So, earlier this week after finishing off a half gallon carton of almond milk, I happened to glance at the ingredients label as I was tossing it the recycling bin. I had Almond Breeze, the kind you can find in any grocery store and this is what I found:
Ingredients: almondmilk (filtered water, almonds), calcium carbonate, tapioca starch, sea salt, potassium citrate, carrageenan, sunflower lecithin, natural flavor, vitamin a palmitate, vitamin d2 and d-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin e). source
Now, I don’t know what any of that crap is except for almonds, water and sea salt (by the way, what the HECK is “natural flavor”??) so I decided right then and there to make my own. I had some almonds in my pantry so I just got to soaking them right away. I had heard of making your own before, but for some reason it intimidated me, like it would be hard to do or something. I couldn’t have been more wrong. And I posted a picture on Instagram and a lot of you were interested so I thought I would walk you through exactly how easy it is.
A little side note: I’m not against dairy or dairy-free, but I do try to limit it in my diet for personal health preferences. I don’t need regular cow’s milk to get protein or calcium since I get it from other sources and I like that almond milk has fewer calories, is naturally low in fat and I don’t have to worry about hormones or antibiotics or about where the almond was raised, like with cow’s milk.
Not pictured here is a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, which you should add since it breaks down the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors and cultures beneficial enzymes in the almonds. I don’t really know what that means, but a trusted source says to do it, so I figure it can’t hurt.
If it didn’t take so long to soak the almonds, you could call this a 5 minute ordeal when all is said and done. It’s just a matter of putting your soaked almonds in a blender with water, letting it blend for a minute or two and then straining – either with cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. I bought mine here and bonus: it came with a hand written note thanking me for my order. Here’s proof.
Also, one perk of making your own almond milk is that you can put it in adorable glass jars that maybe you’ve bought (one too many of…) and not known what to do with. Not like I would know. And this is better for the environment too so you can say you’re GOING GREEN! Mason jars work too.
Here’s the full recipe and how to, although it’s almost laughable at how easy it is that you won’t need a recipe after you make it one time.
Ingredients & Equipment
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 8-10 cups of water
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- nut milk bag or cheesecloth
- Optional: natural sweeteners like stevia, dates, honey, maple syrup, vanilla.
- Soak almonds in 2-3 cups of water and salt for at least 12 hours.
- Give the almonds a good rinse and toss in a blender with 8 cups of water, or however much your blender will hold. You may need to do a couple of batches if you don’t have a big enough blender, but that’s okay.
- Let the blender run on high for a minute or two, until you can see it’s creamy and mixed well (the almonds should be teeny tiny little bits)
- Grab your cheese cloth or nut milk bag and pour your almond mixture through it. Squeeze thoroughly until no moisture comes through, but for the love of god DO NOT THROW AWAY THE ALMOND PULP!!! Because you can make almond flour with it, which is super expensive, is gluten free, is a tremendous alternative to wheat flours, is very nutritious and a great way to use up every last bit of those healthy almonds. Don’t throw it away. Just throw it in the fridge until you get the time to dry it out (I’ll explain that further below).
- If sweetening your milk, put it back in the blender (rinse it first) and add whatever natural sweetener you like. For me, I like to keep the whole batch plain and just sweeten a glass as I go if I feel like having it sweet.
Yields: about 2 quarts of milk
A few tips and tricks:
Your milk will separate after a little while in the fridge. This is totally normal, just give it a good shake.
Your almond milk will last about 5-7 days in the fridge.
To make coffee creamer, just use less water (maybe half) and add whatever sweeteners and spices you want. I’m thinking next fall I’ll make some with pumpkin spice, vanilla and stevia. Yum! I bet you
Someone asked me if this saves money and after really looking in to it, I can say that YES it definitely can if you make sure to use the almond pulp by making flour with it – then you save lots because that stuff is like $10/lb. Otherwise, you are probably paying about the same (maybe a little more), but you’re also cutting out any unnecessary additives, processing and preservatives for a much healthier alternative – how long do you think it took that almond milk to get from the factory to your refrigerator? I’m not some crazy DIY almond milk activist that is judging anyone if you don’t make your own – people are busy, especially moms so I get it. But if you want to make your own, know that it is easy and worthwhile.
How to Make Almond Flour (also called almond meal)
When you strain all the liquid out with your cheese cloth, you’ll have the pulp left over, pictured above. This has lots of nutrition left and can be made in to flour that you can use in baked goods to make healthier, clean versions of your favorite foods. Or make french macarons (and then send them to me).
Again, this is super easy, but just takes a little bit of time. If you don’t have time right then to make the flour, just put it in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days or even freeze it if you know it will be a while before you can dry it out. Or send it to me because I won’t let it go to waste. Either way, it would be sad to throw it out so don’t.
- Spread the almond mixture out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the oven at the lowest setting (for me, it was 170 degrees) for a few hours. You can leave the oven door open just a crack to release any moisture and help it dry out faster. Mine was done after 3 hours.
- Once it’s dry, let it cool and pop it in a food processor or blender to get a finer texture.
So that’s it! Nothing complicated or sophisticated about it, just takes waiting for the almonds to soak and then bake. I put my almond meal in the oven in the morning, then went to the gym and ran a few errands and by the time I was home it was ready (my husband was home, just in case something happened).
So are you going to make your own almond milk and flour too? I hope so! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer!