Making homemade almond milk is one of the easiest things you will probably ever make.
There are only 4 easy steps: soak, blend, strain and store and…there are only a few items you need to get started.
You will need a small bowl to soak the almonds in, a Vitamix, a nut milk bag and an air-tight glass storage container.
I used to buy some variety of non-dairy boxed milk (soy, almond, rice, coconut, etc), but since I’ve been eliminating processed foods from our diet, I’ve started making my own.
If you look at the ingredient list on a box of Blue Diamond Original Unsweetened Almond Milk, you will see that there are 12 different ingredients:
Ingredients: ALMOND MILK (WATER FILTERED, ALMOND(S)), CALCIUM CARBONATE, TAPIOCA STARCH, SEA SALT, POTASSIUM CITRATE, CARRAGEENAN, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, FLAVOR(S) NATURAL, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN D2, D-ALPHA TOCOPHEROL (VITAMIN E NATURAL). (source)
Not only is this a processed beverage, it’s not organic and there are two questionable ingredients that concern me: carrageenan and Vitamin A Palimate (you can google them for more information).
And, it’s rated “C” on FoodFacts.com.
Homemade almond milk has only two ingredients: 100% organic, raw unpasteurized almonds (that have been soaked and dehydrated) and distilled/purified water.
I don’t want to just give you a recipe and send you on your way. I want to go into detail about why some of the steps are important, as well as, the ingredients you use.
Now, let’s go through the 4 easy steps:
1. Soak – to get the maximum nutrition from your homemade almond milk, you will want to soak your almonds overnight before using them. This will release the enzyme inhibitors (see Tip #2 below). I’d like to mention two very important points here about your almonds and water. First, you will want to make sure you are using organic raw unpasteurized almonds. There are up to 9 different potential pesticides that are used on almonds and you don’t want to make your milk with almonds covered in pesticides (see “Tip #2 below). Second, if you are making homemade almond milk to avoid additives and unnecessary ingredients, you do not want to use regular tap water to soak and rinse your almonds in. And, you definitely don’t want to use regular tap water to make the milk with. If you could see the residue and slime and smell the odor left behind after running a gallon of tap water through my water distiller, you would never drink a drop of tap water again. Ever. The only water we consume in our house is distilled water using this water distiller. And because there is some concern about distilled water lacking necessary minerals, I add a mineral supplement back into the distilled water before using or consuming it. By using distilled water, the only ingredients in your homemade almond milk will be organic almonds and pure, distilled water.
2. Blend – you will need a Vitamix to make your homemade almond milk. This is a perfect example of how it will pay for itself over time, especially if you make milk on a regular basis. You will put the almonds and water into the Vitamix and within a matter of minutes, it will be transformed into pure, white almond milk. When you add the water to make the milk, you will want to use distilled or purified water for the reasons listed above in item 1 – do not use regular tap water.
3. Strain – this is a really easy step. All you need to strain the milk is a small/medium sized bowl (I use a stainless steel bowl) and an inexpensive nut milk bag. I place the nut milk bag into and around the outside of the bowl and pour the entire contents of the Vitamix into the bowl at one time. Then with clean hands, I squeeze the remaining milk out of the nut bag.
4. Store – once you’ve made your homemade almond milk, you will need to store it. You’ll need an airtight container and don’t want to store it in anything plastic or with BPA. I use an air-tight glass container that is the perfect size for one batch. I usually make a batch everyday or every other day but because it doesn’t have any preservatives in it, I don’t store it longer than a couple of days. It will also need to be shaken in it’s container or stirred before using because it will naturally separate.
That’s about it! It takes less than 5 minutes to make it and is so much healthier than boxed, store-bought almond milk.
And when I say it’s easy, I really mean it’s easy.
My youngest son likes to make the milk sometimes himself. He measures the almonds, puts them in the bowl to soak before we go to bed. In the morning after I’ve rinsed them off, he adds them to the Vitamix, fills it up with water to 4 cups and turns it on. And when it’s finished, he even strains the milk himself.
