Almond milk is now one of the most popular alternatives to conventional dairy milk, offering those who wish to avoid dairy, a creamy, delicious and healthy way to still enjoy their favorite foods and beverages. You’ll now find almond milk on the shelves of most grocery stores, but did you know that you can actually make the product yourself from the comfort of your own home?
Why make your own almond milk?
If you’re wondering why you should bother making your own almond milk then the answer is simple:
It’s better value for money,
It’s better for you,
And it tastes better too.
The almond milk you buy from the shelves is often sold at a premium price to pay for its fancy packaging and to ensure that both the supplier and retailer makes a profit. If you look closely at the label of store-bought almond milk, you’ll also likely find that it contains a whole lot more than simply almonds and water, including additives and preservatives such as carrageenan, a chemical with no nutritional value that acts to thicken and stabilize the milk. By making your own almond milk at home, you can reduce the cost, keep your ingredients simple, and customize your almond milk with flavors to suit your own tastes.
So how do you make fresh almond milk?
The great thing about making fresh almond milk yourself is that you are in complete control of the thickness, the sweetness and any flavorings that you decide to use. Here’s a basic, unsweetened almond milk recipe to get you started, but if you like your almond milk sweeter then simply add a couple of dates or an alternative sweetening agent of your choice. If you like your almond milk a little fancy, then try adding in some fresh vanilla, some fresh strawberries or even some cocoa powder.
Unsweetened Almond Milk Recipe
Makes - 4 cups of almond milk
1 cup of raw almonds
4 cups of water (+ extra for soaking the almonds in)
Optional extras - a pinch of sea salt and your choice of sweetener or fancy flavorings.
The key to achieving creamy almond milk is to soak your almonds for a minimum of 12 hours. Simply place your 1 cup of almonds in a bowl and cover with cold water - no need to keep them in the fridge, soaking them on the countertop is fine.
Once your 12 hours are up, simply drain off the soaking liquid and to give your almonds a rinse.
Next, add your soaked almonds and 4 cups of fresh water to a blender (along with any of the optional extras you are using) and then blend for 2-3 minutes or until everything looks combined and creamy.
To remove any remaining lumps, strain your blended mixture through a nut bag, cheesecloth or thin kitchen towel and then pour your finished almond milk into your storage bottle or jar of choice.
What can I do with the almond pulp?
The almond pulp left behind in your nut bag or muslin cloth can be used in a number of ways. You can store the fresh pulp in the refrigerator for up to 5 days for use in smoothies or baking, or alternatively you can dry it out in the oven on a very low heat and then re-blend it into almond flour.
How can I change the consistency?
The consistency of your finished almond milk is determined by the ratio of almonds to water that you use. For thicker milk, try using more almonds, and for thinner milk, simply add more water. Conventional store-bought almond milk is made using just 2% almonds, so this recipe may be a little different from the store-bought milk you are used to.
How do I store fresh almond milk?
Because fresh almond milk is made without any added preservatives it should be stored in the fridge and used within 4 days. If you find that you can’t consume this quantity of almond milk in four days then try halving the recipe.