how to make almond milk

Years ago—who am I kidding, it was more than a decade, I had my first sip of freshmade almond milk. It was while I was touring the Natural Gourmet Cookery school, now known as the Natural Gourmet Institute. While tuition costs superceded my dreams of attending, that almond milk has haunted me to this day.

It mostly stayed in the recesses of my brain. Always there, but not part of my everyday thoughts. The last year, though, almond milk has become a more regular guest in my cooking habits. My daughter’s classmate is allergic to dairy, specifically cow’s milk, and anyone who’s been through elementary schools knows the occasions for bringing in goodies are more than the ten digits on my hands can hold.

While I’ve found almond milk a very good substitute for baking cakes and cookies, the packaged stuff has never rocked my palate for drinking straight up. As I looked at the contents I’d poured into the measuring cup, memories of that first sweet sip came flooding back again. It was decided. I was going to learn how to make almond milk.

And now so are you!

It’s actually a very simple process, though it does require about 30 minutes of active time, so plan accordingly. Cost-wise, it’s a little more to make it than buy your own, but once you take your first taste, you won’t need anymore convincing. I’ve since poured an icy glass to dunk chocolate chip cookies, steamed some to make hot cocoa, used it in oatmeal and it adds a natural flavor to my morning coffee.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own almond milk:

200 grams blanched almonds

3 cups (675 ml) filtered water

blender

fine strainer or sieve

4-cup measuring glass

rubber spatula

cheesecloth (see my tip for an alternative)

Combine the almonds and water in a deep bowl, and let soak overnight.

Add soaked almonds and the remaining water to the bowl of a blender; rinse bowl, you’ll need it again later. Blend until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.

Arrange a strainer over the measuring glass. Pour the almond mixture through the strainer, using a rubber spatula to press as much liquid as possible from the solids. Discard the almond pulp—this is what it looks like.

Arrange the cheesecloth over a deep bowl, pour in the almond milk. Gather the ends of the cheesecloth to make a sack. Twist a few times, then squeeze cheesecloth to press the almond milk through. You’ll have some additional almond pulp remaining once all the milk has been extracted, discard those solids.

Store almond milk in a clean mason jar or glass bottle, and use within 3 days. Shake well before pouring.

Makes 2 cups

Notes:

  • If almond milk is part of your regular routine, then feel free to double the recipe, but you’ll likely need to blend it in two batches, unless you have a large volume blender.
  • The almonds can also be set to soak during the day while you’re at work if you don’t have time to finish the process in the morning hours. Simply set up the almonds and water before you leave for work, and they’ll be ready to blend when you get home or after the dinner dishes are done.
  • Blanched vs. Skin-On Almonds (unroasted & unsalted)—I tested this recipe using both. Skin-on almonds are very acceptable if that’s all you can easily find, but I preferred the cleaner, creamy taste from using blanched almonds (these also happen to be less expensive in my bulk foods section, so go figure).
  • Vanilla Almond Milk—This is an option too, if you like. Personally, the taste of unadultered plain almond milk has such a lovely flavor, I like it just as-is. To make your own flavored almond milk, just add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the ingredients before you blend them. If you’re gluten-free, be sure to use a gluten-free extract, such as Nielsen-Massey.

Recipes where I’ve used almond milk is an easy swap:

lemon poppy olive oil muffins

chocolate olive oil muffins

dairy-free crepes

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28 Responses to “how to make almond milk”

  1. I hate the packaged stuff, but love homemade almond milk. And funny because I was just thinking about blogging about it!

  2. Thanks for sharing! When I saw your tweet about it, I thought it was going to be very difficult, but it’s not that bad. Plus, these directions are easy to follow.

  3. i wonder what you can do with the almond pulp

    • I wondered the same thing. Then I tasted it—yuck! It has no flavor, like eating wet chalk, I imagine. Best thing to do is discard. I hate the waste too, but it definitely go into the compost if you keep one.

      • Dr. Ben Kim has a tasty addition or two to make almond pulp a delicious treat! Add cocoa nibs or your fave dark chocolate chips along with a good squirt or two of honey! YUM!!

