Thursday, March 3, 2011

Homemade Almond Milk - easier than you think!


I am crazy about making homemade almond milk for our family.  It is so good.  Once you try homemade almond milk, I just dare you to even try to enjoy the store-bought stuff again.  I'm sorry, but this recipe will ruin that for you.

Our entire family loves this recipe, although I must say that Caleb might be the biggest fan.  For a while, he was telling everyone that he loves to drink his "mama's milk" and that his "mama's milk" is the best milk ever.  That turned a few heads and raised a few eyebrows... hehehe!   

Most friends I talk to are convinced that making almond milk would be difficult.  That couldn't be farther from the truth.  It's really very simple.

If you do a little looking around online you'll find tons of almond milk recipes.  After playing with many, the following is what we've altered to make our own and like best.

Homemade Almond Milk by A Little Spinach

1 cup raw almonds
4 cups water
2-3 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash sea salt

Step 1:  Soak raw almonds in water for 4 hours

Step 2:  Drain and rinse

Step 3:  Blend raw almonds, water (fresh water - not the soak water), agave, o.j. concentrate, vanilla, and sea salt in blender for two minutes.
*  I start the blender on low and gradually turn up the speed as the almonds begin to blend.  Once I reach a high speed setting, I set my timer for 2 minutes.

Step 4:  Strain
*  This can be done a few different ways.  I have nut milk bags that I purchased on Amazon.  They are very inexpensive - about $3-4 a bag.  They are reusable and easy to wash and take care of.  It makes it very simple to make homemade almond milk.  Note to crafty friends:  I bet that you could make your own nut milk bag easily too!
*  If you want to try to make almond milk but you're not sure that you're "nut milk bag" excited yet, feel free to use a colander and a cheesecloth for straining.
In both cases, you'll want to do a little squeezing to get all of the yummy milk into your container.  You should just have some very dry pulp left once this step is completed.  Ditch the pulp.

Step 5:  Refrigerate

raw almonds that have been soaked, drained, and rinsed

nut milk bag

ready to blend

while blending - starting to look like milk to me!

pouring the milk into the nut milk bag

straining into container

the very dry pulp that remains


MODIFICATIONS: 
Adjust the water to suit your tastes.  You could use as little as 3 cups if you want it very creamy or as many as five cups if you want a much lighter taste.
Play with the agave.  Make it as sweet or unsweetened as you like.
You can use almond extract rather than vanilla if you prefer.
Orange juice concentrate is not necessary.  It does not make the almond milk taste "orangey".  As strange as this sounds, I think it really brings out the almond flavor even more.

9 comments:

  1. Hey Shel! You know I am still trying to kick that cold I got the day I went to your house! I finally got some meds so now it is getting a little better :)

    Sarah was asking me how you made almond milk so I will have to send her this way! She is a HUGE raw almond fan! :) Eats her little handful every night :) Thanks for sharing all your yummy recipes!

    Hope you guys are doing good!!!

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  2. Wow! Impressive, thanks for sharing the idea and recipe

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  3. I was just going to ask what kind of blender you use, but I see it's a VitaMix. Do you like it? My current blender is being used a lot and isn't up to snuff, but the price of the VitaMix scares me....unless it's totally worth it.

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  4. Hi. I was wondering if you've ever played around with fortifying homemade almond milk with vitamin D and/or calcium? I know my decision to keep my son on Store bought almond milk was because I knew that the store bought products were fortified. I have researched doing the forifying at home but never got past the researching part. I know you can do it at home. But never went to look for it and buy it. I have read mixed reviews on home fortifying and was wondering what your thoughts were.
    PS I made note of raw almond pricing at the store today that I can buy enough almonds for two batches of homemade almond milk for the price of one batch or carton of almond milk that is store bought. I am trying your recipe today and have my store bought stuff on hand to do a taste comparison.

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  5. When I've priced out making my own almond milk vs. buying it... it's a wash. But we do really prefer the product we make.

    As far as fortifying it... I have not added supplements to the milk but I do have both a liquid calcium and a liquid vitamin D that I have and use from the co-op so you could certainly just add something like that to the milk. Now this is just a guess, but I would personally add supplements to the individual glasses rather than into the whole mixture. I would just be concerned about settling or something (perhaps some of the milk would have a lot of supplements and some of the milk wouldn't have much)???
    We love, love, love the flavor of the homemade. I hope that you find the same thing out when you compare the two! :)

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  6. I was out of town (you can read about my sister's getaway on my blog if you have time) so I missed this post. I drink almond milk and hadn't really thought about making my own.

    I'm still working with my Oster blender which, sadly, appears to be dying. :( I have looked into VitaMix blenders but the investment has held me back. Well, maybe my husband more than me!

    Where do you buy your raw almonds? Do you get organic almonds?

    A spring thaw is in the air - enjoy! :)

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  7. I just might give this a try. We love almonds and milk so this could be a winner for us. Thanks!

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  8. Can you use the pulp for anything like a recipe for baking??? thanks.

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  9. @ Anonymous - hope you come back and see this. :)
    Because this is a "raw foods" kind of recipe - I did ask a chef at a local raw foods restaurant about this. She said that really the only thing left is the fiber and the flavor and nutrients are in the milk. You could use the pulp but nutritionally, you're not getting a lot out of it. I have skipped the straining process if I'm using it in oatmeal, smoothies, etc. But it's pretty thick then.
    Hope this helps. :)

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