Yesterday I talked about the chemicals and additives in most non-dairy milk; today I’ll show you how easy it is to make your own almond milk at home with a few simple ingredients and a basic kitchen blender. Let’s get going shall we!
Homemade Almond Milk
Yields approximately 5 cups
1 cup of raw, organic almonds, soaked for 8-24 hours
6 cups filtered water (you could even use more but my blender could only hold this much!)
4 dates (optional)
1 whole vanilla bean or 1-2 tsp of vanilla extract (optional)
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
6-8 drops of pure liquid stevia extract (optional)
This takes one day of planning because you need to soak your nuts! *snicker* Yes, there will be a lot of “nut” references, so I don’t want to hear any “that’s what she said” OK?!? Measure out 1 cup of nuts, this will make about 5 cups of almond milk. I don’t really recommend doing double batches, unless you are a large family consuming it because it will only last 3-5 days in the fridge. Start small, see how long it lasts 🙂 Look for fresh, organic nuts if you can find them. Cover with water and soak anywhere from 8-24 hours. The longer the better, and switch out the water once.
You will also need cheese cloth or a nut milk bag. Cheese cloth can be found in the baking section at Wal-Mart or most grocery stores and even Canadian Tire/Home Hardware/RONA! They work in a pinch but if you plan on making almond milk all the time, I’d recommend getting a nut milk bag since they are reusable; you end up throwing out the cheese cloth (trust me, it can’t be rinsed and reused!) so, it is not only costly but ends up being wasteful.
I’ve just ordered my nut milk bag, so I’ll let you know how it works 🙂 Update: I’ve since used my nut milk bag many times and I love it! Makes it so much easier, I only strain once and it rinses clean in a jiffy! I highly recommend you get one if you plan on making your own almond milk on a regular basis.
Next, you need to decide what kind of flavour or sweetener you will use. I added 4 dates, 1 vanilla bean (you could also use vanilla extract), 6-8 drops of liquid stevia along with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Once your almonds are nice and plump, strain them and rinse with water. In a blender, add the nuts, and remaining ingredients and blend, blend, blend on high, liquify, emulsify, whatever the heck your highest speed is! You don’t need a commercial-grade blender, although it wouldn’t hurt. I’m sure it helps with less straining afterwards. Last week we made it at work with a Vitamix, which is a pretty awesome, “pricey-but-oh-so-worth-it” blender (maybe Santa will bring me one this year? *hint, hint*) PS…how awesome is it that I get to make almond milk at work?! I love my
boss (she hates when I call her that) “co-worker who signs my paycheques” 🙂
Now, do a taste test and if you like it sweet, add more dates or sweetener of your choice. I honestly think I added too much cinnamon, luckily I love cinnamon but maybe start with just a pinch or omit if you’re not a big fan. Let the milk sit in the blender for a few minutes so the foam can settle. Next you will strain, squeeze, repeat!Place about 4 layers of cheese cloth over a large bowl big enough to hold all the liquid and then some (it helps if you have an extra pair of hands to hold the cheese cloth, although I did it by myself and I managed – Superstar!) Pour the milk into the bowl over the cheese cloth and hold it up so it can strain. You will need to use your hands to squeeze the milk through. Be careful squeezing though or it will spray everywhere! I recommend straining it twice. Again, I’m sure the nut milk bag will help with straining process and you may only have to do it once. Once you have squeezed out all the liquid, you will be left with the almond pulp, which looks like this…
You can freeze this and use it in pancakes, smoothies, baking, or blend it up to make almond meal.
This is difficult to estimate because it all depends on how much your almonds cost, if you use vanilla bean or extract. Here was the cost breakdown of the ingredients I used:
Raw Almonds = $1.24/cup
Vanilla Bean =
$3.00 (Yes, I overpaid! The pitfalls of living in a small town with one health food store. I know you can get it for around $1 per bean or less, so for ease I will change this to $1)
Dates = $0.32 for 4 dates
Cinnamon and liquid stevia = $0.10
$2.66 total for about 5 cups = $0.53/cup
I have paid anywhere from $1.99 to $3.99 for a carton of almond milk which yields 4 cups.
$1.99-$3.99 = $0.49-$0.99/cup
So you see it is approximately the same or less, and definitely less if you use vanilla extract.
The nutritional info was difficult to calculate as well. Yes, I used 1 cup of almonds (about 115g) but I was left with 100g of almond pulp and I had to factor in water absorption. After looking around on the internet, this was my best guess per cup.
51 Calories, 6g Carbs, 5g Fat, 1g Protein, 5g Sugar, 0mg Sodium
Compared to Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze:
40 Calories, 2g Carbs, 4g Fat, 1g Protein, 5g Sugar, 180mg Sodium
The few extra healthy grams of fat and carbs are a good trade off for all those chemicals, additives and extra sodium! So, is it worth it? Would I make it again? Definitely YES!
Have you made your own nut milk before??