Last week I decided it was time to try making homemade almond milk. We go through about a gallon of almond milk a week between Jake's breakfast cereal and my smoothies, but I had never made it before. (Important warning: I sometimes go through random phases of making bizarre things from scratch: There was the sauerkraut phase, the sourdough phase and now I might just be on an almond milk phase!) I thought it might save some money, but I'm not sure if it does or not. I'll have to do a real price comparison over the next few weeks, BUT I do have to say that the homemade version tastes SO MUCH BETTER. Seriously, I am in shock. I never drink store bought almond milk plain (especially the unsweetened stuff--it's kind of gross plain), but I cannot stop drinking the homemade version. Poor Jake hasn't hardly got a drop for his cereal. Actually, I don't think I need to do a price comparison because I can tell you right now the homemade version is going to be much more expensive with the rate I'm going through it. I've already made 10 cups of it! It is sooo good! It's also very easy to make! Maybe it's because I'm pregnant, but since I made this for the first time last week, I am craving it constantly.
Note: I adapted this recipe from Angela Liddon's recipe here.
Another note: You don't have to use a vanilla bean, I just had some in my freezer I wanted to experiment with!
Here's how you make it:
Soak 1 cup of almonds in water overnight:
Discard soak water and place almonds in blender with 3 or 4 cups of water (depending on how rich you like it)
Add flavorings--I added salt (1/4 tsp), cinnamon (1/2 tsp), the seeds from a vanilla bean (you can also use vanilla extract) and a touch of maple syrup (1 tbsp).
If you are using a vanilla bean, you can chop it up and throw the whole thing in, or you can split the bean and scrap out the seeds and simply add those. Vanilla beans are so strange, and yet so good! They are so expensive I usually don't have them, but I found them at the Dayton 2nd St Market for $2 so I had to stock up!
Blend until almonds and flavorings are well incorporated.
Strain. You can use a cheesecloth, a tea towel, a nut milk bag (you can find one on Amazon), or line a colander with paper towels. I chose the later method.
I used three paper towels to line my colander. I was worried they might rip, but they didn't. I poured the mixture in and waited for a few minutes. When the draining started to slow down, I picked up the paper towels and gently squeezed out the remaining milk. I was careful not to rip the paper towels and this method actually worked very well!
Here's a picture while the milk was still draining through:
You can sample the milk and add more flavorings to taste! This is delicious in smoothies, on cereal or just plain. Almond milk is very alkaline, full of calcium and contains healthy fats. And it's so refreshing in the summer!