We go through a LOT of almond milk. We use it for smoothies, in cereal/oatmeal, for baking, and occasionally for drinking. My go-to almond milk is always unsweetened original, and the brand varies depending on where we are shopping.
Almond milk is a great milk alternative when you don’t like cow’s milk, cannot tolerate it, or do not consume animal products. Although it is lower in protein than cow’s milk and typically lower in calories (depending on whether you are purchasing whole milk vs. 2% milk vs. skim), it is easy to add additional protein to other meals and snacks to make up for it. Commercial almond milks are typically fortified with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin E. Almond milk subs beautifully in baking, making pancakes, etc., but I do opt for good ol’ cow’s milk when making things like homemade macaroni and cheese where the milk fat is essential for making the cheese sauce.
Homemade almond milk is definitely easy and do-able, but with the amount of almond milk we use in a week I’m not sure it is practical or cost effective for me to make 100% of it at home. It was a fun kitchen experiment and I plan to use this batch to make almond milk hot cocoa, yum!
- 1 c. raw almonds
- 8 cups water, divided. I used the filtered water from our refrigerator.
- pinch salt
- 1-2 pitted dates to sweeten, optional
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, optional (I didn’t use it this time)
In a large bowl combine the almonds, a small pinch of salt, and 4 c. water. Let sit for 12 hours at room temperature. Drain the almonds and put them in a high speed blender. Add 4 c. fresh filtered water, dates, and vanilla (if using) and blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes until it is completely smooth and the almonds have broken down. Line a fine mesh sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth or use a nut milk bag for straining the almond milk. Pour the almond milk into the cheesecloth or nut bag, in batches if needed, and squeeze the liquid into a bowl or large measuring cup. Keep squeezing until all the liquid is released and the almond pulp is left behind.
Store in an airtight container; this is the perfect use for all the mason jars I have lying around in my cabinets. I love trying new things in the kitchen and will absolutely make almond milk in the future. Off to search for a delicious hot cocoa recipe!