How to Make Almond Milk

How to Make Almond Milk on TheShiksa.com #recipe #cooking #tutorial

In response to your requests, I will be covering how to make several different non-dairy milks over the next few months. This week I’m sharing how to make almond milk,  which is probably the most popular nut milk out there. Sure, you can buy almond milk at the store, but making it yourself at home ensures that the milk is raw and full of its optimal nutritional power. When you make it at home, you also have total control over the ingredients. I don’t know about you, but I prefer knowing exactly what is going into my food… and subsequently into my family’s bellies!

Almond milk, in its most basic form, is made from filtered water and almonds. It’s a non-dairy milk, which means it contains no lactose. Almond milk is easily digested by most folks who are lactose intolerant (except for those who have a nut allergy… I’ll have an option for you coming up in a future post!). Because you’re making it at home, you have total control over the flavor– the sweetness level, the texture, the fat content and the overall taste. For those who keep kosher, it’s a terrific substitute for dairy milk in recipes that you would like to keep pareve. I prefer homemade nut milks to non-dairy creamers, which often contain chemicals and preservatives. No strange additives here!

Unlike dairy milk, almond milk is cholesterol free… in fact, consuming almond products on a regular basis can actually lower your LDL-cholesterol. Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats, the same type of “good fats” that can be found in olive oil. These types of fats have been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Almonds are also a rich source of Vitamin E, magnesium and potassium.

In its pure unsweetened form, almond milk makes a fine substitute for plain milk. When using it on cereal or in my tea, I like to give it a touch of sweetness (throwing a whole date into the blender works great, or use honey, stevia or agave nectar). Adding a little vanilla and salt rounds out the flavor. Depending on what you plan to use your almond milk for, you can experiment and adjust the ingredients to taste. A nut bag will help you strain the milk to achieve a thin, grit-free texture; if you don’t have one and don’t want to order one, a fine mesh strainer, clean tea towel or multiple layers of cheesecloth will work just dandy.

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How to Make Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw unsalted almonds, skin-on
  • 4 cups filtered water, plus more water for soaking almonds
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey or agave nectar, or one whole pitted date (optional)
  • Dash of salt (optional)

You will also need

  • Blender or food processor, fine mesh strainer or nut bag or clean tea towel or cheesecloth, 1 quart glass jar or storage container
Prep Time: 12 - 48 Hours
Total Time: 12:05 - 8 Hours 5 Minutes
Servings: About 1 quart almond milk
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • Place raw almonds in a bowl and cover with cold water. Allow to soak overnight up to 48 hours, then drain and rinse. If soaking longer than overnight, change the cold soaking water every 12 hours.
  • After soaking, drain and rinse the almonds. Do not peel the almonds; according to my recipe testing, keeping the skins on actually helps to reduce the grittiness of the almond milk (counter intuitive, I know!). Combine soaked almonds and 4 cups of filtered water in a blender.
  • For a whole milk texture, I use 4 cups of water to 1 cup almonds. For a thinner texture, feel free to add more water-- you can adjust the texture to taste. The more water you add, the lower in fat the milk will be per serving; however, you don't want to add too much liquid or it will turn watery. Best to add water in small batches till the texture seems right to you.
  • Blend on low, then slowly raise the speed to high for 1-2 minutes till the milk is completely smooth and no chunks of nuts remain. If desired, add sweetener, vanilla and/or salt to taste, then blend again to combine (if using a date, make sure you blend till it's completely pulverized). Feel free to adjust the sweetness to taste.
  • Strain milk through a fine mesh strainer, tea towel, cheesecloth or nut bag into a storage container. A nut bag will work best for keeping your milk smooth and chunk-free. I usually strain the milk into a quart mason jar, which works perfectly with the 4 cup to 1 cup ratio of water to almonds.
  • If using a mesh strainer, you will need to agitate the solids a bit to help all the milk drip through. I don't scrape them (this can push the solids through the strainer), but I do gently stir and move the solids around to make room for the liquid to come through. Similarly, if using a nut bag, you will need to gently squeeze the bag till all of the milk seeps through.
  • Transfer milk to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly. It should keep for 3-4 days if refrigerated. I usually shake mine a bit before pouring to make sure it's well blended.
  • Once you're finished straining the milk, you will have a small amount of almond solids left. These can be discarded or dehydrated into almond meal and used as a gluten free breading for fish or chicken or mixed into baked goods. To do this, first adjust your oven to the lowest heat setting. Place the leftover almond solids in a mesh strainer for about 30 minutes to allow any remaining liquid to drain off.
  • With a rubber spatula, spread the solids as thinly as possible onto a baking pan lined with parchment or a silicone baking sheet. Place in the oven at 200 degrees.
  • Allow the paste to dehydrate for a few hours up to overnight. Check every couple of hours; when the meal hardens into a dry sheet, it's finished.
  • Break up the dehydrated paste and pulverize using a food processor for 1-2 minutes. You can also use a fork, but a food processor will give you a much finer grind.
  • You will be left with about ½ cup of almond meal.
  • Use almond milk anywhere you would use regular milk-- in coffee or tea, on cereal, or as a milk substitute in recipes.
  • How to Make Almond Milk on TheShiksa.com #recipe #cooking #tutorial

