert to almond milk — have you tasted it?  I loved it from the first sip, and I can’t believe I’ve avoided trying it this long.  This is going to sound like a sponsored post, but it isn’t.  I’m just head over heels for the stuff.  I didn’t expect it to be so creamy, or to have such a lovely, nutty flavor.  I think I might actually like it better than regular dairy milk, and this is coming from a life long milk drinker.  I’ve done some research on it since my ‘epiphany’, and I can’t find anything bad about it — it’s low in calories and fat, and very high in vitamins and nutrients.  Compared to dairy milk  it’s  better for the environment, has none of the ethical issues of raising cows for their milk, and there’s no concern about hormones or saturated fat.  And almond milk has  stood the test of time, people have been making it and drinking it since the Middle Ages.

And guess what?  It’s one of the easiest DIY projects out there, and I’m telling you, once you try it with your morning cereal or granola, you’ll never eat it any other way.  I just made a  homemade batch for an upcoming post, and so I thought I’d show you how easy it is to make.  I even did a taste test to see how my homemade version stacks up against the big name brands.

Photo of almond milk being poured into a pitcher.

Like I said, almond milk is nothing new, but it’s new to me.   I saw a recipe on my friend Mary’s site a while ago, but I never got around to making it.  I thought of almond milk as a dairy substitute for vegans and the lactose intolerant, not as a delicious food in its own right.  I’m so glad I finally gave it a try, I can’t get over how appealing it is.  If you buy raw almonds in bulk you can whip this up on a weekly basis.  It takes just minutes and the result is eye opening.  If you’re on the fence, you have to try it.

Photo of pitcher with blended almonds for making almond milk.

The method is simple — it starts with almonds that have been soaked in water overnight.  This apparently makes all their nutrients more easily digestible, but you can skip this step if you are in a hurry.  You grind the almonds in a blender until they are completely pulverized.  It doesn’t take long.  Then blend in a quart of water.  The resulting milky liquid is strained through cheesecloth, a fine mesh strainer, or a clean dishcloth.  If you get really into this, buy yourself a Nut Milk Bag, especially made for draining the nut mixture.  Give it a good strong squeeze to get out all the milky liquid, and you’re in business.  Refrigerate until icy cold and then use just like dairy milk.   It truly is quick and easy, and it’s truly delicious, I would not lie to you.

Photo of mixing bowl with homemade almond milk.

Some people like to add a little sweetener like honey, and/or a touch of vanilla.  I prefer mine plain.

Photo of three store-bought almond milks and a homemade almond milk lined up for a taste test.

Taste Test Results:

I tested my homemade version against 3 of the top almond milk brands: Silk, Almond Breeze, And Califia Farms.  You can buy almond milk with flavoring and sweeteners added, but I bought the plain versions of each.  I’m glad to report that all four were pleasant, and worth trying.  I’ll lay out the subtle differences for you here and hopefully it will help you make a choice depending on your preferences.

Overall Best:  My Homemade won, no surprise.  It was light and fresh, with a very subtle but true raw almond flavor.

Best for kids:   The Silk won here…it was definitely a little thicker and a little sweeter than the others.  If you’re afraid of almond milk, start here.   This  one would be great in sweet recipes like cocoa, puddings,  etc, and also perfect on kid’s cereal.

Most Neutral:   Almond Breeze was the most neutral, and therefore I would say the most like regular milk.  It had the least pronounced flavor or aroma of the four.

Color:   All four were more or less the same slightly off white color.  The Homemade was the whitest,  Califia Farms was the darkest.

Viscosity:   The Homemade was the lightest.  Silk was the thickest, and was too artificially thick for my taste, at least for straight drinking purposes.  Again it would be good for dessert applications  like milkshakes,  rice pudding, or something like that.

Separation:   Upon sitting, the Homemade separated fairly quickly.  The other three remained homogenized over the course of an hour.  In any case you should shake or stir all almond milks before drinking.

Aroma:   The Homemade has a distinct raw almond scent.  Silk has a pleasant, slightly toasted aroma.   Califia Farms has an off aroma that I can’t place and don’t care for.  Almond Breeze had the least scent of all of them, again, making it closer to regular milk.

Almond Flavor:  The Homemade had the freshest, most pleasant raw almond flavor.  Almond Breeze was a close second.  The Califia Farms had a slight  aftertaste that I didn’t love.   Almond Breeze was neutral.

