Homemade Almond Milk!

Note from Sarah: Erika, our “college student on a budget” contributor, is now out of school and in the big world but she’s still contributing to Everyday Paleo and today comes to us with a post about making your own almond milk.  I can’t wait to try this myself; thank you Erika!!

Have you every looked at the ingredients in store bought almond milk?! They claim that it is all natural… so shouldn’t there be all natural ingredients?! The almond milk that I normally purchased listed the following items under ingredients:

All Natural Almond Milk (Filtered Water, Almonds), All Natural Evaporated Cane Juice, Calcium Carbonate, Sea Salt, Natural Vanilla Flavor, Dipotassium Phosphate, Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Vitamin E (D-Alpha-Tocopherol), Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2.

What the heck is locust bean gum or gellan gum?! After doing some research I found out that both of these ingredients were a form of a sugar and that locust bean gum is a chocolate substitute. I don’t want that stuff in my almond milk!

I decided to start making my own almond milk from that point on. Lucky for me my cousin had just bought a new fancy blender and was telling me that she started making her own almond milk! I asked if I could have her recipe so that I could try it out. It was easy, fast and so much tastier than store bought almond milk! I am hooked and had to share this recipe with the Everyday Paleo followers. I know you will all enjoy this recipe and once you try it you will never want store bought almond milk ever again!

Almond Milk

(this is a two day process so you do have to plan ahead)

1 cup raw almonds

2-3 cups of water

3 dates

1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract

1 nut milk bag (you can use cheese clothe and a strainer if you can’t find a nut milk bag)

Day one: soak one cup of raw almonds in water for 12-24 hours

Day two: drain the almonds you had soaking for 12-24 hours, add them into your blender along with 2-3 cups of water (the less water you add the more creamy the almond milk will be, I always add 2 cup of water per 1 cup of almonds), dates, and vanilla extract. Blend for a minute or two. Once it is completely blended and mixed pour your almond milk through the nut milk bag (or cheese clothe and strainer) into a bowl. Squeeze as much of the liquid from the nut milk bag as possible. Once all the milk has drained through the bag you can either toss the remaining almond pulp or lay it on a cookie sheet covered in foil and dry it out in the oven at 175 till it is all dried out and you will have your own homemade almond meal :)

This recipe makes about 2-3 cups of fresh almond milk that will keep in the refrigerator for about three to four days. Make sure to store it in an air tight container, i just went down to my local Cash and Carry and found a milk bottle to store mine in.

ps I found my nut milk bag at Whole Foods

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve been wanting to make my own nut milk for so long. I think this post is the push I needed! Things always taste so much better when they’re homemade. :)

  2. Ed says

    Any reason this wouldn’t work if you soaked the almonds in the Fridge? I’d advise it if possible as adding water to an otherwise shelf stable product can sometimes make an environment suitable for pathogens. Not sure if it would in this case, but why take the risk.

    • Erika Schuler says

      ED- there is no reason why you can’t soak your almonds in the fridge. I have always soaked mine out on the counter, but now that I think about it if you would like cold almond milk right after making it you can even soak your almonds in the fridge and have two to three cups of fresh water in a container in the fridge do you are blending with all cold products.

    • Erika Schuler says

      i do not use the water that i have soaked my almonds in. you will see once you drain your almonds that the water that is drained is very dirty. all the recipes i have read say to use fresh water.

    • jennifer says

      You shouldn’t use the water that nuts or seeds are soaked in. They’re soaked not only to soften them up, but also to remove lectins, which are natural toxins created by nuts and seeds to keep bugs away. Lectins are linked to nasty stuff like ulcerative colitis (which I have, and why I know about this little secret!) It’s recommended to soak all grains (brown rice, etc.) nuts and seeds to remove lectins.

  3. Emily says

    I just made a couple of nut milk bags out of some muslin I had leftover from a Halloween costume. Took maybe 30 minutes for both of them! I found the general instructions here:

    http://notestomysister.com/2010/02/make-it-monday-almond-milk-and-nut-milk-bag/

    I did do the French seams so yes, it can be thrown right in the washer! I’ve also heard of people using paint straining bags from the paint store. Homemade almond milk is YUMMY…love the addition of dates in this recipe! I will do that next time!

  4. Erika says

    Valerie no I do not put it in the washer, I hand wash mine in the sink with super hot water. I let it dry over a bottle or the sink handle so it dries opened up. I have heard your not suppose to use a nut milk bag more than once but I’ve use the same one 5 times already and seems to work and hold up just fine. :)

  5. wilberfan says

    Awesome. But the only thing I can think to use the almond milk with–would be cereal! And us Paleo Peeps don’t eat cereal anymore… :-O

    I’m curious what you use your almond milk for. Maybe just drinking, or…?

