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August 26, 2011 at 9:16 AMComments: 11 Faves: 0

Almond Milk!

By Laura Hogg More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Laura's Culinary Adventures Blog Series

I love almond milk.

To people who know me, that's pretty much the understatement of the year. But since most of you don't know me, let me just say it again: I really love almond milk.

The first time I heard about this delicious dairy alternative, I was skeptical. I was at my favorite coffee shop, and I wanted to make sure they had soy milk, so I asked the barista: "What kind of milk do you have?" And she was quick to respond: "We have fat-free, whole, soy, and almond."

Almond? I thought. How on earth do you milk an almond?

I didn't try it that day. I stuck with my usual soy and promptly forgot about the existence of almond milk. That is, until I started dating Chris, who has sensitivities to both dairy and soy. He always talked about how delicious almond milk was - and once I tried it, of course, I found out that he was right. It's smooth and creamy and comes without the digestive discomfort I get with cow's milk and the breakouts I get with soy milk. I absolutely love it. Not the kind of love where I doodle "LAURA + ALMOND MILK" in my notebooks, but, you know, pretty close.

The old me would have been happy to continue buying it in the store forever. But the new me doesn't want to rely on the store all the time. Sure, when I'm in a rush, it's nice to have a supply of store-bought almond milk ready to go. But when I have time, the homemade variety is a wonderful treat.

Okay, enough rambling. To the recipe!

Homemade Almond Milk (Sweetened)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole raw almonds (buy them blanched, and you'll save yourself a lot of time!)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • dash of cinnamon
  • blender
  • strainer
  • large bowl
  • cheesecloth
  • awesome assistant (optional)

First, soak the almonds in water for 4-8 hours. I soaked mine overnight, and then found that I didn't have time to make the milk the next day. That's fine - just dump out the old water and replace it with fresh. Soaking them makes them nice and plump, and makes this process a lot easier on your blender!

(If you bought your almonds blanched--with the papery skins removed-- you can skip this next step.)

Next, peel off the skin of each almond. It's not hard, but it's definitely time consuming. This is where I recommend having an assistant - not because it's difficult, but because the help and conversation make the time go by faster. As usual, Chris was my assistant!

Here are the almonds, looking a little naked without their skins...

Anyway. With the almonds soaked and the skins peeled, it's time to milk 'em!

Put the almonds in the blender, along with 1 1/2 cups of water. Blend until it forms a paste (around 1-2 minutes) and then blend in the honey, cinnamon, and the rest of the water. If you want a more plain milk, you can leave out the sweeteners, but I think it's a real treat if you leave them in.

Nice and frothy!

Technically, you could leave it as is - but it will be much smoother if you strain it. So line your strainer with 3-4 layers of cheesecloth, put the strainer over a bowl, and pour.



As you pour, it's helpful to use a spatula or spoon to press down the solids. This will help it go faster, and also squeeze out more milk.


At this point, we measured how much milk we had gotten out  of  this recipe: 3.5 cups. The recipe I followed had said it would yield 4 cups. I have to say, I was disappointed. So I picked up the cheesecloth full of solids and I squeezed and squeezed - and a lot more milk came out! In all, squeezing the solids got us over another half cup, so I would definitely recommend doing that to get the most out of your time and money.

Love it/like it/lesson learned?

This should come as no surprise, but I loved it! It was so smooth and creamy and delicious. I drank it from a glass and I had it on my cereal, and it was great both ways. It felt like a real treat to drink, and it came with the bonus satisfaction that I didn't have to rely on the store-bought variety. My mom wouldn't stop raving about it, either, so it was definitely a success! This milk will keep in the fridge for around 3-4 days, but it's so wonderful, I doubt it would last that long.

Our little story does have a bit of a sad ending, however. The milk has a tendency to separate, which is completely normal and doesn't mean it's gone bad (just stir it up and it's fine)...but my sister didn't know that, so she thought it was spoiled and threw it away the afternoon after I made it. I was devastated, but I'll be sure to label it next time so it doesn't happen again!

The finished product!


If you don't want to waste the leftover almond solids, you can dry them out in an oven on low heat to make almond flour, or you can leave it as a paste and use it in desserts. Yum!

Happy (almond) milking!

What did you think?


Next:Kale ChipsPreviously:Black Bean Curry Burgers

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  • This sounds amazing! Almonds are like my favorite snack ever and almond milk sounds like it would be delicious. Someday if I have a lot of time on my hands I'm gona do that!