This is just my own personal ranking, but they are close, so if you’re interested, I recommend giving them all a taste and judging for yourself.

#1  Homemade almond milk

#2  Almond Breeze

#3  Califia Farms

#4  Silk (only because of the sweetness, if you like things sweet, you’ll like this one)

Photo of a glass of almond milk with whole almonds on a table.

Looking for ways to use your fresh almond milk? Try my TOASTED ALMOND MILKSHAKE for a sweet treat, or CHICKEN IN ALMOND MILK for a delicious dinner.

*This recipe slightly adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen

Homemade Pure Raw Almond Milk
Rate this recipe

Yield: approximately 1 quart

Homemade Pure Raw Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping cup raw almonds
  • 4 cups water

Instructions

  1. Cover the almonds with water and soak overnight. This helps in digestion and absorption of their nutrients.
  2. Drain the almonds and add them to your blender or food processor. Blend until the almonds are finely pulverized, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender if necessary.
  3. Once the almonds are finely processed, add 4 cups of cold water and process until well combined.
  4. Drain the milk through a muslin nut bag, several layers of cheesecloth, or a fine mesh strainer. Be sure to squeeze every last drop of the wonderful nut milk out.
  5. Pour the almond milk into a clean container and store, covered, in the fridge. It will keep for a week. And be sure to give it a shake or a stir before drinking.

 

Don’t forget to pin this DIY Almond Milk!

How to Make Almond Milk ~ this is a game changer, I promise! This non-dairy almond milk recipe is healthy, fresh tasting, and easy to make at home! #nondairy #milk #nutmilk #almondmilk #almonds #healthybeverage #nondairymilk #lactoseintolerant #nuts

 

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25 Comments

  • Reply
    Lana
    September 11, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    I used to like Almond Breeze by Blue Diamond but it contains carageenan which I no longer wish to drink. I switched to Silk because it does not contain it and is also Verified GMO free. I only use the original because the vanilla flavored is just too sweet and the unsweetened is horrible in my tea or coffee which is my main use of it. I am sure homemade is better all around, but I just can’t be bothered making it.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 11, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      I agree about the unsweetened versions, they are much better, and I hope you give this a try sometime, I think you’ll be amazed at how easy it is.

  • Reply
    Marty
    February 22, 2014 at 3:18 am

    I will have to try this, I have raw almonds in the cupboard. I usually buy silk brand. Almond breeze uses carrageen (spelling?) as a sweetener which I’ve read isn’t really good for you so I shy away from it. Where do you buy a nut bag?

  • Reply
    Jan Janzen
    February 21, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    I preferred Almond Breeze until I discovered Hiland’s almond milk. Sorry, I know it is not available everywhere. If you haven’t tried making potato soup with almond milk, I urge you to do so. It’s fabulous! In fact, almond milk seems to pair well with any potato dish that would normally call for milk. I have noticed that if I am using almond milk in a dish that requires thickening, such as a white sauce, I need to add a bit of fat in order for it to reach desired consistency. I can use butter as long as I don’t overdo it.

  • Reply
    Linda L.
    February 2, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    What do people do with the pulp afterwards? It seems a waste to just throw it out. I’ve never had any of the nut milks but my daughter loves it so I’m going to give this a shot.

  • Reply
    Barbara
    February 1, 2014 at 4:23 am

    Hi Sue!
    I’ve had the almond Silk (I use it in smoothies) and if I’m remembering correctly, made almond milk years ago for a recipe. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted either plain. (not much of a milk drinker) Coconut milk I always use to replace milk in recipes, so much more flavor.
    Can’t wait to give this a try!

  • Reply
    Kate
    January 31, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I keep looking at almond milk. Somewhat scared of it but definitely intrigued, Your post has increased my interest….

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 31, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      I know exactly what you mean, I would look at it in the grocery store and it just put me off..it’s so funny how we get preconceived ideas about unfamiliar foods.

  • Reply
    Christine
    January 30, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Awesome post. Going to make this soon. Ive been drinking almond milk for years, however, not too long ago realized that Blue Diamond brand contains a nasty ingredient called ” Carrageenan”… liquid plastic more or less. Its used as a thickener. Silk brand does NOT contain this though. Stick with Silk brand if not making your own.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 30, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      Let’s face it, most mass produced food these days contains stuff we’d ideally not like to consume. I’m happy that this one is so easy to make at home!

