How to Make Homemade Almond Milk

Make almond milk at home using raw almonds.

Hard to believe a dairy alternative has become downright fashionable, but I’m seeing almond milk everywhere these days. Once the terrain of only the lactose intolerant and vegans, almond milk is now a staple in the refrigerated section at any grocery store in a variety of flavors. Why the fuss? Once you get past the novelty factor, it turns out there’s something to be said for making the switch.

Made by blending ground almonds in water, almond milk isn’t actually anything new. In the Middle Ages, almond milk was a common substitute for cow’s milk because it was readily available and didn’t spoil so quickly. The nutty slurry shows up in Turkish cuisine and has a place in Indian culinary history, but the trend toward almond milk as the healthy choice is relatively new. In the last decade, sales of almond milk have skyrocketed. Loaded with vitamins such as A, D, E and B-12, almond milk contains no cholesterol, no animal byproducts, no saturated fats and has far fewer calories than even skim milk. Best of all, you don’t need a cow to make it yourself.

Homemade almond milk skips the synthetics and emulsifiers found in commercial products and is surprisingly easy to make. Nutty, smooth and additive-free, raw almonds and water provide the basics and can be tweaked to taste with natural sweeteners or flavorings.

Ready to leave the lactose behind? Break out the blender and follow the simple steps below to make almond milk at home.

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Step 1

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Unlike store bought almond milk (which contain emulsifiers, among other things), there’s not a whole lot in your glass. At it’s simplest, almond milk is raw almonds and water, although our recipe adds a touch of vanilla and honey.

Step 2

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Place 1 ½ cups of raw almonds in a jar and cover with water. Allow to rest 6 hours to overnight. Soaking almonds will soften them, making it easier to extract the good stuff. As a general rule, the longer the almonds soak, the creamier the almond milk will be.

Step 3

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Transfer almonds into a strainer and rinse thoroughly to remove enzyme inhibitors to improve digestibility.

 

Step 4

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After being soaked, the skins should also slough from the nuts easily by rubbing by hand or with a towel.

Step 5

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Place almonds in blender. Now that the almonds are softened and rinsed, they are ready to be processed into milk.

Step 6

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Add 4 cups of water to the almonds in the blender. This recipe is easily scaled, but these measurements fit well in a standard blender.

Step 7

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Add a tablespoon of honey and two teaspoons to give almond milk a hint of sweet. Variations: a teaspoon of cinnamon can give your milk a more complex flavor and chocolate milk lovers may consider adding 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

Step 8

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Run blender on high until the almond milk reaches a smooth and frothy consistency. Make sure almonds have broken down completely before continuing.

Step 9

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Pour almond milk through a fine strainer or cheesecloth to remove solid particles. Squeeze or press to release all liquid. Using a strainer with a looser weave will work, but results in a slightly chalky consistency.

Step 10

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Don’t throw that pulp away! The pulp captured by straining can be added to baked goods or smoothies to add flavor and texture.

Step 11

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Add to cereal or coffee, use it in baking or drink it straight up with a plate of your favorite cookies. Creamy and nutritious, almond milk can be used just about anywhere one would normally use cow’s milk, but has fewer calories, fewer carbs and great almond taste! Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.

Materials

  • 1 1/2 cups raw almonds
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Tools

  • Glass jar or bowl
  • Blender
  • Cheesecloth or strainer
About Mick Telkamp 

35Posts

A former Midwesterner living in North Carolina, I write about my adventures in backyard chicken-keeping and suburban homesteading over at HGTVGardens, and my exploits in the culture of Southern cooking ...

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5 Responses

  1. water_moon says:

    Thank you so much! my son has… a delicate stomach… and his doctor warned us that carrageenen (a common emulsifier made from seaweed) will aggravate most bowel conditions but even though he outgrew his milk allergy he doesn't like the taste of cow's milk. So I was always at a loss when the store was out of the ONE brand that had almond milk he could drink :(

  2. Rover100 says:

    without preservatives what is expected best use by date? A couple of days or week?

  3. Yum, I love almond milk! Thanks for this recipe. The A, D, and B-12 vitamins are fortified into store bought almond milk but almonds are naturally high in vitamin E as well as many essential minerals not found in other foods!

  4. Trish says:

    Mick, thank you for sharing this recipe. We were recently told that our granddaughter is lactose intolerant. I'm thankful we can make almond milk for her using this recipe. We'll be sure to try this, so we know what to do when she visits us again. I could rush to the store…but I also like the idea of making our own.

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