Where to Buy: If you have any trouble finding the ingredients or supplies to make this recipe, you can order online from Amazon and have them delivered straight to your door, and you’ll be supporting The Healthy Family and Home website at the same time!
Tip #1: The quality of your almonds is really important.
- non-organic – you could be purchasing almonds with up to 9 different pesticides
- pasteurized almonds – these are not truly “raw” and could also have been treated with the controversial “propylene oxide (PPO)
Effective September 2007, the USDA ordered all almond growers to “sterilize” almonds in one of several ways: heat them using steam, irradiate them using a controversial ionization process, roast or blanch them, or treat them with propylene oxide (PPO).
PPO is a known carcinogen, and most countries, including the EU, have banned imported nuts treated with PPO. The chemical is so nasty that it’s even been banned by both the National Hot Rod and American Motorcycle Racing Associations, where it had been used as a fuel additive before it was deemed too dangerous.
The new rule created deceptive labeling. Almonds that have undergone chemical treatments or heating for pasteurization are still labeled “raw.” Consumers who purchase “raw” almonds may well think that those almonds are natural and unprocessed. Moreover, there will be no label requirement to specify what kind of pasteurization treatment was used among the many approved methods or combination of options. (source)
So you want to make sure you are using truly raw, organic and unpasteurized (and sproutable) almonds to make the healthiest milk possible. I buy my almonds in bulk (5 lbs at a time) and soak and dehydrate them all at one time. Here is a product description from the brand I buy from:
Our Unpasteurized Almonds are truly raw and alive and are never treated by irradiation, ultra high heat, steam or chemically sterilized as required for all domestically grown almonds, even those labeled as “raw”. Our Almonds are imported from Spain where pasteurization is not a requirement. Our Unpasteurized Almonds are still a whole, complete food with their fats, enzymes and beneficial microbes all intact. Almonds are a wonderful source of vitamin E, magnesium, and the good mono and polyunsaturated fats responsible for lowering LDL cholesterol. Use them to make delicious almond milk, gluten-free flours or eat them by the handful for a healthy snack. Our Unpasteurized Almonds are packed with possibilities! (source)
Tip #2: Soaking your almonds (two options):
- Individual Batch Soaking: (buy a couple of cups or (1) pound of almonds at a time) – you can use the overnight soaking method. Put (1) cup of almonds in a bowl of water, add enough distilled/purified water to cover them plus an additional 2 – 3 inches of water on top (they will absorb some water), add a generous pinch of pink himalayan salt and let them soak overnight. In the morning, rinse them off with distilled/purified water, add them to your Vitamix with 4 cups of distilled/purified water and process. You will have (4) cups of homemade almond milk.
- Bulk Batch Soaking: (buy (5) pounds of almonds at a time or in bulk) – to save time, I soak the entire (5) pounds of almonds overnight all at one time in a super large stainless steel bowl and several generous pinches of pink himalayan salt. In the morning, after rinsing them off, I spread them out on my dehydrator tray and dehydrate them for 12 – 16 hours or until they are dried. Then I store them in a BPA-free air-tight container and they are ready to use when ever I need them (for almond milk, almond butter, other raw recipes or just to snack on) and saves me the time of having to soak a batch of almonds every night. When I do this, I put (1) cup of dry (previously soaked) almonds in the Vitamix, add (4) cups of distilled/purified water and process. You will have (4) cups of homemade almond milk.
It’s really important to soak your almonds before using them because it will allow greater absorption of nutrients and increased digestibility and nutrients. Nuts and seeds contain phylic acid which contains enzyme inhibitors so by soaking them, you will neutralize the enzyme inhibitors, as well as, encourage the production of beneficial enzymes. This is a good practice for all nuts and seeds, not just almonds.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, just spread them out on a baking sheet and set your oven on the lowest temperature possible and take them out after they are completely dry (keep in mind they will no longer be considered “raw” using this method).