Eating a handful of nuts is a quick, tasty snack that’s convenient and easily portable. Nuts are also a great way to boost your energy and suppress your appetite, while also providing a healthy dose of protein and fat. But what many people don't know is making your own almond milk is actually fun and tasty! Don’t let the length of this recipe fool you because making almond milk is actually fairly easy.
How to Make Your Own Almond Milk
1½ cups whole, raw almond
4 cups filtered water
1 whole vanilla bean, chopped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder
2-4 pitted dates, to taste (or 1½ Tablespoon maple syrup or honey)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Small pinch of sea salt, to enhance the flavor
1. Soak 1 cup of raw almonds at least 4 hours or overnight. Make sure all the almonds are covered with water. Soaking softens them and makes them much easier to blend. Many claim soaked almost taste and digest better too.
2. Once the almonds are soft, rinse and strain the almonds and pop them into your blender. Add 1½ cups of filtered water. This will create a really smooth paste.
3. Blend for 1-2 minutes. You may need to stop the blender a couple times to stir the mixture with a spatula.
4. Once you have a beautiful, smooth puree, add your flavors—vanilla (beans or extract), dates, and cinnamon. You might find a pinch of sea salt brings out the other flavors in the milk.
5. Add the remaining 2½ cups of filtered water. Blend for several minutes on the highest speed until it’s completely smooth and frothy. Blend Taste the milk and adjust the vanilla, cinnamon, and other additions to taste.
6. Now it’s time to strain the almond solids out of the liquid for a smoother, creamier product. This can be done using cheesecloth or a nut milk bag.
7. If using cheesecloth, place 3 or 4 layers over a metal strainer set over a bowl. Pour the almond milk through the strainer into the bowl. You might have to do this part in batches, depending on the size of your strainer and bowl. Use a spoon or spatula to press down on the strainer and move the solids around, to help the almond milk through the cheesecloth.
8. Once most of the milk has passed through the strainer, gather up the cheesecloth and gently squeeze it to remove excess liquid. You’ll be left with really fine almond meal inside the cheesecloth.
9. You can discard the leftover almond meal, or dry it out in a dehydrator and use it in place of almond flour in baking recipes.
Enjoy your almonds and your almond milk!
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods