How to Make Almond Milk

My daughter has been a vegetarian since age 5. More recently, she has become a vegan. Luckily, she is a wonderful cook, so never lacks for delicious, healthy, balanced meals. And almonds are one of her main sources of protein and omega-3, and she has found almond milk to be her preferred dairy substitute. Finding that she wasn’t satisfied with store-bought almond milk, she learned how to make her own, then passed that knowledge on to me. It is surprisingly easy to make, and far more delicious than any pre-made almond milk you can buy. The following recipe makes about 1 quart of almond milk.

You start by soaking 1 cup of raw organic almonds in filtered water for at least 4 hours (I soak them overnight) to soften them. I buy them in bulk from Whole Foods or other natural foods stores.

You then drain the almonds and place them in a blender with 4 cups of water (you can adjust the water to make a thicker or thinner milk).

Blend the almonds and water on high speed for until very well blend. I used the Liquefy setting.

Pour the blended almond milk mixture through a very fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth and allow to drain. You can press on the mixture with a spoon to help the liquid come throughย the strainer. You may need to do several batches depending on the size of your strainer.ย You can either compost the pulp or save it for use in a recipe (see below).

Ta dah!

Your almond milk needs to be stored in the refrigerator, and should stay fresh for about 4-7 day (although I have found that it doesn’t usually last that long in my house!)

I was wondering what to do with the leftover almond pulp, so I did a Google search. And thanks to the wonders of the Interwebs, I found filled with great almond pulp recipesย a site devoted solely to almond pulp recipes! I plan to make yummy-sounding savory almond pulp crackers using fresh herbs from my garden.

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101 thoughts on “How to Make Almond Milk

  1. Excellent! We’ve been making our own nut milks for several years and love how easy and inexpensive it is. The best part though is the ability to customize taste and the texture by varying ingredients. We usually add a 1/2 tspn of cinnamon and 1 tspn of nutmeg, and use a 1:3 ratio of nuts to water; this makes a creamy almond milk that’s great for many common uses.

    Wasn’t able to view the link to the crackers above; we’ve tried a raw dehydrated crackers recipe several times though that turned out very well. Note: a little spice goes a long way. Looking for bold flavors I tend to overdo it and my first few batches ended up VERY strongly flavored. This is probably because the spices become a larger proportion of the final product as the water evaporates from the almond pulp in the dehydrator. That one teaspoon of spice ends up being the equivalent of a tablespoon or more!

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    • Thanks! My daughter is out of college, but she’s been cooking since she was a child. I’m sure you can make a crust for a cheesecake using the almond pulp, although I haven’t come across any recipes for that. I’m guessing it might tend toward being dry since you squeeze out much of the almond oil in making the milk, so you may need to experiment with how much oil to add.

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  2. Awesome recipe! If it’s that easy, I might start making my own just for an alternative to dairy. Have you ever tried adjusting the recipe? My dairy-gluten-allergic friend loves Silk’s Chocolate Almond Milk, would be awesome to pass along.

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  3. Pingback: DIY Almond Milk

  4. I am SO looking forward to trying this! I am allergic to dairy and sunflower (oil, seeds, etc…). Most commercial almond milks contain sunflower oil. Having tried soy milk (blech!). I am going to be trying this sometime this week! Thank you!

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  5. if you make a simple syrup, with vanilla, you can add a small amount it in place of the water, if you want a sweetened version vanilla almond milk with way less sugar than commercial brands!

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    • Hi Judy! I have seen hazelnut, but have never tried it. I just made my first batch of cashew cream this weekend, and it was delicious! I am guessing that if you replace the almonds with cashews, it would be wonderful.

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  6. I heard about certain almonds (bitter) breaking down into some cyanide molecules. How do you know if you are buying sweet or bitter almonds? Have you heard about this?
    Thank you,
    P

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  7. With so many more people developing allergies and sensitivities to dairy products, finding tasty and cheap alternatives to milk can be a challenge. One tasty alternative that can be used in cooking and everyday use is almond milk. But honestly, almond milk can get pricey. Instead try making your own almond milk for a quick and easy project that is fun to do with the kids.

