Making your own almond milk is not as taboo as it sounds. According to The Joy of Cooking, nut milks were made by the peasants hundreds of years ago as a substitute for cow and goat milk. It’s also quite frugal. I can make a quart of almond milk for about $1.20. It’s anywhere from $2.00 to $2.50 at the store, so I save about $1 a quart on average.
There are so many different ways to make almond milk. Some recipes call for soaking the almonds first, others require blanching, and some use plain raw almonds. Some nut milks are made in a mortar and pestle while others are made in a blender. You can strain the milk or leave the nut meat in the milk. Play around with different variations and decide what you like best.
I’d been buying unsweetened Almond Breeze and though I love the taste it can get quite expensive at $2 a quart. Knowing that it’s completely fresh and unprocessed is also important to me. If you’re used to store bought almond milk, this is going to taste different – notice I didn’t say bad, I said different.
You can sweeten this to taste or leave it unsweetened. I leave it unsweetened unless I have a specific use in mind. Some sweetening ideas include:
- yacon syrup
- brown rice syrup
- whirl it in the blender with dates
- soak with raisins and then whirl in the blender
You can also flavor almond milk with a teaspoon of organic vanilla extract by soaking the almonds with a vanilla bean.
- 1/2 cup almonds
- enough filtered water to cover almonds for soaking
- 2 cups filtered water
- optional: a pinch of salt, vanilla, and your choice of sweetener
- Place almonds in a quart mason jar and cover with several inches of filtered water. Put the lid on the jar and soak at room temperature overnight.
- Rinse almonds well, then place in your blender or Vitamix and mix on high for 2 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached. Pour almond milk through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Gently squeeze cheesecloth to remove and remaining liquid.
- Refrigerate in mason jars for optimal freshness. It will stay fresh about the same amount of time as dairy milk, 7 – 10 days.