  6. Erika says

    I use it in my coffee, smoothies, I personally put a slash in my scrambled eggs instead of milk for fluffy eggs, also I buy paleo crunch which is a paleo cereal/granola. I get mine through my crossfit gym but I also buy it from Steve’s originals (there is a link on Sarah’s main page for his website) cinnamon is my favorite!! And last but not least this almond milk recipe is so yummy I love to have a small glass of it at night as a sweet drink. I never liked almond milk plain till I made my own it’s creamy sweet and everything store bought almond milk isn’t!

    • says

      Do like the Brits, not like we yanks were taught: Skip the milk and use some melted butter in your eggs. 1t to 1T per egg. You will never, ever, ever go back. You get light, fluffy, spongy eggs instead of the rubbery mess we usually end up with using milk.

      • Mary says

        Try macadamia nut oil with scrambled eggs…incredible! Tastes like butter, but much healthier! Same healthy fat as olive oil, but holds up to high heat.

        • Shawshank says

          How is macadamia nut oil healthier than melted butter? Butter is loaded with CLA. They sell that as a supplement for weight loss. Loaded with medium chain triglycerides. Butter is good for you.

    • Sarah says

      Ed, I was traveling all day yesterday and just now have had a chance to approve pending comments. I always approve comments unless they are total obvious spam. I think your concern is totally valid, thanks for bringing this up, and I’ll let Erika chime in with her experience. However, I can tell you that if I do use almond, walnuts, etc., I soak them overnight in water usually just on my counter top and I personally have not experienced problems but you are right, if you don’t want to risk it, soak them in the fridge! Thanks for your input!

    • Erika Schuler says

      Ed- i responded to your first comment before reading this one, i do agree that it is better to be safe than sorry. I do like Sarah always soak all my nuts in a bowl on my counter over night and they have seemed to be good every time. However it does only take that one time for something bad to happen and my almonds or any nuts that i soaked to be ruined. After reading the article you have posted I think i will be soaking my almond in the fridge from now on. Thank you for you concern and input i really appreciate it :)

      oh i have also heard that some people boil their almonds before making their almond milk this give you blanched almonds vs the whole raw almond. here is what you would do if you would rather blanch them than soak them and to save some time:

      bring a pot of water to a boil with enough water to cover 1 cup of raw almonds. Once water is boiling put the almonds in and boil for 1-2 minutes. Drain the almonds and remove their skin. from here just follow the rest of the recipe as if you had soaked your almonds for 12-24 hours (fair warning this will give your almond milk a different consistency because you didn’t blend the almonds with the skin on)

  7. Scott C says

    Hi, why the initial soak and dump of the liquid? Is the blender a type of juice extractor or just a good garden variety?

    • Erika Schuler says

      Scott- you want to soak the almonds to get them soft and almost rubbery if you were to eat a soaked almond. This is so the almonds are easier to blend and not as hard as when you first buy them from the store. I have always dumped the soaking water because that is what the recipe that I was given said to do and if you try this recipe out you will notice that the water does get very dirty and mirky looking, so starting with fresh water in my opinion seem like a good idea. My cousin however has high pressure top of the line blender, with that said as long as you don’t have a blender that is

      As far as a blender goes, as Sarah mentioned in the intro of this post I am a fresh out of college grad who has moved back home in hopes to save money and find a job. I never owned a blender and the only bender my parents own is a Margaritaville Blender Machine haha I don’t know how powerful it really is but it seems to get the job done. So yes use a blender not a juice extractor and you will need a good blender to make the milk so you get the desired consistency.

  8. Kristy stiefel says

    Sarah, what are your feelings about coconut milk?…and is it ok to drink coconut or almond milk with every meal?

    • Erika Schuler says

      I suggest not drinking a glass of coconut milk or almond milk with every meal. It is high in fat, if your ultimate goal is to be toning and loosing weight I would only use a splash of it in your coffee if you need it. My rule for almond milk and coconut milk is: moderation is key! I never just drink a glass of it with a meal, sometime at night when I am feeling like i need a sweet treat then I will have a small glass of it to satisfy my craving for sweets. I hope this helps :)

      • Dana says

        If you’re not eating a diet that is massively high in “safe starches” and “natural sugars” then it is not going to hurt you or make you gain a ton of weight to consume fat. In fact, in the long run you will probably eat less because fat’s the satiety macronutrient, as in it actually triggers a chemical-satiety response by way of your small intestine. You also need fat for several bodily processes as well as for structural purposes, so don’t make the mistake of shying away from it. The medium-chain triglycerides in coconut in particular (or any other MCTs probably) are known to accelerate fat-burning, but you need the long-chain fats also, for things like making bile in your gallbladder properly.

