If you open our fridge, you might think we’re a little crazy. At any given time, you’ll find unsweetened almond milk, vanilla soy milk, and 2% milk. But there’s a method to our milk madness! We use the almond milk or soy milk for daily smoothies and oatmeal, and I use the half gallon of 2% milk for my lattes. While store-bought almond milk is so easy to grab, I finally decided to try making my own–it couldn’t be easier. Raw almonds are packed with good-for-you nutrients (protein, omegas, magnesium, vitamin E), and soaking them in water helps break down the enzyme in their coating so those nutrients are even easier to digest. Then you just blend with fresh water, strain, and you have fresh almond milk. No preservatives or extra chemicals, perfect as a base for smoothies.
Homemade Almond Milk
1 cup raw almonds
2 cups water
1 date, agave, or maple syrup, optional for adding sweetness
Place almonds in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak uncovered, overnight or up to two days. Drain and rinse the almonds, then place soaked almonds in a Vitamix or powerful blender. Cover with fresh cold water. Add the date at this time, if using. Pulse a few times, then blend on high for about a minute until completely pureed. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and line with a cheesecloth or nut bag. Slowly pour the blended almond-water mixture into the strainer. Gather the cheesecloth or nut bag, and press or squeeze the almond meal* to make sure all the milk passes through into the bowl (about 2 cups). If you didn’t use the date in the blending step, taste the milk and add a bit of agave or maple syrup if a bit of sweetness is desired. Use immediately or keep covered in a mason jar or pitcher in the fridge for up to 3 days. Stir or shake before using.
*The leftover almond meal can be dehydrated and used for baking.