Almonds, with their healthy fats, good protein content and high concentration of vitamins and minerals (1), are hailed as a super-food by scientists and nutritionists worldwide. Whether or not as a direct result of this bigging up, it seems like, lately, the milk of this tree nut has become a staple in the fridges of the health conscious and hip.
I’ve been seeing a fair few recipes for making almond milk at home for some time now and so, as I’m always interested in how I can prepare more of my own foods and reduce my dependency on pre-made/processed goods, I thought I best see what all the fuss is about and finally try it myself!
Even though I’ve only just recently started making my own almond milk, I can tell you that you won’t believe how easy it is to make (and why you haven’t done it yet!). The great thing is that, once your almonds are done soaking, going from almonds to fresh smooth and creamy almond milk takes less than 5 minutes.
Note: It’s quite possible you will become addicted to this stuff so you’re going to want to get in the habit of putting almonds in for soaking as soon as you’ve blended your current batch! (More on soaking times in a bit.)
And… Just incase the sound of smooth and creamy homemade almond milk isn’t enough alone to convince you to make it yourself, I’ve compiled a short list of the benefits of going D.I.Y.
Benefits of homemade almond milk vs. shop bought
– It’s fresher and so probably more nutritious.
– It’s possible for it to cost the same or even less – and with minimal labour.
– You can tweak ingredients to make your very own perfect blend!
– You know exactly what has gone into it.
– You have the satisfaction of knowing that you made it!
– It’s a good party trick 🙂
Hopefully you’re well and truly convinced now so here goes…
Soaking time: 8 hours/overnight | Active time: 5 minutes
(These quantities provide you with 1000ml/1ltr of milk – If you’d like more just increase quantities accordingly)
• 2 cups Almonds (Whole)
• 4 cups Water
• Tiny pinch of fine Sea Salt
• Agave Nectar (2-4 tsp per 1000ml/1ltr milk does the job for me) or other sweetener e.g. maple syrup or sugar
• 2x Bowls – 1x medium (e.g. cereal bowl) for soaking almonds & 1x large for straining milk into
• Blender or Food Processor
• Cheese Cloth/Muslin (normally available from homeware stores like Wilkos or some supermarkets/health food stores – I recently got some from Sprout Health Foods in Newquay)
• Airtight bottle/jug (for storing almond milk)
1. Place the almonds in the smaller bowl and cover with an inch of water. Leave to soak in a refrigerator for at least 8 hours or up to, but no longer than, 2 days. (You get creamier milk if you leave the almonds soaking longer.)
2. Once the almonds have soaked, drain and rinse them well and then add to your blender with the water (2 cups of water per 1 cup of soaked almonds).
3. Blend on high speed/power for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes until almonds are finely ground and you have a milky like colour and consistency. (Don’t worry if you’re left with/you can see a few small bits of solid almond – the cheesecloth will sort these out.)
4. Line the larger bowl with the cloth, pour in your almond and water mixture from the blender, and bring the corners of the cloth together. Twist the cloth to form a ‘bag’ and squeeze/strain out as much liquid (your almond milk!) as you can. Even once you’ve squeezed out what you think is a decent amount of milk, continue to strain the ‘bag’ for a bit – there’s more liquid in there than you think!
Save/set aside the almond ‘meal’ left in the cloth (more on this at the end)…
5. Add the salt and your preferred sweetener (if using) to the almond milk in small increments and mix/stir well until desired sweetness/taste is achieved. If using sugar I recommend adding in 1/2 tsp increments.
6. Enjoy a cup, or over cereal, and refrigerate the remainder (if any!) in an airtight container/bottle/jar. You’re probably best to consume within 24 hours (48 hours tops) as the milk is fresh and contains no preservatives/hasn’t been pasteurised. I really doubt you’ll be able to resist finishing it on the day though!
Leftover almond ‘meal’…
You can use this as to top cereal, mix into porridge, for baking (biscuits/cookies etc) and maybe even blend it with smoothies (I haven’t tried this one yet though!). I would advise using it on the same day.
– Try different sweeteners and seasonings. You could use maple or golden syrup, different sugars or fruit juices. Cinnamon or a sweet spice mix might make a nice addition too!
– Tweak the ratio of almonds to water if you think you’d like your milk thinner or thicker.
– Use your almond milk as the base for a pre or post-surf smoothie. Add your favourite fruits and a serving of your preferred protein powder for a great energy boost and quick muscle recovery.
Happy milking! Go wild!