  • Reply
    Marie
    January 30, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I just bought a nut milk bag and I have been eager to try my hand at homemade nut milks. Do you have any suggestions as to where to purchase large quantities of raw nuts? Are there any brands or online retailers that you would suggest? I’ve just been going to my local organic market and using the bulk bins, but I was wondering if there was a less expensive option.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 30, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Great question, Marie, I think I’ll update the post with this info. There are lots of online nut suppliers, and I am guessing that they would have the freshest and best prices. Although in a pinch Trader Joe’s is always pretty reasonable. And don’t forget, that it only takes 1 cup of nuts for a quart of almond milk, so we’re not talking huge quantities here.
      Here are a few online sources: Oh Nuts!
      Just Almonds
      Nuts.com

  • Reply
    SallyBR
    January 30, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Amazing! You know, I always buy Silk, and now I must try Almond Breeze for sure!

    ok, since you asked about what “could” be potentially bad about almond milk, the commercial ones for the most part are thickened with carrageenan.
    Recently I read this article that brings some points to be taken in account, particularly if a person suffers from IBS and other digestive tract illnesses (not my case)

    http://ohsheglows.com/2013/01/07/carrageenan-in-our-food/

    I love it, and will continue enjoying it, I don’t drink a gallon of it per day, maybe 1/2 cup? Delicious on cereal, by the way..

    I am not inclined to make it myself, I like the convenience of buying it ready, but of course, your taste test is making me re-consider my own views…

    Great post!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 30, 2014 at 11:10 am

      Great info, Sally. I looked on the labels and they all are thickened with something or other. One more reason to make it homemade. I like the thinner texture better, anyway.

  • Reply
    Teresa Davis
    January 30, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Could you add the soaking water rather than “fresh” water to the ground up almonds?

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 30, 2014 at 11:26 am

      No, I don’t think so, Teresa, but I’ll look into it. I don’t think the almonds leach out any nutrients through the soaking, so there’s no need to re-use the water.

  • Reply
    Mary
    January 30, 2014 at 9:23 am

    YAY for almond milk!! Please tell me you saved the pulp too. Nothing like getting a cup or two of almond meal thrown in for free. :)

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 30, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Weeeeell, I didn’t save the pulp, I know I should have. Next batch, I promise. I’m thinking it might be good in oatmeal.

  • Reply
    Sue
    January 30, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Liz I have to try your nut creams…the hazelnut cream sounds so good! It’s such fun to think outside the box :)

    • Reply
      Liz
      January 30, 2014 at 9:46 am

      Oh, about soaking and the water. There are lots of different opinions but I do the following with both nuts and beans:

      Rinse them very well
      Soak for an hour, then rinse well and fresh water
      Soak for 4-6 hours or overnight and blend or cook with that water.

      I eat a lot of both nuts and beans and don’t have digestion issues and I use fresh organic raw nuts and heirloom beans. I think the soaking liquid adds a lot of flavor to both.

      • Reply
        Liz
        January 31, 2014 at 9:11 am

        I need to change my method…did some reading. It is not just about digestion – there are bioavailability of nutrients affected by non-soaked nuts.

        http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2008/07/soaking-nuts.html is the article I thought was very thorough and totally changed my mind about my method.

        Thanks for the heads up, Sue!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    January 30, 2014 at 8:11 am

    We are Silk fans but I’ve never made homemade so I can’t say for certain! Beautiful photos and a terrific review – thanks Sue!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 30, 2014 at 9:13 am

      Thanks Tricia — I’m so happy to have discovered it, I’m going to try cooking and baking with it next.

  • Reply
    Liz
    January 30, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Your almond milk is beautiful!

    I am a huge fan of almond milk (homemade) as well as cashew milk (cream)…I don’t typically drink either but use them in things. I even made a very decadent hazelnut cream for a Christmas latte.

    I have successfully used cashew cream anywhere heavy cream is called for – even whipped it in my co2 whipper thing.

    I also enjoy cow and goat products but is great to have the variety and the different nutrition profile as you pointed out.

    Bottomline – another vote for nut milks as an option!

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