How to Make Almond Milk
Plant-based milks (or mylks) are taking the world by storm, and almond is quickly becoming the nut of choice. A delicious, light alternative to cow’s milk, almond milk is making an appearance in cafes and fridges all over Melbourne.
However, those partial to an almond chai (like me!) have been disappointed to learn that store-bought almond milk can can be made up of as little as 2% almonds. The milk is made by straining water through ground-up almond meal, and often in commercialised production, this meal is promptly thrown out. It’s slowly gaining a reputation for being one of the more unsustainable, less nutritious plant milks available on the shelf.
Luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom for the almond lover. Making your own almond milk at home could not be easier, or healthier. Made with a ratio of one part almonds, two parts water, you’re getting more nutrition making it at home, with none of the nasty sugars and additives of store-bought milk. A cup of almonds can go as far as you need it to and the leftover almond meal can be used in your cooking later on, making it a cost-effective and less wasteful way to enjoy your favourite plant-based milk. And, using lots of whole almonds (and nothing else), it tastes fantastic. Give our recipe below a shot and never look back!
What you’ll need
- One cup of whole, raw, unsalted almonds
- Two cups of water
- A nut milk bag
- A large bowl or container
- Bottle/s for storage
Step 1: Find Your Almonds
Be sure to choose raw ones, not roasted or salted. You’ll need about a cup’s worth, but remember that once these are soaked, they tend to expand. Organic is always best if possible, but regular, whole, raw almonds from the supermarket will do just fine.
Step 2: Soak Your Almonds
Pop your almonds in a bowl and cover them entirely with water, giving them room to expand as well. Soaking your almonds before milking them is absolutely essential, so please don’t skip this step! Soaking not only deactivates the enzyme inhibitors of the nut, enabling us to get as much nutrition as possible from them, but it also makes for a super creamy milk. The longer you leave your almonds to soak, the creamier the milk, so I like to leave them for about 48 hours, but aim for 12 hours as a minimum if you’re short on time.
Step 3: Pop Your Almonds in a Blender
Strain the soaking water from your almonds and pop them in a blender with your 2 cups of water. You won’t need a super expensive, high powered blender for this – my Nutribullet works perfectly. Feel free to use less water for a thicker consistency or more water for a thinner one – you’ll discover your preferred water content after making a couple of batches.
Step 4: Blend!
Blend the mix until combined/smooth.
Step 5: Strain Through a Nut Milk Bag
A nut milk bag is lightweight and made of cloth and works as a sort of strainer for your almond milk. They cost around $10 and are available online or in many health food stores. Hold your bag over a large bowl or container and pour the mix from your blender through it. I find it useful to use a container with a lip to make it easier to bottle later. Once the excess milk strains through, you’ll be left with a ball of almond meal at the bottom of the bag. Keep squeezing this to get as much milk out of it into the bowl as you can.
Step 6: Repeat
Take the almond meal from the bottom of the nut milk bag and put it back in the blender. Add a little less water than you did the previous time and repeat the whole process for as long as you like. Home made almond milk usually lasts about five days to a week in the fridge, so make sure you don’t overdo it!
Step 7: Reuse Your Almond Meal
Don’t throw out your meal after you’ve milked it! The almond-y goodness is all still there, so feel free to add it to your smoothies or even a curry!
A healthy, wholesome, no waste almond milk is as easy as that! Use it in your coffee, on top of granola in the morning or in your afternoon smoothie. This recipe works well for making milk using cashews, oats or even coconut as well – you just might need to make a few adjustments when you’re confident. You’ll never go back to store-bought again!