Make It Yourself: Almond Milk

I did not grow up drinking milk from cows, so to this day straight up moo milk gives me the creeps.  Stirred in coffee or blended in milkshakes are acceptable methods of downing the white stuff.  Just please don’t make me drink it unadorned.

But almond milk?  Ahh, almond milk, I really do like.  The dark chocolate variety is a guilty pleasure I indulge every time I find myself in the US of A.

And therein lies the rub.  I have not seen almond milk of any kind in Germany yet.  I hear it exists but perhaps only in larger cities.

The only kind of non-dairy “milk” found in nearly every grocery store is soy.  I’m not a fan of the taste, and I’m of the persuasion that it’s not so healthy when consumed in large quantities on a regular basis (as in with my three bowls of knock-off Fruit Loops every morning).

I’ve tried a soy-rice mix that costs the same as plain soy.  That was palatable.. until I got pregnant.  Then I absolutely could not stand the stuff.  I’ve been eating oatmeal for the past four months because I won’t go near soy-rice milk anymore.

Oat and spelt milks can be had for a pretty penny at organic food stores.  The taste is better, but I can’t justify the cost.

I tried making rice milk a couple of months ago.  It tasted like water and went bad before I could use even half of it.  What a waste.

My expectations couldn’t be any lower when I stumbled upon this recipe from Whole Foods Cooking North Raleigh.  But I was desperate to try again.

I just simply cannot eat. any. more. oatmeal.

(I’m not posting the original recipe here – just my experience making it.  For full directions, click here.)

Start with raw, unsalted almonds. The recipe calls for 1 cup, but my almonds come in 200g packages. I thought that was about a cup – wrong! One cup is equal to 125g.

Soak almonds in water at room temperature water overnight. This is how the chubby suckers look in the morning.  Drain the cloudy water, and rinse.  Repeat.

For comparison, the bloated almond on the left has retained more water than a pregnant woman with a bag of pretzels. Mister regular crunchy, shriveled almond is on the right.

Put three cups of water in your blender, and then add the one cup of almonds. If I was following the recipe correctly, I would’ve added almost five cups of water to my 200g of soaked almonds.

Turn the whirly-gig on and let ‘er fly.

In a minute or so, you’ll have some serious froth.

Line a gigantic bowl with cheesecloth. Or if you don’t feel like paying 10 euros for certified real deal cheesecloth, use an old cloth diaper (burp cloth). A clean one. Duh.  Then pour in your frothy almond liquid.

Gather the ends of the cheesecloth together, and twist to squeeze all the almond milk out. Keep twisting and squeezing until the ball of almond guts no longer oozes.

You’ll be left with a bag full of almond pulp. Don’t throw it away! Use it in smoothies or pancakes like I did, or look up some other recipes. I hear the guts keep best in the freezer.

If you use 3 cups of water the recipe calls for, you’ll be left with – surprise – 24 ounces of almond milk. Since I used too many almonds for 3 cups of water, my first batch was extremely creamy (delicious but too intense for breakfast cereal purposes).

Tips:

  • Homemade almond milk has no preservatives, and it spoils QUICKLY!  I made my first batch on a Wednesday morning, and it was rank on Saturday afternoon.
  • Consider freezing some of the milk in 1 cup portions.  Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, and use in 1-2 days.
  • Use less water for thicker, creamier almond milk and more water for thinner milk with weaker flavor.
  • I eat enough sweets as it is, so I didn’t add sugar/maple syrup/honey/agave to my almond milk.  See the original recipe for variations involving sweeteners.
  • I’ve read that homemade almond milk can separate when added to hot drinks.  If you’d like to make this recipe for that purpose, do some additional research on ways to prevent curdling and separation.

Enjoy!

5 thoughts on “Make It Yourself: Almond Milk

  1. Hey Lady! I think you know I got serious about nut mylks when I was at the raw foods institute and we made mylks out of all raw organic nuts. I always add a pinch of sea salt and vanilla, maybe even cinnamon and pumpkin spice. I have an actual nut mylk bag which speeds up the process and then I dehydrate the almond pulp, you can probably put it in the oven because it will go bad if its moist. Then I use mine in gluten free vegan brownie mix. Unfortunately, I havent found a way to keep it lasting longer than 3 days- seems you just have to drink it! Glad you tried it out and love it cause soy sure isnt good for you!

    • I can definitely see how the sea salt and vanilla (and even cinnamon or pumpkin spice) would liven things up. My second batch (with less water) was much too bland. I’ll have to look into getting a nut milk bag!

  2. Pingback: Make It Yourself: Coconut Vanilla Brown Sugar Body Scrub | Thrifty Travel Mama

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