Tuesday, May 17, 2016

DIY Almond Milk: Success in Failures

It's no secret that we try to be quite a bit frugal, and a tad bit organic here at MMC. Today's post is something that is both: homemade almond milk.

Yup - you can make almond milk, at home by yourself, aaaannndddd it's super easy. You can most definitely make it for less than you can buy almond milk and depending on how you like it, you may be able to make it for less than regular dairy milk. You can also use this same process for cashews and other types of nuts.

The basics of making almond milk milk are as follows --> soak nuts over night, rinse, pulse in blender with water, strain through a nut bag (affiliate link), and you're done. Yes - you are done. That easy.

I did a lot of research in an effort to find the best recipe, and they all follow the same process. The biggest differences are in the nut-to-milk ratio, the addition any flavors or sweeteners, or adding any thickening agent.

Ultimately I went with a combo of this delicious recipe from oh she glows and the thrifty ideas found in this recipe from slightly steady. I thought the milk was delicious and creamy. I loved it. I barely tolerate the store bought milk and I could drink this all day. Unfortunately, my children did not feel the same way. While I would consider this wildly successful, it's not a recipe we will repeat since I am the only one drinking it. I do encourage you to give it a try though!

First you soak a cup of raw almonds for 8 hours or longer, or even overnight. Some Google-ing suggests you can soak for less time, and still have delicious milk. Soaking the almonds makes them more easily digestible.  Rinse the almonds when done, and put in the blender with water. I used 8 cups of water. The original recipe calls for 3-4 cups of water, but some recipes call for as little as 2 cups of water.  While 8 cups sounds like a high water to almond ratio, several almond milk makers use an even higher ratio, and have even been sued over it (here). 

Add your chosen flavor combo to the blender and blend for a minute on the highest speed. I used a combination of dates, vanilla and sea salt. I ran mine for only a minute, but depending on the power of your blender you may need to run for 3 or 4 minutes.When done, put the nut bag (affiliate link) over a bowl (or pitcher) and pour the milk through. At first the milk will filter through easily, but then you'll have to squeeze the remainder of it.

 The second recipe listed above recommends using the remaining pulp and blending an additional 8 cups of milk. I did not find this batch very tasty....even mixed together. This leaves you a cup of almond pulp which you can collect and use for for other things including smoothies, cookies, muffins, and crackers. If you dehydrate it, you can blend it into almond meal. I dehydrated mine and then placed it in the freezer, for a future project. 

  • 1 cup raw almonds, previously soaked
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  1. Soak almonds in water over night. Rinse and drain.
  2. Place almonds in blender with water, dates and vanilla.
  3. Blend for 1 minute on the highest speed.
  4. Strain the milk through the *nut bag. Gently squeeze the bag to remove all the milk.
  5. Whisk the cinnamon and sea salt into the milk.
  6. Milk can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. Shake/stir well before serving. 
*You can also use a fine-mesh strainer and/or cheesecloth to strain instead of the nut bag.

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