Almond Milk 101

If you have almonds, water, and a blender, you can make your own almond milk at home. © istetiana - Fotolia.com
If you have almonds, water, and a blender, you can make your own almond milk at home. © istetiana – Fotolia.com

The truth behind the marketing gimmicks from companies trying to sell you manufactured almond milk will reveal a long list of processed gums, thickeners, synthetic vitamins, and natural flavors – all ingredients our bodies can have a difficult time digesting, metabolizing, and absorbing.

Like any processed food, the real thing can be easily made at home with minimal ingredients. In this case, it’s three ingredients, one of them being a blender, and if you count the optional sea salt, it’s a whopping four ingredients.

It’s important to note that almonds contain high levels of phytic acid, which can bind with important minerals, so the soaking process is crucial in ensuring optimal nutrition as it neutralizes most of the phytic acid.

Almond Milk 101
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Soy/Gluten/Fish/Egg/Dairy-free
Author:
Recipe type: Beverage
Serves: 18 oz
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces raw, unsalted almonds
  • Filtered water for soaking
  • 24 ounces filtered water, or enough to fill to the top of the blender
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large non-reactive glass or ceramic bowl, add almonds. Cover almonds with filtered water; cover bowl, set aside 12 hours. Drain and repeat.
  2. Drain and rinse almonds, transfer to blender pitcher. Pour in enough filtered water to reach just below the top of the blender, about 24 ounces depending on the size of your pitcher. Add optional sea salt. Cover blender tightly, blend on high until smooth, about 30 to 40 seconds.
  3. Strain almond mixture into a bowl or pitcher using a fine mesh sieve or through a cheese cloth-lined colander. Gently press almond meal to release all of the liquid; discard almond meal or add to compost pile. Refrigerate almond milk up to 7 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Almond Milk Variations:
Toasted Almond Milk: preheat oven to 175 F. Soak almonds as directed above. Place soaked almonds on a parchment-lined sheet pan; bake 5 hours. Remove from oven, let cool. Blend as directed above. Note: to keep the almond milk “raw,” keep oven temp at 115 F and roast an additional 2 to 3 hours.

Vanilla-Almond Milk: In a small saucepan, steep half of a vanilla bean, split and scraped, with finished almond milk 10 minutes over low heat. Temperature of milk should not exceed 100 F. Remove from heat, let cool, strain and refrigerate as directed above.

Vanilla-Chai Almond Milk: In a small saucepan, add half of a vanilla bean, split and scraped, 1 crushed cardamom pod, 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, and finished almond milk. Steep 10 minutes over low heat; temperature of milk should not exceed 100 F. Remove from heat, let cool, strain and refrigerate as directed above.

Cinnamon Almond Milk: In a small saucepan, steep 2 cinnamon sticks with finished almond milk 10 minutes over low heat. Temperature of milk should not exceed 100 F. Remove from heat, let cool, remove cinnamon sticks, refrigerate as directed above.

Coconut Almond Milk: In a small saucepan, steep 1 cup grated, toasted organic coconut with finished almond milk 10 minutes over low heat. Temperature of milk should not exceed 100 F. Remove from heat, let cool, strain and refrigerate as directed above.

Holiday Spiced Almond Milk: In a small saucepan, add half of a vanilla bean, split and scraped, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, 1 cinnamon stick, and finished almond milk. Steep 10 minutes over low heat; temperature of milk should not exceed 100 F. Remove from heat, let cool, strain and refrigerate as directed above.

Want it sweet? Stir 2 tablespoons of local honey or grade-B maple syrup into finished milk, or heat equal amounts of coconut sugar and water in a small saucepan until dissolved, let cool and stir into milk until desired sweetness is reached.