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  8. We are a family of four and three of us are sensitive to dairy. I will definitely try this so we can once again enjoy drinks that require dairy. I also love the tips of what to do with the pulp and water. Thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • I’m sure you and your family will enjoy this recipe! The almond milk is creamy and so fresh tasting. I’m sure you will come up with many ways to use it, and the pulp, in your favorite recipes. Enjoy!

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  9. Thanks for this simple recipe. I pay about $2.00/qt for commercial almond milk. How much does a cup of raw organic almonds cost?

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    • I have been paying between $2.00 and $3.00 per cup of raw organic almonds. But there is absolutely no comparison between commercial almond milk (and I have tried at least a dozen different brands) and freshly made almond milk. And I’m sure if I looked, I could buy them in large enough bulk to bring down the price.

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      • The next time I am in Whole foods, I will check out the almonds. Funny, I thought I had also aked about the filtered water – is that the same as distilled? If not, where would I look for that? And our municipal tap water is actually excellent. Couldnโ€™t I just use that?

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      • Thanks for asking, DJ. I recommend distilled water because it has been boiled/steamed to remove impurities, such as chemicals and bacteria. You can use filtered water, but I would recommend boiling it for five minutes then letting it cool before adding the other ingredients. As for almonds, Whole Foods is a good source for raw, organic almonds. And if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, they also carry them http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article.asp?article_id=591

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  10. I’m looking for a source of real raw organic almonds that could be ordered in quantities. In the U.S. ALL nuts are now pasteurized so even if you think you’re buying raw, you are not. Let’s see if anyone can help source the real raw organic almonds with all of the original nutrition intact. BTW. Nourishing Traditions recommends soaking the nuts overnight in water with a bit of added real sea salt (I would use Celtic or Himalayan).

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    • Thank you for the information, Kathy. If I find a good source for raw organic almonds, I will definitely post it here, and welcome anyone else to do the same thing. And thank you also for the tip about using a bit of sea salt!

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  11. In regards to what kind of water to use…most tap water contains heavy metals and fluoride, at least here in the U.S. I have researched and tried many different filters and am currently using the Zero Water one. It is so easy and cheap to use. Distilled and Reverse Osmosis do manage to eradicate everything in the water including the beneficial components. Reverse Osmosis wastes a lot of water in its expensive and time consuming filtering.

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  12. I’ve been thinking about making my own almond milk for awhile now, as I wasn’t satisfied w/ the stuff that I found in stores. I can drink some milk but I can’t have too much in a day or else I get an upset stomach. Perhaps I’m lactose intolerant, but who knows. Anyways, I’m a huge fan of almonds. In fact, they’re up there w/ chocolate for me when it comes to vices. I’m addicted 2 the bad stuff like almond croissants. So when I first heard of almond milk, I honestly thought it would taste like almond paste or almond extract. I was disappointed to find out that it didn’t. Is there any way I can add some almond flavoring to it? I’ve heard of vanilla almond/soy milk. How can I make almond flavored almond milk?

    -Nina

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    • Hi Nina. I’m a big fan of almond flavor, too. My best friend’s mom used to make homemade biscuit tortoni, which is an incredible almond ice cream dessert. Anyway, you can make the almond milk as directed, then add a 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract to it (I use Simply Organic, Frontier Natural, or Flavorganics). You can sweeten it to taste using your choice of sweeteners (mine is maple syrup in this case).

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  13. Hello, I’m wondering if you remove the loosened skins of the almonds and throw them out with the soaking water or whether you blend them in with the nutmeat.

    Just found your blog and liked you post. In particular, I like your follow-up comments and research and the time you take to respond to your readers’ comments.

    Thanks, Bianca

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    • Hi Bianca, Thank you so much for your kind words! I keep the skins on the almonds. The soaking removes their bitterness. I suppose you could use peeled raw almonds, but the ones with skin on them work just fine. Enjoy!

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  14. Awesome, i have been making my own coconut milk for some time now, but I want to try making almond milk. I assume I can dry the almond pulp in my oven and use it for flour the same as I do the coconut pulp- I have question. Why drain the almonds and then add new water? Aren’t you losing nutrients?

