Did you know it’s easy make your own almond milk? Yep, you can sit back and amaze your friends with your vegan zeal and dedication by serving them delicious homemade almond milk with their cookies. It’ll be our little secret that the hardest part of being vegan ISN’T waking at 5 AM to milk the almonds!
True story… for years we bought almond milk and were just happy as clams that our local grocery even stocked something so “exotic”! Go ahead, laugh, it’s funny. I chuckle every time I think back to that time.
Don’t get me wrong, the store bought stuff is tasty and convenient. But, like most food that is premade for you it’s got additives you may or may not want to eat. Stuff like carageenan and xanthan gum. (Both are thickeners and emulsifiers which are technically vegan, but they don’t add to nutrition. Neither do preservatives. Also, note that carageenan is suspected of being a source of digestive inflammation.)
But I digress, the point is that it’s inexpensive and very easy to make your own almond milk on demand just like it is with a great many other vegan substitutes. All you need is…
You can also add…
- Dates (optional)
- Vanilla (optional)
- Cinnamon (optional)
- Chocolate (optional)
- Strainer or cheesecloth (optional)
Here’s How To Make Your Own Almond Milk:
Put 1/4 cup almonds (one handful) into your blender. Add one cup of water to the blender and process on HIGH for at least 30 seconds (High scares me too) Use immediately or store in air tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Poof you are done!
Yes, yes, I know that was too easy. What about straining? What about soaking the almonds? What about sweeteners? Where’s the vanilla, the chocolate etc.?
No worries, you can add these things for sure and have a delectable gourmet almond milk just like you get in the store or at the most high end smoothie shop you can imagine. But I wanted to show ya’ll how stupid simple it is to make a basic almond milk first.
Note… if you have a weaker blender you may need to scrape down the sides a few times and blend for a little longer.
Let’s talk about straining. Of course you can run your almond milk thru a sieve, cheesecloth or both to strain out the almond meal, if you want too. That’s easy. To get the most meal out of your almond milk line a sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth.
Set the sieve on top of a bowl and as soon as you are done blending your almond milk pour it thru the cheesecloth into the bowl. Gently gather up the cheesecloth and squeeze every last drop of milk from the almond meal.
You can store the wet almond meal in the freezer until you want to use it or spread it out on a cookie sheet and dry it in a warm oven (around 200 degrees) then store it in an air tight jar or zipper bag on the shelf like other flours.
Use the almond meal in baking, oatmeal etc. Or cover it with agave nectar and dark chocolate chips, Zapp it in the microwave for 45 seconds or so and dig in!
We don’t strain the almond milk we make because we rarely drink it and we enjoy the almond meal in our cereal and baked goods. Just saying, you don’t gotta strain it if you don’t want to.
If you want to make sweet almond milk add a date or two or three to the blender with the almonds. Experiment with the number of dates until you find the sweetness you prefer.
Depending on your blender you may want to soak the dates for an hour or so to make it easier to blend. We never have any issues with dry dates in our Nutribullet but your mileage may vary.
One of the beautiful things about making your own almond milk is the variety of gourmet flavors you can have on a miser’s budget. Want vanilla almond milk? Add a splash of pure vanilla or a scraping of vanilla bean to the blender. Want chocolate almond milk? Add some vegan dark chocolate to the blender. Cinnamon? Chai? Cardamom? No problem, just blend them right along with the almonds.
I will say, if you add spices to your milk you should blend them it in small batches and use it up quickly because the flavors tend to strengthen the longer they sit and soak.
Speaking of soaking, should you soak your almond first?
Many folks swear by this stating that the almonds are much more digestible after they are soaked. It’s also said that the almond milk is creamier when you use soaked almonds.
Since I don’t strain my almond milk, as far as I’m concerned, the almonds can soak just as well in tiny little bits as they can in their whole state. But if you plan to strain your milk and want to insure maximum absorption of nutrients then we suggest you err on the side of caution and soak your almonds overnight or at least for an hour before blending.
Personally, I don’t notice a texture difference when using soaked or unsoaked almonds. My daughter, and partner in crime here at the Vegan Banana, disagrees. She finds that soaking the almonds makes for a creamer milk. So, the best we can do for you is say try both ways and see for yourself. Let us know in the comments what you think about the creamy factor!