How Make Your Own: Almond Milk

Almond Milk CollageIf you are a lover of almond milk as I am, you might use a great deal of it on a daily basis and that can run into some serious dollars. So, instead of buying it from the store, I have learned to make my own. It is so easy to do and can save you money as well as being more nutritious than the prepackaged stuff that you buy in the store. If you take a look at the label on most any store bought almond milk, you will see everything from added synthetic vitamins to additional additives. Making it at home avoids all of that and the taste is far superior too. You will need the following:

  • Raw Almonds (organic if you can)

Please be sure that you purchase raw, unsalted almonds and NOT roasted. The best and most cost effective way to do this is to buy in bulk. Whole Foods is where I mostly get mine, although, your local grocery store may also stock these.

  • High Speed Blender

You want a high-speed blender like a Vitamix. This is important because you will get the best results with the highest yield of milk. These are not inexpensive machines, but they will last a lifetime and do much more than just making almond milk. QVC frequently offers these machines on easy pay that lets you spread out the payments. Just go to QVC.com and search “Vitamix”.

  • Nut Bag

This is a fine-mesh bag that you will use to strain the milk when it comes out of the blender. Most health food stores carry them and they can also be found on Amazon. Click here.

  • Large Glass Bowl (8 Cup Capacity)

You will use this to capture the strained milk from the nut bag.

  • Four Mason Jars (32 oz)

I love these for storing almond milk because they can be sanitized in the dishwasher and used over and over again.

So, lets get started! Here are the steps:

  1. The first thing you want to do is to soak 1 cup of almonds in filtered water overnight. Doing this makes the nutrients in the almonds much more bioavailable and also makes them easier to blend. After you have soaked them, be sure to rinse them a couple of times until the water is clear, as almonds tend to have a lot of dust.
  2. Place about half of the almonds in the blender with about 4 cups of water. If you wish, you can do 3 cups for a more creamy milk.
  3. Blend on high until you see the almond particles become very small and the liquid looks like milk.
  4. Fit the nut bag over the edges of the glass bowl and then gently pour the blended milk into the nut bag. You will then gently squeeze the milk from the nut bag into the bowl trapping the now almond meal in the nut bag. The left over almond meal can be discarded at this point.
  5. Pour strained milk into mason jars (please see my flavoring recommendations in the next paragraph below first).
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 with the rest of the almonds.

Congratulations! You have made almond milk. At this point, you are good to go and can pour the milk into the mason jars, but, before you do, I want to recommend a couple of things to add to the almond milk to enhance taste and that will help keep it from separating. Here are what I call the flavoring steps:

  • Rinse the blender container and top with water to remove any almond particles and then pour the strained milk back into the blender.
  • Add a small pinch of salt. Did I just say salt? Yes! Adding a small pinch of salt will not make the milk salty, but will actually enhance the taste of the almond milk.
  • Add 1 TBS lecithin granules. I buy the NOW brand as it is non-GMO and it is not fortified with synthetic vitamins. I get mine at Vitacost.  The lecithin will emulsify the milk and help keep it from separating and it is a good source of phosphatidyl choline which is fabulous nutrition for your brain.
  • Last, I add about ½ tsp. of raw agave nectar. I get this from Whole Foods. This does not make it sweet, it’s just a flavor enhancer.

You can add any flavoring you want. For instance, you can add raw cacao powder to make chocolate milk, however, keep in mind that you will need to add more sweetener to balance the bitterness of the cacao. The sky is the limit! This may seem like a huge undertaking and a ton of time, but I promise you that it will become second nature and once you taste fresh almond milk, you will never go back.

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