  • Have you run across a nutritional profile for almond milk? At first, I though maybe it would be the equivalent of the ingredients, but in the process we're removing the skins (subtract fiber?) and pulp (subtract fiber, protein??).

    Did you try it with the pulp? I wonder how that would be. I've had almond milk and made almond milk in the past, but never really considered leaving the pulp in.

  • Thank you for sharing this Laura my sister love almond and this sound like something she would make so i will let her know about it.

  • Laura, I've been thinking about doing this for awhile, but you've inspired me! With a family of almond-only milk drinkers, it makes no sense not to!

    Couple questions come to mind reading this though:

    - How much did it cost you for 3 1/2 cups of almond milk?

    - Do you think you lose any nutrients by removing the skins of the almonds? Think if you blended, skin-on and then strained it'd be okay?

    - How does the taste compare to the store bought stuff?

  • @Dayton and Diana: Glad you enjoyed this! If you make it, let me know how it turns out :)

    @sprouty and Erin: You're right - I'm sure that a fair amount of nutrients are removed by the straining process. Technically, you don't need to remove the almond skins, but I've heard that it does give the milk a different taste (slightly more bitter). I plan to experiment with leaving the skins on/leaving the pulp/trying more water/leaving out the sweetener/trying different sweetener/etc.

    I did try it with the pulp, and the taste was great. The texture is really the only reason to strain it. I think it really depends on what you want to use the milk for. If you want to use it for drinking plain, or for baking, it's fine to leave it in. But if you're pouring it on cereal, I'm not sure the texture would be all that pleasant.

    @Erin: I actually got slightly over 4 cups of milk out of it (from squeezing the pulp in the cheesecloth). I haven't calculated the cost; it may well be that making it is more expensive, but to me, the homemade variety is kind of a treat. I'll continue buying the store bought stuff, but I do plan to make this kind fairly regularly. And the taste is great - it has a wonderful sweetness to it. I usually buy the unsweetened at the store, so it's hard to compare. I love both :)

  • Laura, thanks for posting this! I love reading about your homemade cooking adventures. I agree with Erin, you inspire me to get out there and experiment with new recipe endeavors!

    It's nice you can use the leftover almonds still as to not let them go to waste. Almond flour sounds really yummy. Could cookies be made with almond flour? I feel like they would taste very good if it's possible. I'll have to do some research... :)

    Keep up the experimentation! I love learning new things from your blogs!

  • I'm glad you're enjoying them, Bri! A quick Google search tells me that there are tons of uses for almond flour, so bake away :)

  • I'll bet you could make cookies with the pulp! We already make our chocolate chip cookies with white whole wheat, flax meal, and GROUND ALMONDS. What would go better with those hot, delicious cookies than a tall cool glass of almond milk?

  • Laura, congratulations on your experiment. I am glad you loved it and so many are willing to try is great!

    As a pro "nut milker", It is true that you do lose a lot of the nutritional value when you skin them and strain. The biggest benefit to doing it this way is, as you mentioned, to make it in the store. I recommend leaving the skins on when you make it, the taste really is not too much different and actually gives your cereal etc... a better taste. I think it really enhances the flavor as opposed to making it unpleasantly bitter. Now soybeans... a different story...wish we could strip those of bitter taste lol! Try it with skins, I believe you will like it more:-).

    Oh and about the cost and quantity, definitely way more expensive than store bought but well worth it!

    Continue experimenting, I loved reading your blog

  • I just typed out a long reply, and it seems to have gone missing! Ah well..

    Anyway, I just crunched some numbers, and I'm not so convinced that it is more expensive to make almond milk at home. I'll spare you the little details, but I figured out that the cost of the almonds I used to make my milk (1.5 cups) was just under 75 cents. I get my almonds in a 3 lb. bag that costs 5 dollars.

    Now, that doesn't factor in the cheesecloth, honey, cinnamon, or the time I spent. But in the case of the first three, I already had them around the house (as I'm sure many people do) and I used very little. And I had fun making it, so the time wasn't a big deal! And if I leave the skins on next time, it will really be quick to make.

    The recipe yielded just over 1 quart of milk. I usually buy the 1 quart box of Almond Breeze. So all in all, the price is at the very least comparable :) Plus, the homemade variety has less waste - no box to throw away!

  • @Sprouty - fantastic idea! I still have the paste, so maybe I'll put it to use in some cookies :D

    @Sherry - I've heard of your wonderful nut milks and they sound delicious! After hearing from you, I think I'll definitely leave the skins on next time. That will save a LOT of time and if it makes it taste even better, then why not? :)

    I've heard that cashew milk is awesome, so maybe I'll try that soon...

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