Comments (137)Post a Comment

  1. I just made this recipe for almond milk. All I can say is WOW. I usually purchase my almond milk at the farmer’s market. It is made from raw almonds (which I also purchase from the same farmer). This is quite cost effective because one bag of almonds is $10 and I used only half the bag, which means that it cost me $5 for a quart of almond milk. In los angeles, you can spend up to $22 for a quart of almond milk (mylkmaid). I just made some oatmeal with the milk and it is just fab. Great way to lower your cholesterol. Have fun.

  2. If I add salt, does that preserve the almond milk to last longer when it’s freshly made? I bought the Silk almond milk from the store and it seems to last quite a bit and it says it has salt in it so maybe I’m thinking that’s what makes it last?

    1. Hi Diana, store-bought milks are pasteurized, which is the reason they last so long. Pasteurization is great for extending shelf life, but it tends to lessen the nutritional value of foods, which is why many choose to make it fresh (raw). If you’d like to pasteurize your milk let me know and I can include instructions for this.

  3. When buying that store bought almond milk, read the fine print. It says ‘discard after 7 days of opening’. I don’t know how long you are keeping your store bought almond milk but before I saw the fine print, it would last up to three weeks around here. I had NO IDEA I was supposed to discard it after 7 days. I was thinking it would be ok to drink until the expiration date on the carton (like regular milk). Most of you probably already knew this but I wanted to mention it because that post mentioned that Silk lasted ‘quite a bit’. And it does if you consider 7 days ‘quite a bit’ but I just didn’t want anybody else leaving theirs in the fridge like I did for nearly 3 weeks and drinking it thinking it was ‘ok’. Kinda sickening when I think I might have been drinking not so good milk.

  4. This is so easy and better than buying almond milk at the store! Instead of a nut bag, fine mesh strainer, clean tea towel or multiple layers of cheesecloth I use a French press. Using a French press works just as great and it is easier in my opinion. Great recipe!

  5. Hi I was just wondering what is the shelf life for almond milk? Are there natural preservatives that can be used to help it to keep? Which plant based milk has the longest shelf life in your opinion if you have made others? Thank you!

    1. Hi Shannon, please read the comments above as I have addressed a few of your questions already with other readers. Pasteurization is the most effective way of preserving the milk. I’m not sure which plant milk lasts longer, all nut milks seem to last about the same amount of time in my experience.

  6. I just made a batch of almond milk my friend in Calif has a business making almond mash and she sent me some of the almonds she used and did it make a difference in the taste . The almonds she has are like none I have tasted ..She also sent me two mesh paint strainers they work great …I love almond mild I am addicted don’t have to worry about the expiration date I drink it all day long

  7. A strainer vs a nut bag – which removes more of the skin or is there much of a difference? For my first batch I would like to try the strainer. Thanks.

