I don’t know about you, but we go through several liters of milk per week in our house. I’m lactose intolerant, so that’s nut milk. That can be pretty pricey, so a few years ago we started making our own and now I cannot imagine buying it from the store anymore. It takes less than 15 minutes and costs less than $3 to make each 2-liter batch. Plus, there are no preservatives and you know exactly what went into it. That’s a win in my book!
1 cup Raw Almonds
1 tbsp Maple Syrup OR 1 Medjool Date, pitted
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
Dash of Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt
8 cups filtered Water
Listen, I’ve read (and followed!) some crazy homemade almond milk recipes. And, honestly, it’s a lot of time-consuming nonsense and I just can’t with that. Let’s simplify:
1. Boil the raw almonds in water for at least 2 minutes. Other recipes say to soak these for 8-12 hours but I’m telling you that’s totally unnecessary. And don’t get fussy about if you should boil the water first and then add the almonds or whatever. Put the almonds in the pot, run water over them, and boil. Easy. I usually turn the stove on, set a 10-minute timer, and walk away to do something else.
2. Drain & Rinse the almonds. I’m too lazy to wash a colander so I do this delicately, directly from the pot I just used to wash the almonds, but if you’re fancy and have a dishwasher then go ahead and use that colander! Just don’t skip this step because the almonds have a skin that loosens when you boil them and a lot of it will rinse off, which is great!
3. Dump those softened almonds in your blender. I’m bougie and have a 64 oz Vitamix but before I got that, I made this in my tiny NutriBullet in batches and it worked just fine. If you’re doing smaller batches, read tips at the bottom for how to do that successfully.
4. Add the Maple Syrup or Medjool Date, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, and Salt to the blender.
A note about Medjool Dates: this is definitely the healthy alternative when making this milk – they’re naturally high in fiber and anti-oxidants. I like to buy dates in bulk and keep them in a plastic bag in the fridge. They literally last up to six months like that!
A note about the other ingredients: do what you want! Sometimes I add extra cinnamon. Or switch the extract to almond if I’m feeling like it. Or go crazy and add nutmeg. After you’ve tried it as written you may want to make it thicker next time, so add more almonds. This is your recipe, so go nuts!
5. Add the filtered Water to the blender and put the lid on tightly. I used to not worry what water I was putting in this recipe but then I moved into a house where the water tasted funky and now I have to use a filter to have drinking water. If that’s your situation, follow my lead!
6. Blend on medium-high for 2 minutes. I use level 6 on my Vitamix. After you turn off the blender, let everything settle in the blender for about 30 seconds.
7. Hold a nut milk bag (I have these) over a large mixing bowl. You can also use cheesecloth or a couple paper towels but I like having a reusable option like these bags. It’s less messy in step #9 to use a mixing bowl that has a pour spout, but don’t stress if you don’t have one.
8. Pour about 1/4th of the milk from the blender into the bag. Gently squeeze the milk through the bag so that it drips into the bowl. Don’t squeeze too hard or you’ll spray milk everywhere! Been there… When the bag is mostly empty, pour another 1/4th of the milk into it. Keep repeating that until all the milk has been strained. If you find that it’s getting difficult to strain, flip the bag inside-out over your compost bin to get rid of the almond pulp – I find it necessary to do this once or twice during the process.
I actually dump the almond pulp onto a baking tray because I don’t like to waste anything.
9. Use a funnel to pour from the mixing bowl into clean flip-top bottles. If you don’t have a funnel or fancy bottles, pour carefully from the bowl into clean wide-mouth jars. Put lids on your containers and put the nut milk in the fridge.
You’re done. You made almond milk! You should have about 2 liters of milk that will store in the fridge for 4-5 days. Shake before you use it in case it separates or settles (you should also do this with store-bought nut milk FYI). You can sub this milk 1:1 in any recipe and even cook with it.
I told you it was easy. Bonus info: I have done this with all kinds of nuts and the recipe and method are exactly the same. Cashews work great. Walnut milk is incredibly creamy and indulgent. Pecans? Swoon!
Now it’s time to clean up and I just HAVE to share with you how I clean my Vitamix because I know you’re making that too hard on yourself!
Easy method of cleaning your Vitamix:
Rinse the Vitamix and lid in the sink.
Put one pump of dish soap in the Vitamix.
Run water into the Vitamix until the bubbles reach the top line. This is usually 3-4 seconds of running the water.
Put the lid on the Vitamix.
Turn the Vitamix ON and slowly ramp it up to med-high. Run it for one minute.
Take the container back to the sink and remove the lid.
Holding the lid over the sink, pour all the soapy water from the Vitamix over the lid, rotating it so you get soapy water all over it.
Rinse the Vitamix and lid, using a soft sponge to get off any residue.
Dry both pieces in a dishrack.
Wasn’t that easier?!
Tips for making this recipe in batches using a smaller blender:
Split the softened Almonds evenly into two to four batches, depending on the size of your blender.
Put all the extra ingredients (Maple Syrup or Medjool Date, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, and Salt) in ONE batch. Don’t worry about dividing those up. It’s too finnicky and doesn’t make a difference.
Split the filtered Water evenly over the Almonds.
Blend each batch on med-high for 2 minutes. If your blender doesn’t have speed settings (like the NutriBullet), don’t worry about it. These small batches may not need the whole two minutes, so just watch it. If you can no longer see small bits of almonds in the mixture, stop blending!
After each batch, pour the milk into a large mixing bowl.
Once all the batches have been blended and added to the bowl, use a whisk to mix the batches together for 30 seconds.
Hold a nut milk bag over a second large mixing bowl, and pick up with the directions above at step #8.