DIY: Almond Milk

Last year as we were walking through the grocery store, I asked my cousin a very important question: ‘Can you milk an almond?’

The answer, my dearest La Prima, is – yes.  Yes you can.

I’m not sure what prompted my desire to make almond milk this weekend – maybe it was because I had a craving for rice milk but am trying to cut down on my carbs so almond milk was the only option.  Or it might be because I know a few people who have cut out cow’s milk and switched to nasty soy {sorry…soy is gross people}.  Whatever the case, this is honestly the easiest thing I’ve ever made – except for maybe Top Ramen – but you don’t get the satisfaction of knowing that you made something from raw ingredients when you make ramen.  Let’s just be honest, it’s not the same.

There are many different variations of almond milk and you can add whatever flavoring you want (you can even change up the nut and use cashews, macadamias, pecans – the options are endless).  I just wanted some plain old vanilla almond milk.

Here’s what you’ll need (yields about 3 cups of milk):

1. 1 cup of almonds (soaked for 8-12 hours beforehand if you have the time)

2. Blender – may or may not be stolen from your parents house, mine definitely wasn’t

3. 4 cups of water

4. 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

5. Cheesecloth

I know you think I’m lying, but that’s really all you need for this.  Ready to get started?  Okay, good – here we go.

Step 1: If you have 8-12 hours handy (or have thought ahead) soak your almonds in water.  If you don’t have 8-12 hours, 1 hour will do – just soak them as long as you can.

Steps 2 & 3: Combine all ingredients together in your blender and blend away.

Step 4: Cut off a piece of cheesecloth and secure it on a large container (I used a pitcher) with a rubber band around the mouth.  Leave generous overhang on the outside and only let it hang down half way in the container so all of the milk can drain out.

If you plan to do this on a semi-regular basis, I know you can buy nut milk bag’s that are reusable (cheesecloth is not).  I’ve never tried any of them so I can’t suggest anything but it might be worth a shot.

Step 5: Pour the entire contents of your blender into the cheesecloth to drain

Step 6: Leave it to drain for at least an hour, preferably 2.  This is where you can get all your projects or errands in.

You’ll be left with almond pulp that looks something like this.  There are multiple things that can be done with this.  You can use it for baking or you can make almond butter which is what I tried to do (‘tried’ being the operative term):

First of all, try not to spill almond pulp all over the counter like I did.  In theory, if you food process this pulp on high for about 15 minutes (I know that’s a long time) it will soften and turn into a perfectly smooth almond butter.  Patience is key – it will turn into butter, trust me.

However, if you only have a very small processor that requires you to hold the button down for it to work, this is pretty much an impossible task.  I love my little processor and have gotten good use out of it, but for this kind of serious processing, something bigger is definitely needed.  Maybe it would have worked better if I had taken my parents processor while I was at their house not taking their blender?  In any case, I gave up after about 7 minutes of finger torture and an overheating motor.  Almond butter fail.  You should definitely try it though, the reward would be optimal – I am sure.

Regardless of if you fail at making butter like I did, you will at least end up with this beauty:

*Clapping ensues* – I can hear the heavens rejoicing.  I have made almond milk!!  Plus my house smelled divine with the mixture of almonds and vanilla – so nice.

Yeah – I’m kind of proud of myself…

I told you it was easy!  Plus, it’s really delicious and tastes SO good in my morning coffee.  I’ve been told it only lasts about 3 days(no preservatives here!) so make sure you use it quickly – although I’m pretty sure that won’t be a problem because it’s so good.

I read somewhere that you can tell it’s bad if it tastes sour.  Uhhhhh, I don’t know about you but I don’t really want to find out that way.  So I’ll probably end up dumping any leftover (if there is any) after the 4th day…just to be sure.  My tastebuds don’t need to ruin the whole experience for me by tasting sour milk.

I expect a full report of your almond milking experience – please do and share!  You hear that, La Prima?


Stormie Dae