        If there’s anything dangerous about coconut milk (well, unless you’re allergic) it’s that it’s often sold in cans, and most of those cans are lined with BPA. Because coconut milk is high in fat, it readily absorbs the BPA and that’s why it’s known to be the canned food highest in that chemical. I use Native Forest brand to get around that problem, but in a pinch you could make coconut milk at home too. Google for recipes. I believe it’s made from dried shredded coconut meat, which tends to be dirt-cheap. Make sure there’s no sugar added to the coconut, of course.

  9. says

    We don’t have many options of store bought Almond milk in New Zealand and they are expensive so I will be trying this. Just wanted to ask why the Prunes? Do they just provide sweetness or do they alter the consistency of the milk somehow?

    • Erika Schuler says

      yes the dried dates just add a little sweetness to the milk, they might also add to the consistency but because I haven’t tried it without them so I don’t have anything to compare it to.

  10. Kimberly K. says

    Hey Erika – we always blanch all of our nuts when we first buy them in bulk.. so all of the almonds I have right now are blanched (pre soaked and then dried in a dehydrator). Should I still soak the almonds and if so how long before I blend them with water? Can’t wait to try this – my husband and I lOVE almond milk. Thanks!

    • Erika Schuler says

      Using blanch almonds is perfectly fine. I would still soak them unless you are using them right after you have blanched them. If you just have a bunch of blanched almonds sitting around and want to use those I suggest soaking them for 2-3 hours or over night if you have the time.

  11. Lisaq says

    HI,
    Thanks for this! I too was disgusted/shocked by the contents of my ‘all natural’ almond milk. I have wanted to make my own but unsure how. I have printed this post off and posting inside the kitchen cupboard door (my well used, easy access, recipe keeper). My question is – can you make yogurt with almond milk?
    Thanks!
    L

    • Erika Schuler says

      I know I have seen almond milk and coconut milk yogurt in the stores but I have never looked up any information up on making your own at home. Probably because I am not much of a yogurt fan to begin with. If I find a recipe, I’ll make sure to pass it on.

  12. Maybel M. says

    I like using vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract, the flavor is much better, and a little goes a long way! I use 1/4 of a pod, split it, scrape out the seeds and blend into finished almond milk. Very yummy!

  13. says

    Personally, I don’t think soaking nuts overnight on the counter top is too much cause for concern. Once upon a time, humans lived symbiotically with all kinds of bacteria. Much of this bacteria was (and is) essential to proper function of our bodies. Today, we live in a very hygienic world (at least in the developed countries) were we have removed many of these essential bacterias. Weston Price says cultures have been soaking grains, seeds, & nuts for centuries. Refrigeration is a new (and life saving, I’m not knocking it) concept. All foods must be properly prepared and preserved to limit food borne pathogens. . . but culturing foods (growing bacteria) is more vital now than every before in human history.

    Just my thought. . . of course, I don’t care if you soak your nuts on the countertop or in the fridge. Personally, my family likes some good bugs in our bellies. :-)

  14. Becca says

    Thanks for the recipe! Funny, right before you posted this recipe I was becoming more concern with the ingredients in the almond milk I purchased at the store. Great timing! I can’t wait to have this in my paleo granola cereal. :

  15. Kate Ramsey says

    I have tried to make rice milk at home and it has never worked out well. I am really excited to try this out.

    Raw food recipes frequently require soaking of the nuts before processing, and I always put them in an air tight container in the fridge. This way I don’t feel pressure if my day gets messed up and I am not able to use them right away, since they can stay there for a week without the fear of anything growing in them.

  16. says

    Homemade almond milk is yummy and interesting to make. But, it is certainly not more economical than buying factory almond milk. The factory can buy almonds far more cheaply than people can from grocery stores. If you had a source of free almonds that would be another matter. Almonds are a close relative of peaches and it’s labor intensive to get the almond core from the stone fruit “holder”.

