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!
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.
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.
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.
Some people like to add a little sweetener like honey, and/or a touch of vanilla. I prefer mine plain.
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)
*This recipe slightly adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen
- 1 heaping cup raw almonds
- 4 cups water
- Cover the almonds with water and soak overnight. This helps in digestion and absorption of their nutrients.
- 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.
- Once the almonds are finely processed, add 4 cups of cold water and process until well combined.
- 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.
- 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!