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    • Hi Victoria. That is so cool that you make your own coconut water. I would love to try that! And, yes, you can dry the almond pulp to use as flour. As for why I drain the water, the almond skins contain tannins, so you need to drain the water to remove the bitterness. And, according to Frugivore Magazine, soaking also removes a natural enzyme inhibitor in the skin that reduces our ability to absorb many of the nutrients. Hence, counterintuitively, soaking increases the nutrients we receive from the almonds! http://frugivoremag.com/2012/02/raw-food-101-why-you-should-always-soak-almonds/

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      • Drying it in the oven sounds great. What temperature do you suggest, and for how long? Any idea if I can use the almond flour to feed my sourdough starter?

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      • Thanks, Maricela. To dry the almond meal, spread the almond pulp into a thin layer on a lined baking sheet, and set it in your oven on the lowest setting for 3 hours. Check on it around 1.5 hours, to give it a stir and see how it is doing. Ovens vary, so it may take more or less than 3 hours. As for whether you can use it to feed your sourdough starter, I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that! Maybe some other reader can provide the answer.

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      • Regarding the skins on the almonds reducing our absorbption of nutrients: Does that mean if I munch on raw almonds in the skin, I am not getting the full benefit? I canโ€™t see peeling almonds to snack on…

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      • I agree that it would be incredibly tedious to peel your almonds when snacking on them. I’m not sure how great the difference in nutrition absorption is between peeled and unpeeled almonds.

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  15. I use 1 cup soaked and rinsed RAW Almonds of 4 cups filtered water, a pinch of Vanilla powder an pinch of Sea salt, and 2 dates, blended and strained through a cheese cloth.. Almonds can last indefinitely soaking in a jar of water in the fridge also if you want to keep them readily available

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  16. I don’t have a cheese cloth or drainer… What else could I use? I have a blender,Juicer ,and food processer… Thank you…

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  17. Just curious, if you soak the almonds overnight to soften, then drain & add new water… wouldn’t it be ok to keep the water they were soaking in to begin with? Wouldn’t some of the nutrients have leached into that water you are pouring away? Just curious on anyone’s thoughts on using the water they soaked in??? Thanks!

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    • Hi AGS! I wouldnโ€™t recommend it. The soaking water is quite brown apparently because it is full of the bitter tannins that are released from the almond skins during soaking. However, one of our readers said that the water can be used on houseplants โ€“ they love it!

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  18. I read somewhere, I dont know if it was on this post or somewhere else but someone left their almond milk in the fridge for a bit and it began to separate and the thickened section resembled ricotta. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Would this have just as high of a fat content?
    Thank you,
    P

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  19. Do you have any suggestions for uses of spoiled almond milk? I wondered if I could put it in my compost or on outdoor plants as I hate to waste anything.

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    • I’ve never let homemade almond milk last long enough to spoil! But, I would think it would be fine to use on outdoor plants and/or compost. I would water it down a bit, but they would probably benefit from the minerals in it. I agree with your zero-waste policy ๐Ÿ™‚

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  20. Awesome info. It really is super easy! I recently purchased a nut bag (heheh) and it makes it EVEN easier. It used to take me forever to extract the liquid in a strainer…now it takes about 5 seconds. Blew my mind! Totally worth the 5 bucks on amazon ๐Ÿ˜€

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  21. Seems like Almonds are expensive. I buy silk for 2.99 1/2 gal…..the cheapest organic almonds I could find cost about $15 per pound. That should make about 1/2 gal of milk. am i missing something?

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  22. I also make my own almond milk. MOM sells nut milk bags. I’ve been using one bag for a few months and it’s easy to use and dries fast. It’s about $9. Also, I always add one pitted date and some vanilla to sweeten and flavor the drink. I like the idea of using cinnamon and nutmeg too.
    Also, MOM sells “unpasteurized” raw almonds.

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    • Hi Hannah, It would depend on whether you buy the almonds in bulk, but generally it is not less expensive. With freshly-made almond milk, though the taste is incredibly delicious and I assume the nutrient content is higher because it hasn’t been heated, as is necessary in the food packaging process.

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