I only recently realized it is super easy to make your own almond milk (and much cheaper than buying). The reason I found out about this was that I bought myself a masticating juicer (the kind that grinds rather than shreds veggies) and one of the selling points was nut milk-making.
That said, it is really easy to do this in a blender too, the main difference is then you need to do the squeezing of the pulp by hand.
Here’s what the almonds look like post-soaking. (Mine are a mix of sliced and whole here, ’cause that’s what I had at the time.)
Putting it through my (magnificent) Omega 8006 juicer:
The finished product in all its glory: (The recipe makes more than 4 cups, but I used 1 cup for a matcha smoothie because I couldn’t resist.)
Here’s what to do:
1 1/2 cup raw almonds (whole, slivered, sliced, peeled, unpeeled, whatever)
3-4 cups of filtered tap water
fine sea salt, to taste
2 dried medjool dates
Dash of vanilla extract
More filtered tap water, to taste
A note: The flavoring won’t make it sweet, it just enhances the natural flavors. You can drink it totally plain too, or make it sweeter, whatever floats you boat. Play around with it.
Put the almonds and the water in a container with an air tight lid. Put in fridge to soak for 8 hours, or over night.
Some recipes say to blanch and peel them first. I’ve tried both and find that leaving the peel on gives more flavor. You may feel differently. Experiment. Also, I like to sweeten with dried dates, but you could of course use agave, or whatever other sweetener you like.
After soaking, blender version:
Put the almonds and liquid in the blender. Blend until smooth, then strain through a fine mesh strainer, or cheese cloth, into a bowl. Squeeze out all the liquid until the pulp is as dry as you can get it.
Put the strained liquid back in the blender. If you want to jazz it up a bit, add the vanilla extract, salt and dates. Add some water if that suits your taste, blend. Done!
After soaking, masticating juicer version:
Spoon the soaked almonds (and some of the soaking water) down the chute until they’re all ground. Pour the pulp down the chute again with more soaking water, for a second grinding, you’ll get a lot more flavor and creaminess this way. You can either stop at two grindings, for a creamy and fairly un-pulpy almond milk. I like to put the pulp through a third time. You get way more out of the almonds doing this, but there will be a bit more pulp. Your call.
DON’T feed it through a fourth time. It will only clog up the juicer. Trust me on this.
Pour the almond milk in a blender with dates, salt, vanilla extract. Blend. Done!
Store in air tight container (if you can stop yourself from guzzling it all down on the spot).
You can use the almond pulp for all sorts of things, including, but not limited to pesto and salad dressings. More on that in a later post. If you want to save the pulp I recommend you either put it in a zip-loc bag and throw it in the freezer (it will spoil quickly as is). Or, you can dry it in the oven (be careful not to burn it) and store in a sealed container at room temperature.
It won’t be homogenized like store-bought milk, it separates over time. Not to worry. Just shake the jar (make sure the lid is screwed on tight) or blend in blender to make get it back to that store-bought consistency.