We drink a lot of almond milk in our house. The kids and I enjoy a smoothie every day after school, and often almond milk is the base. I try to steer away from shelf stable varieties of milk, as they contain ingredients I am not sure are safe, like carageenan. We started using the variety found in the dairy isle, but those milks are often fortified with extra vitamins like calcium. At first blush this may seem like a good thing. Enrich with calcium that you might be missing if you don’t drink cow milk. The problem is the form of calcium used is often the cheapest, inorganic form of calcium, which can range from being ineffective and useless to actually harmful. This brought me to making my own almond milk- and two weeks into it I feel like a bit of an idiot! It’s so easy, much cheaper than the store bought variety, and it tastes amazing!
To begin you need to soak the almonds, preferably overnight. I have a quart mason jar that I use to store the milk, and I just use it to soak the almonds too. Put the almonds in the jar, then fill it with water a few inches over. Use purified water, not tap water. In the morning drain the almonds and add to the blender with the water and dates. Blend it up! I use the Vitamix and blend on high for 1 minute. You can use a regular blender, you might need to blend longer. I add the dates for sweetener, you can use honey or maple syrup too. Each give a unique flavor to the milk. Add in vanilla, or almond extract, or cinnamon, cocoa powder- or anything else you think sounds good. Then strain the milk. I bought a nut milk bag at the health food store, so I can wash and reuse it. You can use cheesecloth too. You want to make sure you squeeze all the milk out of the pulp. Think milking the bag…
Strain the milk into a jar or milk container and keep it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can drink it straight, or use it in things like cereal and coffee, baking or smoothies. Anywhere you would enjoy milk regularly.
- 1 1/2 cups almonds, soaked
- 4 cups water
- 2 pitted dates
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Soak the almonds in fresh water overnight, then strain.
- Add almonds, water and dates to the blender and mix until smooth.
- Strain milk from pulp in a nut milk bag, or cheese cloth.
- Almond milk will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Recipe makes a little more than a quart of milk.