Every time I mention that I don’t eat dairy or soy-milk, people get really excited about the fact that I make my own Almond Milk. It’s really easy, and you can do it with most nuts or seeds. You just sit on a pail, get low, and tug. ;)
I used to purchase my almond milk in the 1L tetra packs by Almond Breeze, but for the following reasons, I am now “sold” on the DIY variety:
- Reduces packaging (no more cumbersome Tetra packs)
- Eliminates the cross-contintent trucking of a package that contains mostly water
- DIY almond milk is higher in protein & 100% natural (the Tetra-pack kind often contains additives to make it thicker and creamier like carageenen, guar gum, & calcium carbonate)
- Because there aren’t any preservatives, it only lasts 3 days so make as much as you’ll use
- Unless you use a really fine sieve or a nut milk bag, it tends to be a bit grainier…no problem in cereal though!
- You need to plan ahead a bit to guague your almond milk needs and take the steps to pre-soak nuts.
Almond Milk Recipe!
- 1c almonds
- 3-4c water
- 1T agave/maple syrup, or 3 soaked dates (Note #1) (optional)
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
*Halve recipe if you don’t think you’ll get through 4cups of almond milk in 3 days.
- Soak almonds in water for 4-6 hrs or overnight .
- Drain soaked almonds and blend with 3-4 cups fresh filtered water, salt and optional sweetener & vanilla for about 1 minute, until smooth.
- Strain through a fine sieve or cheese cloth to remove almond granules. (see Note #2 on what to do with pulp after & how to avoid the pulp altogether)
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Separation of fat and water will naturally occur, just shake before each use.
Note # 1: Soaking Dates
Dates should be soft enough to blend so just pour warm water over them and let them soak for 15 minutes or so. Or you can soak them overnight but in a separate container of water than the almonds since you don’t want to drain the dates or you’ll lose a lot of the sugars.
Note #2: What to do with Pulp:
A lot of recipes I see say you can reserve the almond pulp to use in cookies, crackers burgers, & breads (in place of find ground nuts), or by putting it right into cereal. The almond pulp only lasts a few days in the fridge so you can freeze it or dehydrate it to make it last longer. I personally don’t like the taste of the almond skins in the pulp so I haven’t bothered to really experiment with using it post-milk-making.
To solve my pulp waste problem, I’ve just decided to peel my soaked almonds before blending them. (The skins come right off.) The result is a less but still slightly pulpy almond milk that I just use as-is…no straining required (although you still could). I use my almond milk in my granola so the extra texture works perfectly!