This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Make your own creamy dairy-free almond milk without additives or unnecessary junk. No soaking necessary.
Are you looking for healthy alternatives to milk? Homemade nut milk is the key.
You’ve probably noticed that It’s a good time to go dairy-free — it’s never been easier to stroll through ordinary grocery stores and find so many options to cow’s milk. Plant-based milk substitutes seem to have exploded in the marketplace.
Now in addition to regular milk, we can choose from milks made from oats, nuts or coconut to pour over granola and steam for warm drinks.
But while these products seem to be improving in quality little by little, they can still contain additional stuff like preservatives, emulsifiers and extra sugar.
Make homemade almond milk
Isn’t the whole point of seeking out milk alternatives to eat more “healthfully?” That’s where homemade almond milk comes in.
Creamy almond milk is easy to make at home with a few ingredients and a powerful blender. This milk has become a staple in our house.
Some of us don’t tolerate dairy well, and I’m one of those people who cannot stand the taste of soy milk.
Make almond milk in a blender
Making your own almond milk is also pretty economical. One cup of almonds makes a quart of fresh almond milk — I’ll let you do the math and compare it to the price of your favorite store-bought almond milk 😉
Keep in mind that commercially made almond milk is made with a greater ratio of water to almonds (hence the need for added thickeners).
For this recipe, the only real extravagance I’m advocating is using a high-speed blender. To make the smoothest nut milk — as well as mind-blowing creamy soups and smoothies — you’ll want to invest in a blender with a strong motor and sturdy construction.
I have a Vitamix that I bought a decade ago and it’s still churning along.
Another good (and powerful!) blender for the price is the Ninja Pro, which you can scoop up for about a hundred bucks on Amazon.
Don’t go trying to make almond milk in a food processor, though. Food processors aren’t designed to be 100 percent watertight, so you’ll end up with almond milk all over your kitchen.
Nutrition in homemade almond milk
While whole almonds contain a respectable amount of calcium, almond milk actually contains just a tiny fraction (about 1 gram per cup).
- Almond milk contains other minerals like selenium, magnesium and potassium. It also has a small amount of protein — again, about 1 gram per cup.
I can’t tell you for sure what the nutrition value of homemade almond milk is compared to various brands of the commercially made ones, which are sometimes fortified with added calcium and Vitamin D.
But at least when you make your own almond milk you know exactly what’s in there.
One thing is certain: There won’t be any additives like preservatives, emulsifiers, gums or thickeners like carrageenan when you blend it up yourself.
Do you need to soak almonds to make almond milk?
The short answer is no, you don’t need to soak almonds to make almond milk. If you’re using a high-speed blender, it will do all the heavy lifting in a minute or two.
I mean literally pulverizing the entire almond into a thick and creamy milk. But if you’re wondering, here are three reasons to soak almonds for almond milk:
- Allows the almond skins to slip off easier, to make a lighter-colored milk (if you’re into peeling individual almonds)
- Softens the almonds for blending.
- Activates enzymes in the almond, which is helpful if your aim is to sprout them.
I’ve been making almond milk for 10 years, and honestly most of the time I skip the soaking step completely.
The almond milk turns out just as smooth and creamy as when I remember to soak. Plus, I actually prefer the whole almond skin and all. If you’re using a nut milk bag or cheesecloth it filters most of the flecks of skin out anyway.
If you’re like me and often forget to plan ahead to soak the almonds, go ahead and jump right in!
The best way to strain almond milk
To make a smoother almond milk, I recommend filtering the blended milk through a cheesecloth or even better, a nylon mesh nut bag.
Even if you’ve used a high-powered blender you’ll still have a little grittiness in the finished milk, which isn’t a big deal unless you’ll be drinking it straight or using in a coffee drink or latte.
You can also use a very fine mesh strainer, but a small amount of solids will come through.
You can add it to pancake batter and cookie dough for added protein and texture, or dry it out in a low (200-degree) oven for an hour and use it like almond flour.
Homemade almond milk tastes delicious paired with great granola — try it with the Best Olive Oil Granola recipe!
How to Make Homemade Almond Milk
- 1 cup (145 g) whole raw unsalted almonds
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup, optional
- 4 cups (1 l) filtered cold water
- Put all ingredients in the container of a high-powered blender.
- Blend on high speed for 1 minute (much longer than that and you begin to heat the milk)
- Pour through a mesh nut bag or a few layers of cheesecloth. Gather the top of the bag or cloth in your hands and gently squeeze to extract all the liquid.
- Transfer to a clean container and refrigerate 3-4 days. Gently shake before using as the milk will separate.
Karen’s Notes and Tips
- Omit the maple syrup for a naturally sugar-free almond milk.
- Instead of maple syrup, throw 2 or 3 pitted dates into the blender with all the ingredients for natural sweetener.
- Add a whole vanilla bean and blend for even more flavor, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
- Save the leftover pulp and use it in pancake batter and cookie doughs for added protein and texture.
- Almond milk will naturally separate as it sits. Just give it a shake before using.