    • Erika Schuler says

      You are right this is not a cheap recipe, but this recipe wasn’t a budget friendly one, I was just concerned with what went into the store bought almond milk and wanted to share this just in case others felt the same concern. I try to save as much as possible in my paleo cooking and look for the great deals especially since i am a resent unemployed college graduate but to me spending a little extra on healthy clean almond milk without all the add ins it worth it for me. A little help in finding the good deals for this recipe, the cheapest almonds I have found are at Trader Joe’s or if you have a win-co you can buy them in bulk for a super affordable price. :)

  17. Tim says

    I want to try the Paleo diet but I’m in a location with very limited organic food options. Can I follow this diet shopping at Wal Mart, Weis Markets, Giant etc. If so whats a good free website to get a diet plan or list of foods. Thanks

  18. Mary says

    Just tried my first batch…oh, my! So much better than the store bought garbage!!! Saved the almond meal for recipes, too. Can’t wait to try the almond meal hummus! May use it in bread, too. I’m starting a low iodine diet before thyroid cancer treatment, and this will really help with the no dairy restriction!

  19. says

    I love almond milk and could drink it every day!

    I first started buying it from my supermarket as it started with a good offer. But then the price went up and I wasn’t that impressed with all those added ingredients.

    So I too decided to make my own.

    Here’s how I do it:

    1 cup almonds to 4 cups of water (I dont soak them – they go straight into my cheap blender)

    Once blended I pour into a pillow case and strain into a bowl.

    I pour the strained milk back into the washed blender and add 3 or 4 dates and blend again.

    That’s it! Lovely pure almond milk. I put it in a glass bottle and it keeps for 3 to 4 days easy.

    I buy my almonds in bulk when my local supermarket has them on offer. (they always go on offer at some point!).

    Peter

  20. says

    I have made this tonight, and it tasted weak and watery to me. I soaked the almonds 24 hours. I have never bought almond milk from the store, but I remember having some at a friend’s house and it tasted like almonds. Mine hardly has any almond flavor – it’s almost without any flavor and very thin. I ended up doing 1 cup almonds to 1.5 cups water, but that didn’t help much. I also didn’t have dates so I used soft prunes instead. Suggestions? Or is this the way almond milk tastes? Thank you!

    • Erika says

      Im not sure why your almond milk didn’t have the flavor of almonds. Thats all i taste in mine. Maybe you aren’t blending them long enough. Do you mind me asking why you used prunes? was it because thats what you had in the house? or you couldn’t find any dates at the market? Either way the dates/prunes shouldn’t make a difference. The dates are completely optional and are only in my recipe for a little added sweetness to the milk. I hope you gave this another chance and i hope that it turns out better.

    • Erika says

      Sadly yes it is the only blender i own or owned, it was my parents and free so it fit into my budget as a fresh out of college student haha I do have to report that the poor frozen concoction maker has since then moved on to better places. It couldn’t handle the paleo lifestyle i guess hehe

  21. Melissa says

    I use maple syrup to make my almond milk a little sweeter, this worked for my kids and husband. I haven’t tried using dates, but after reading the posts I surely will.

    • Erika says

      Michelle i don’t believe so. I don’t own a juicer and im not really sure how they work but i don’t think they are designed to crush up almonds.

    • Sarah says

      I’m not sure because I have never tried this personally but you could give it a try with a small amount of almonds and see how it works?

  22. Michael says

    I was curious about what nutritional value would be left in the pulp once you’ve made your almond milk and dried out the pulp in the oven.
    Do you know if there is much nutritional value left in the pulp or would you just use it more for filler and fiber in cooking and baking ?

  23. angela says

    The soak water from the almonds is nutritionally beneficial for house plants! I always dry the pulp in my dehydrator on low so I have raw almond meal for use in other recipes, yum!

  24. Dayna says

    Does anyone know the nutrition contents of homemade almond milk (using 1c almonds per 3 cups water)? Everything I’m reading says it’s higher in fat and calories than 1 cup of the store bought unsweetened almond milk (30 cal per cup), but I’m confused as to why this would be if you are bascially using the same ingredients, just minus the additives that Silk/Blue Almond/Pacific, etc. puts in. Doesn’t make sense. If someone could help me out with the answer to that it would be super helpful! Thanks :)

  25. Paul Weddle says

    I make both almond and coconut milk.
    Both kinds, I pour into ice cube makers and freeze.
    They can keep for a long time that way and taste great but do not know if any nutrition is lost that way.

  26. ramzula says

    What brand blender are you using? I heard that has to be a very good/expensive one.Hoe about food processor? Thank you!

  27. NergySaver says

    @Dayna I am unsure of the calorie count of homemade but the reason is is lower probably has to do with the amount of water they add. They want the most bang for their buck. Companies can get away with this because one of the last few ingredients is “natural flavor’.

    Has anyone frozen almond milk with successful results? I want to make more than one batch at a time. With a 16mo old, three year old, and six year old I like as much do ahead as possible.

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