  8. I just made this and it’s not creamy and as tasty as the Silk brand almond milk, I used Bob Mills raw whole almonds. I put it in the refrigerator for a few hours and it separated, is that normal?! The Silk brand seems to be really thick and creamy and tastier, is there a way I can reach the same with homemade almond milk? Thanks!

  9. How long does the almond meal last? After dehydrating. N how should it be stored? Is it the same as almond flour? And one poster said you can make more milk with same batch of almond. How do you do that? Do you just put the strained almonds back in blender n add water n blend again, then strained again? We go thru quite a bit of almond milk. So trying to figure out the least expensive way to go about making my own. Also cuz I don’t want the chemicals etc that store bought has. Thank you again! Oh one last question. So soaking should be at least 12 hours?

    1. I find that I get more milk the longer I leave the almonds soaking. I leave a dish by the sink with the soaking almonds and change the water twice a day, and do munch of the soaked almonds.
      Someone did say that they reuse the almond to get more milk, just add more water through the strainer and thought that it would get me more milk. Reading what you wrote, guess I should be the almond powder back into the blender.
      The milk is always completed in two days. I water mine down, since I never liked thick drinks, just me.
      The almond that is left over , being lazy, I just place in the refrigerator and use for later. I use it on the top of blueberries when making a cobbler, add to cookie and cake mixes. If I was to bake it and grind, it would kill the fun of making the milk
      One day, we actually had milk remaining on day three, and made a rice pudding.
      Always a win-win situation 0-)

  10. Those wondering about cost of almonds—-if you live where there is a costco—under $14 for three lb bag. I do six c water to two c almonds and put it through a nut bag. Net product is 32 oz milk. There is six batches in 3 lbs of nuts. In the store you pay $3 to $4 (32oz) and must deal with the chemicals and crappy taste. I love this stuff. I am Vegan, it all started with Forks over Knifes. Thanks for reading.

  11. Ok so I tried this because we love almond milk so much and we are spending a ton of money on it. I found it tasted great after I first made it but then it did some super separation stuff in the fridge. Is this normal? It weirded me out so I regrettably am dumping it down the drain with out any of it being drank. Can anyone please let me know if this is totally normal for homemade nut milk? Thanks so much in advance for your time !
    :)

  12. I want to correct my earlier numbers on net product from two c almonds to six c filtered water. With last nights batch I netted 48 0z plus. As to Natasha’s comment about the almond milk separating in the refer overnight, no worries, this is normal. Shake the container and it will return to the original product. The commercial milk may not do that but theirs is far more diluted with water and all the other junk and one would never know for sure because who can see through a carton anyway?

  13. I only got about 2/3rds of a quart of milk and had a lot of leftover almond meal.. Could this be because I soaked my almonds for too long

  14. I am aware that one can add food grade 3% hydrogen peroxide to raw cow’s milk, which prevents it from souring for about 3 weeks. Has anyone tried this in their homemade almond milk?

  15. Hi! Just made this delicious almond milk for my baby! He loves it! Have the almond meal in the oven now… Anyone have any good recipes for using the almond meal???? Is it bitter?
    Please let me know ASAP!! want to use it all up!

  16. Thank you for adding what we can do with the leftover. I love almond milk so I make one every week, so I could have some healthy drink every Mondays, until Wednesdays. I was just thinking if there’ something I could do with the pulp, that’s why I searched and found your amazing tutorial. :)

    Cool! I don’t know that strainers, like that one, works too, with a little caution not to press the pulps through the strainer. I usually use nut milk bags to filter them.

    Thanks for this!

  17. I took the easy way out to make almond milk, and I am very pleased with the results.

    Put directly into your blender – I use my Vitamix -

    - two tablespoons of almond butter (ground fresh from the almond machines at Whole Foods, or any other stores who grind on the spot.
    - 4 cups of water (you can use more or less – I prefer 4 cups)
    - a pinch of sea or kosher salt
    - 1 teaspoon vanilla
    - 2-4 pitted dates for sweetener. I prefer to use 3 dates.