    • spread it out thin and dry it out and toast it in the over, stirring frequently. add a touch of sugar when it still wet for a bit of sweetness. when toasted it’s pretty nummy. i think it would work good as a substitute for graham cracker crust….. :)

  4. delish! i love horchata, will totally branch out to this…

  5. There are lots of ways you can use the almond pulp. Wet or dry. Some dry in dehydrator first then grind into an almond flour. Store in your freezer till you have enough and are ready to use it.
    You can make cakes, cookies, savory bread crumbs. You can use as thickener in your smoothies. Russell James has a great Mediterranean almond bread on his site. If you google almond pulp, you will find several recipes.

    • I see there are indeed many Raw Foods recipes for using it! The problem is you’ve extracted all the flavor in the “milking” process, so I wouldn’t use it for anything where I wanted added flavor value, though I’m now eager to see how the dried pulp works as a white flour substitute. Thanks for the information.

      • Yes you’re right – at that point the pulp does not have flavor. It then is sort of like tofu, in that it will take on the flavors of your other constituents. Raw vegans or gluten-frees like me will appreciate its use. It has great fiber and nutritional content. I like my almonds raw meaning unpasteurized. Before using them I soak them overnight to ‘sprout’ them – multiply their nutritional value and activate their enzymes. Unfortunately, almonds you buy today are not truly raw (unless are raw imported from Europe), even though it is permitted to advertise them as such; all CA almonds are pasteurized either chemically or with high heat steam. You can still get truly raw unpasteurized almonds by buying directly from the grower with a 100LB minimum; or you may be able to find at some farmers markets, but they will be more costly. I won’t go into food politics here, but is essential we self-educate on this growing concern, as everybody needs and has a right to choose wholesome food free of harmful chemicals and GMO’s.

  6. Again, on our trip to Spain, Morocco & Turkey this past June…I had the pleasure of trying fresh almond milk in Fes, Morocco! I fell in love with the taste…they add orange blossom water & cinnamon…such a refreshing drink on a hot summer’s day!

    • My mom was born in Fes, she told me she & her brothers would go to the local vendor of “Assir louz” – meaning almond milk in moroccan arab – to get their treat.

  7. I have been eating a vegan gluten free diet for about six months now and I miss my morning smoothies. I am looking forward to trying this! I even found instructions for blanching the almonds myself. Since blanched almonds are not available here in Singapore) I think I may have finally found a way to have smoothies again for breakfast!

  8. Thanks for this one, now I can make it at home.

  9. I can’t wait to try this, my husband would love it. In Boulder, we have compost pick up every other week as part of our trash service, so in the compost the left over pulp will go!

  10. How cool! I’d love to try this. Thanks for the recipe.

  11. PS – Here’s a super simple recipe that uses pulp, complements of Aunt Nettie at http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch31.html – also includes the history of almonds, recipes, etc
    TO USE THE PULP: Combine it with 1 teaspoon evaporated cane juice and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Mix well and use it as a topping for puddings, cereals, fruit salads, or desserts. Stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator, almond pulp will keep for up to four days.

  12. This sounds amazing! I like Almond Breeze and I’d imagine this is a million times better.

  13. I didn’t know that there was so much you could do with almonds! I wouldn’t mind trying this with a bit of coconut. Great stuff!!

  14. Interesting Im not good at converting measurements that you have posted …so not sure if i’ll be tryin this recipe :(

  15. When I saw the photo of this creamy, white almond milk, I had to try to make this — and I just did! It’s lovely, delicious, and nothing like what you buy in the carton, which I find watery and strange-tasting. I just let my almonds soak overnight, threw it all in the blender, then pressed the mixture through a strainer and then an old dish towel that’s reeeeally thin (because I had no cheesecloth on hand), and – voila! – I had milk. Added a teaspoon of vanilla, just for fun, but don’t really think that it needs it. I used almonds with skin, because that’s all I could find, and it tastes delicious. Next time, I’m going to double the recipe. Thanks!

  16. I’ve always wanted to make my own almond milk.. Thanks for posting this!

  17. Great tips. I love almond milk but have never tried to make my own!

  18. Is there any use for the leftover pulp? Just wondering?

  19. I’m surprised you haven’t run into tree nut allergies at school. My son is allergic to tree nuts and peanuts so almond milk is a no-no, but I’d like to try rice milk. Ever made it?

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