Almond milk is a lactose and dairy-free milk substitute that is made with only two ingredients: almonds and water. Almond milk is perfect for breakfast cereals and making smoothies or adding to your morning coffee!
Health Benefits of Almond Milk
- Almonds do not have lactose or casein, which are the major cause of digestive distress due to dairy products in around 75% of the world’s population.
- Almond milk offers up to 6 grams of protein per serving (equivalent to 1 ounce of almonds).
- One cup of almond milk fulfills up to 6% of your daily iron and 8% of recommended calcium needs.
How to Select the Almonds for making Almond Milk?
Organic raw almonds are undoubtedly the best almonds you can use to prepare homemade almond milk.
Even though almonds are rich in nutrients and offer many health benefits, the roasted and salted versions come with unnecessary oil and high salt content, which makes them more harmful than beneficial.
How Long Should Almonds be Soaked?
You will achieve the best results by soaking the almonds in cold water for 1 to 2 days. The longer you soak them, the creamier the milk will turn out to be. For quick results, you can also get away with soaking the almonds for 60 to 90 minutes in hot water.
Process of Making Almond Milk
Almond milk is made by simply soaking the almonds, blending them, and then straining the mixture. Some people prefer not to strain the mixture.
Add raw almonds to a glass bowl and rinse them. Drain the water and replace it with fresh or cold water and let them soak overnight or for two consecutive days. Remember to drain and rinse again after they’ve been soaked enough.
Peel the nuts and add them to a high-powered blender, along with a little water. Do not add a lot of water at once, as it will not let the almonds get that smooth, consistent paste we’re after. Blend until the milk mixture is as creamy and smooth as possible.
Pass the milk through a fine double mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or a nut milk bag and strain into a clean airtight glass jar. Use a wooden spatula to press the pulp against the strainer for better results.
- Raw almonds (soaked overnight) | 1 cup
- Cold water | 4 cups
- Vanilla extract (optional) | 1 teaspoon
- Maple syrup or Honey (optional)| 1 Table spoon
- Soaked dates (optional) | 1 to 2
- Sea salt (optional) | A pinch
- Remove your pre-soaked almonds from the water and rinse them three to four times with fresh water.
- Put the almonds in your blender and pour a cup of cold water into it.
- As an option, add maple syrup, honey, or pre-soaked dates for sweetness.
- Start blending on high for 3 minutes. Add the rest of the water and blend till you get smooth and creamy almond milk.
- Strain the final product through a folded cheesecloth or a nut-milk bag over a bowl or glass jar. Squeeze tightly to remove any residue.
- Enjoy as-is or pour the milk in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for a maximum of 3 days.
How Long Will it Last?
Freshly prepared homemade almond milk on average lasts for 4 to 5 days. This depends on multiple factors, such as the sterilization of the equipment used, the freshness of ingredients, and your fridge’s temperature setting.
To sterilize your blender and glass jars, run a cycle through your dishwasher or pour boiling water in them before using them. Let your blender cool a bit before adding cold water and almonds.
An additional tip to help ensure your almond milk doesn’t go bad soon is to keep your soaked almonds in the fridge. If left out at room temperature, they may go bad and lower the life of your almond milk.
Almond Milk without Carrageenan
Store-brought almond milk has additives or preservatives added to it to increase its shelf life. Additives such as carrageenan may stabilize the food, but its side effects include inflammatory reactions and gastrointestinal discomfort. Hence, preparing it at home offers you a chance to enjoy preservative-free almond milk.
Almond Milk Variants
- If you have a sweet tooth, add 3 to 4 dates to your almond mix while blending. Strain at the end as usual.
- To enjoy a flavored version of almond milk, consider experimenting with vanilla extract or cocoa powder. A hint of vanilla and 1 to 2 tablespoons of cocoa will add a twist to your otherwise plain almond milk.
How to Use Almond Milk
Whatever you can do with regular dairy milk, you can do with almond milk. Tea, coffee, lattes, fruit smoothies, cooking, and baking, enjoy it as a substitute for cow’s milk!
How to Store Almond Milk
Almond milk tastes best when fresh. Homemade almond milk can last for three days when kept in a fridge, but you don’t need to prepare it in large quantities if you don’t have an immediate use for it. As its preparation is very easy, it is better to enjoy a fresh batch every time you have a craving for it.
What to Do with the Leftover Almond Pulp?
For an extra treat, you can bake the leftover pulp at 200F for 2 to 3 hours and use the dried almond meal in granola and baking recipes as well as a topping for chia pudding and yogurt.