If you are intimidated by the idea of making your own almond milk, that is normal, and please read on! Anyone can have fresh, creamy homemade almond milk on hand with the right supplies and in 15 minutes per week. Warning: You will never go back to store bought again.
Last summer, we discovered that Emry Bear had a dairy sensitivity, and I went on a mad hunt for the best and cleanest dairy free alternatives. I was unable to find a plant-based milk that 1) everyone liked and 2) had a clean ingredient deck without preservatives and emulsifiers. I pay particular attention to foods that we eat daily! I began making homemade plant-based milks, and this version is now our go-to. This large batch lasts all week. Stating the obvious,it is THE perfect accompaniment to your muesli.
Note: Some recipes call for a far lower ratio of almonds to water. The measurement I suggest below produces the smoothest, creamiest end product. Like a whole milk version of almond milk, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!!
Recipe: 4-Step Homemade Almond Milk
- Large food processor or blender – I use this 16-cup Cuisinart, though you could get away with something smaller and use my blend tip* below
- Large reusable food strainer bag – This one (~$12 on Amazon) is perfect and has lasted me over a year
- 32-oz wide mouth jar with lid
- Large mixing bowl – one like this with a spout works best
- Pitcher for storing – I use this one ($8 from Ikea)
- 2 cups almonds
- 4 cups water for blending
- 3-4 pitted dates
- pinch of fine grain pink sea salt
I grab some of our favorite almond milk essentials each month from Costco. Don't forget to pair with a 2lb bag of Seven Sundays!
Soak: Put 2 cups almonds in a 16-oz wide-mouth jar and fill with water. Cover and let soak for 8-16 hours (works well to start this step in the morning or just before bed). The soak time does not have to be precise. The goal is to soak long enough so that when you squeeze one of the almonds with your fingers it has a slight “squish” to it, but not too long as this can lead to your almond milk going rancid faster.
Rinse: I do this right in the jar by placing my hand over the mouth of the jar and letting the water strain out. Then I refill the jar and almonds with cold water, shake and drain again. I repeat this 4-5 times until the water drains completely clear.
Blend: Put the drained almonds, along with the dates, into your food processor or blender. Before adding any additional water, blend the almonds and dates for 1-2 minutes on their own until there are no large pieces left. Very slowly start to add the water while blending. The slower the better – you want your mixture to look more like a creamy paste vs. watery almonds.
*Tip: It's very likely you will not be able to fit the full 4 cups of water into your food processor or blender. Put as much as you can in, and then add the remaining water directly into the filled nut milk bag before you strain.
Strain: Place a large food strainer bag inside of a mixing bowl and carefully pour the blended almonds-dates mixture into the bag. Add any additional water that didn’t fit in your blender if needed. Keeping the bag tightly closed, massage and twist the almond mixture until you’ve squeezed out as much liquid as possible. Add any seasonings (dash of pink sea salt, drizzle of maple syrup, teaspoon of vanilla, etc.), pour into a covered pitcher and refrigerate. Save the “pulp” to add to soups, pancakes or baking mixes. Or make these surprisingly simple crackers with it.
The milk should last for a week or slightly longer in your fridge. I’ve had only two batches in the last year go rancid sooner than that. The milk will naturally separate in the fridge with the white cream coming to the top. Give it a quick stir or shake the pitcher in a circular motion just before using.
Feel free to comment with questions or your own suggestions!