    Blend and voila you have a quart of really good almond milk. I use it within four days.
    The taste isn’t very different from the store bought milk in the cartons and everything is fresh.

    I like that I can buy as little as a few tablespoons of the almond butter at a time…. I can’t be trusted with much more in the house… love the stuff and have absolutely no willpower. :-)

  18. I seen in the comments people were talking about cost on the almonds. If you look for a
    co-op in your area you might be able to get them cheaper. Usually for organic you can get them for 8-9$ a lb. and raw $5 a lb. also when you find a great sale on them buy in bulk and freeze them.

  19. Been looking at some recepies for almondmilk and in all of them you soke for days. What is the difference when soking in water for days vs pouring hot water on them so you could skinn them/making them softer?

    would it not work to make milk when almonds have been in hot water or is it some toxic thing or what?
    Thank you =)

    1. Hi Rosemary, you can order a nutbag through my online market here: link to theshiksa.com If you have an Amazon login it’s very easy to purchase one that way. Note that you don’t necessarily need a nut bag to make the milk, though it does help with the quality of the milk.

    1. Nicky, the dried nut meal can be used like almond flour– if you Google almond flour recipes you’ll come up with many ideas. It is often used as a gluten free low carb flour substitute (you cannot sub it cup for cup for flour, but it can be used in certain instances). Here is one of my recipes featuring almond meal:

      link to theshiksa.com

  20. To much work to make it into flour!
    I do what Marge does.
    You can use it as a wet flour (meaning as in) in your pancakes, cookies and cakes.
    It is unreal in Greek yogurt plain or adding dry chocolate and/or strawberries.
    This one is outrageous………remember I am lazy, stuff an apple with the wet flour and bake………omg!
    Tori…………this Sunday, I purchased the thirty calorie Almond Milk, and forget the chemicals it did not have the clean taste of mine. Even the husband, mentioned what happened to the milk! LOVE it!

  21. MASHUGANA:
    what is “wet flour” that you use the almond meal with?
    if i substitute almond meal in recipes that call for almond flour will it not come out unless i grind it into flour?

    1. Hi Jenner, please read the comments above, this has already been addressed by another reader. I have never frozen it myself but other readers have had good results.

  22. Hi! I have been making my own almond milk for a few months now and I absolutely love it… But I’ve always been curious about the vanilla – do you add vanilla extract or vanilla powder? I have seen it recommended several places to use vanilla but it never specifies how much or what kind… Thank you!

    1. Hi Ginger– I don’t usually add vanilla, but the times I have I’ve used an organic pure vanilla extract. You only need a little to give it that hint of vanilla flavor. :)

  23. Tori
    Maybe because Passover is on my mind, the way people make vanilla sugar, do you think that vanilla pods could be left in the bag of almonds? With or without the beans removed?
    Thank you for the Purim contest, I was so shocked when I won the prize of baked pans. It will be well used and cherished.

    1. Mashugana, it’s an interesting thought re: vanilla almonds… I doubt that whole raw almonds will be as absorbent as sugar, though. It might be worth a try! Congrats on winning the contest, there were so many entries!!

  24. Tori, after your comment, to see if almonds absorb flavors, I just placed half a tangerine, cut side up, on a glass plate with some almonds around and a glass bowl above…….see if it absorbs the orange in two days.

  25. i have been making almond milk and every week it it goes sour within 12 hours. I went out and bought more almonds and my milk still went sour overnight. I bought the almonds from the same place so maybe I am continuing to buy bad almonds? Maybe the almond milk is not being refrigerated at a cold enough temperature??? Any ideas?

    1. Kelley, I would try cooling down your fridge temp by a few degrees if you can. Mine always lasts a few days, but I keep my fridge pretty cold.

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