Who knew almond milk was so easy to make? I've run across and repinned recipes on Pinterest for coconut milk, sunflower seed milk and almond milk. I figured I would get around to making them at some point. I had a feeling it would taste better than the store bought milks, but thought it would be a daunting project. After pouring out yet another practically-full carton of unsweetened almond milk, I decided it was time for me to make my own in small batches. Smaller batches would allow me to test a few kinds and reduce waste. So... the search began for a recipe with different flavors.
I take no credit for this recipe. I found My Life In Food's amazing post on almond milk. I headed out to buy some cheesecloth (found some at Bed Bath & Beyond) and raw almonds from the bulk section at my local market. I already had the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, honey and sea salt.
Unsweetened Almond Milk
Makes approximately 1 quart
- 1 1/2 cups raw almonds, soaked for 8 hours or more (I let them soak overnight in the covered Mason jar filled with water)
- 4 cups fresh water
- 1/2-1 t. vanilla extract
- a pinch of sea salt
Drain the almonds in a strainer and rinse. Also rinse out the Mason jar, since you will be using it to store the milk. Add almonds and fresh water to your blender and blend until well blended. Ok, that's a tongue twister - try saying that five times fast. Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth lined strainer over a large bowl (I use a glass mixing bowl). You could also use a Nut Milk Bag. I just purchased one and haven't had a chance to use it yet. Rinse your blender out too. You'll be using it again and don't want any leftover pulp. Anyways, after you've gotten most of the liquid into the container, squeeze together the cheesecloth and wring out the remaining liquid. You can keep the pulp for other uses later on. Pour the strained almond milk back into the blender along with the sea salt and vanilla. Blend to mix everything together. Pour into your Mason jar and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. This milk will turn sour, just like any other milk. Trust me. It just happened to me. I took a sip of the milk and poured it out. If you don't use a lot of milk, then make a smaller batch. All of these recipes are easily adapted to smaller amounts.
Chocolate variation: Follow the same basic instructions as above. When you put the strained almond milk back into the blender, add the pinch of sea salt, 1 1/2 t. vanilla extract, 4 T. raw honey and 4 T. cocoa powder (I used Dutch-Processed, but raw cacao powder would also be amazing). Blend until combined and pour into the Mason jar for storing in the refrigerator. The chocolate is my favorite. It goes fast!
Vanilla variation: Follow the same basic instructions as above. When you put the strained almond milk back into the blender, add the pinch of sea salt, 1 1/2 t. vanilla extract and 2 t. raw honey. Blend until combined and pour into the Mason jar.
All of these flavors should be used within a week, as mentioned above. The entire process took me less than 30 minutes and that's making THREE flavors! I'm getting more efficient each time I make it. This milk tastes so much better than store-bought, just as I suspected. If you haven't made your own yet, do it! Stop spending $2.99-$3.99 per carton and make your own. Customize your milk with whatever flavor(s) your prefer.
Next time I'm going to try making coconut milk using coconut shreds. How hard can it be? I've already mastered almond milk.
Question of the Day: What kind of milk is your favorite? Almond? Coconut? Hemp? I was never a milk drinker growing up (cow's milk). I didn't like the flavor at all. However, I love almond and coconut milks. I'm a big fan of the chocolate. That was pretty much the only way you could get me to drink cow's milk - mixed with lots and lots of chocolate syrup.