Friday, November 1, 2013

Homemade Almond Milk

Mud Australia cup & saucer, Burleigh Alden cereal bowl, Mepra Linea Oro spoon, vintage bowl, Weck juice jar, Simon Pearce Woodbury creamer

My desire for homemade almond milk stems from two things: 1) Making lattes for a husband who is deathly allergic to dairy and 2) Store-bought, pre-packaged almond milk often tastes like gummy water. Ever since I bought a Vitamix, I've found it really easy to make fresh batches of almond milk every week. I like it so much, I've started to substitute it for milk in my morning cereal and hot chocolate. 

I use raw, unpasteurized almonds from Massa Organics (a small rice farm in Northern California) because I also buy their brown rice and order bulk almonds from them out of convenience. By law, "raw almonds" from California sold in stores have to be steam pasteurized. I'm not entirely convinced that pasteurization kills all the nutrients in almonds but this site certainly seems to think so. Europeans do not pasteurize their almonds, so I can't imagine why we need to, other than some random salmonella outbreak a few years ago. Anyway, use whatever unroasted, unsalted, whole almonds you can find. I have to point out, however, that the almonds from Massa Organics are  one of the best I've ever tasted and for some reason, produces silky, thick almond milk. Please support them if you can.

Soaking the almonds overnight helps break down the enzymes in the skin and make it easier to digest - sort of the same reason why many people advocate sprouting grains and seeds. I add dates as a sweetener and some coconut butter for flavor, but you can also use any kind of sweetener you want, though adding white sugar negates the health benefits I guess. I would recommend maple syrup or coconut nectar as other options. The recipe I use yields a very mellow, slightly sweet almond milk with a thick, creamy consistency almost like whole milk but you can add an extra cup of water to thin it out. I've own a few different blenders before and while they all work fine for making nut milk, the Vitamix is powerful enough to pulverize the nuts finely, yielding more of the final product. 

Homemade Almond Milk
Makes about 1.5 quarts or 1.5L

2 cups raw almonds, soaked overnight (or at least 12 hours)
6 cups (48oz.) of filtered water 
4 organic Medjool dates, pitted
1 tablespoon coconut butter (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
Pinch of sea salt

Blend all ingredients together at high speed until the mixture reaches a thick, foamy consistency. Strain through nut bag and store for up to a week in glass containers. 

The left over pulverized almonds can be used to make almond meal (chuck it in the oven at the lowest setting for 24 hours, grind finely and store in refrigerator). I also use them in making my pear and ginger tart


  1. Looks so good! What model of the Vitamix do you have? I really want one, but my husband isn't convinced I will make enough green drinks to justify the cost. Btw, can I request a green drink/smoothie post?

    1. I have the Professional 300 that comes with the shorter container. I find that I use my blender for smoothies because it's sitting on the counter, otherwise it's out of sight, out of mind. I think the kids will benefit also from just having fruit smoothies? It's kind of fun if you get them cute little straws and what-nots. You can also use the blender for nut butter, guacamole, stuffing, pesto, soup, custard and whipped cream! Sorry to sound like a Vitamix salesperson but I didn't know what I was missing till I got one! I'll post a very simple and yummy smoothie next!

    2. Thanks for all the info! Yes, the kids love smoothies, we make them with our old and cheap blender which is horrible but can get the job done .... no chance it can make almond milk though. I still need to research models, I'm wondering if the 1780 is good enough for our needs. Anything would be an improvement!

    3. Oh, and btw I know how ridiculous it must sound to agonize over a several hundred dollar blender I'll use forever when I just bought a pair of DvN oxfords without sweating too much :p

    4. Haaaa. I debated soooo long about getting one, and decided I didn't need another coat. Anyway, I assuming you mean the two-speed blender, I would pay $50 extra for the 5200 that has the variable speed - works better for smoothies. Also, the Certified Reconditioned ones on always come highly recommended.

  2. Amanda - Thanks for this! I've been looking for a recipe for almond milk. Love that you've started a food blog. Thank you!!! Looking forward to more posts!

  3. Very interesting. Thanks for bringing this out. I never even thought about those details in almonds. I will try to arrive at the markets earlier and ask more questions...each day is a learning experience for me, too. Happy Harvesting. Happy Thoughts. Almond Exporter