Homemade Almond Milk

By Sally Cameron on January 01, 2012

Beverages, Breakfast, Juices, Smoothies & Milks, the daniel plan, Vegan

If your goal is eating more healthfully this year by adding more unprocessed and whole foods to your diet, here is an easy, healthy recipe for homemade almond milk. It sure beats the stuff in a box, which can be processed with additives you don’t want. It’s also simple to make. What isn’t better homemade?

Homemade Almond Milk | AFooDCentricLife.com

How To Make Homemade Almond Milk

We’ve all heard it a thousand times: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast starts your day off right and sets you up for an energy-filled, successful day. Studies show kids do better in school when they eat breakfast, so that must work for adults too.

Breakfast Smoothie

We usually start the day with a breakfast smoothie based on protein powder, frozen fruit and milk. You can find the recipe at this link. I’ve switched from using cow’s milk to almond milk. It’s one small part of my decision to include more plant-based options in our diet.

Why Almonds?

Almonds are considered the most nutritious of nuts. From a nutrition standpoint, almonds are a rich source of protein containing fiber, omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, and zinc. That, and I love the flavor of almonds. I snack on them every day.

Homemade Almond Milk – Simple to Make

Almond milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk. We use it every morning for our breakfast smoothies. It’s good over cereal, oatmeal, in soups, or just for plain drinking. The best part – almond milk is simple to make.

First, soak raw almonds in clean filtered water overnight. Soaking almonds unleashes their full nutritional benefit and makes them easier to digest. It also makes them easier to blend.

Almond to Water Ratios

Depending on the capacity of your blender and your volume needs, try these ratios. The water listed is not the soaking water, but the final water used to make the milk.

  • 9 ounces almonds to 6 cups water
  • 6 ounces almonds to 5 cups water
  • 4 1/2 ounces water to 3 cups water

Soak and Drain

After soaking almonds, drain off the soaking water and rinse. Almonds contain enzyme inhibitors that can interfere with digestion, so toss the soaking water and use fresh water to puree your almonds into milk in a high-speed blender. That’s it.

To Strain or Not to Strain

Some recipes strain the almond milk through a nut milk bag for a smoother texture. I do not. Do what suits you best. We like the texture of un-strained almond milk. It’s thick and rich. It will keep for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Upon sitting, it can get a little foamy looking on top. Just stir, shake or whisk before using. If you let it sit too long and it smells sour, toss it.

If you want it sweetened, add a little natural sweetener like brown rice syrup or stevia. You can also add a little vanilla extract or almond extract for more flavor.

Tips For Buying Raw Almonds

While a 2007 USDA law requires all almonds grown in the United States or Mexico to be sanitized or pasteurized, there are two methods used: steam pasteurization and Propylene gas (PPO). You want steam pasteurized. Steam pasteurization is non-toxic and does not kill the nut. Its done with a short burst of steam that sanitizes the surface of the nut only. Steam pasteurized almonds will sprout, so they are still alive. Look for the words steam pasteurized somewhere on the package. If nothing is listed, call the producer and ask.

The other method using Propylene Oxide (PPO) gas is industry standard because it is cheaper. PPO gas is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a probable human carcinogen. Not too appetizing or healthy for your family. Here are the almonds I buy these days.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Almond Milk
Amount Per Serving (8 ounces)
Calories 122 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 8mg0%
Potassium 150mg4%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 5g10%
Calcium 61mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Homemade Almond Milk

Homemade almond milk is a great plant-based alternative to cow’s milk. The recipe halves easily for individuals. This recipes takes 12-24 hours of soaking time and just a minute to make. If you like thick creamy almond milk, use it as is. If you like it thinner, strain through a nut milk bag. They are available at many health food stores and online. See my note at the end on sweetening or flavoring your milk.
Course Beverage
Cuisine American
Keyword almond milk, almonds, milk
Prep Time 12 hours 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings 8 Yield approximately 2 quarts
Calories 122kcal

Equipment

  • blender

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces raw almonds
  • Filtered water to cover the almonds for soaking
  • 5 cups filtered water

Options

  • A splash of vanilla or almond extract optional for flavoring

Instructions

  • Place almonds in container and cover with water. Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. Strain off soaking water. Pour soaked almonds and 5 cups fresh filtered water into a high-speed blender with a tight fitting lid and process for 30-60 seconds on high. Start slow and build up the speed. Refrigerate and use within 3-4 days. Stir each time you use as it settles.

Notes

To sweeten or not?  I do not sweeten my almond milk. If you choose to, try a teaspoon or two of raw agave syrup, brown rice syrup or liquid stevia. You can always use raw dates. Another option for flavoring, try a drop or two of essential oil such as lavender or citrus.  It is surprisingly delicious!

Nutrition

Serving: 8ounces | Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 150mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg
39 Comments
  1. Lisa - January 1st, 2012

    Thanks Sal. Looking forward to the smoothie recipe! Should help with the New Year’s Resolution. 🙂

  2. Julie - January 1st, 2012

    Thanks for this recipe, I am eager to make my own almond milk. However, I’d like to know about how many days does it stay good to drink? We use a lot of milk here, so that is important for me to know. Thanks again!

  3. Sally - January 2nd, 2012

    Hi Julie. Its stays good for about 3-4 days. We go through 2 quarts (2 liters) in about 3 days and it’s good. Once we were away over a weekend and when we got home it smelled a bit sour. Over the edge, so I tossed it. Maybe a half batch would be better for you?

  4. Sally - January 2nd, 2012

    I think it will be hard to buy almonds from a farm in the northeast, but I guess “steam pasteurized” is better than PPO, or is it the same thing? This sounds like a great healthy snack (especially whirred in the blender with strawberries.) Maybe I’ll just have to find them on the internet! Happy, healthy new year.

  5. Sally - January 2nd, 2012

    Hi Sally. Steam pasteurized is not toxic like the PPO gas, but it still kills the enzymes because due to the heat process and the temp the steam gets too. At least that’s my understanding with all of the reading I’ve done. TO get really live, raw almonds, no pasteurization is best. You may need to order them off of the internet for your area. And yes, it’s good with strawberries!

  6. susan - January 2nd, 2012

    YUM! That is all my kids drink (started when I stopped nursing them). I am so into this and it is on my bucket list this year. Yours looks perfect!!!

  7. susan - January 2nd, 2012

    p.s. where do I get a nut bag?

  8. Sally - January 2nd, 2012

    Susan, you don’t need a nut milk bag. I don’t strain mine, prefer it whole. We love the thicker, richer, unstrained milk. I got a bag at Mothers Market and never used it for almond milk. You can order off the internet too, but I’m sure you can find one at a health food store. Let me know how it comes out!

  9. Jill - January 7th, 2012

    Hi Sally – can you do the same thing with cashews?

  10. Sally - January 7th, 2012

    Hi Jill, I’ve not made cashew milk but yes you should be able to. I’m sure it would be good. Do you like cashews better? Have you tried almond milk? If you make it please report back in comments so other people know. Thanks!

  11. Healthy Smoothies — A Food Centric Life - January 8th, 2012

    […] basic recipe starts with homemade almond milk (recipe here). You can also use ready made almond milk, rice, soy, or cow’s milk – whatever suits […]

  12. RB - January 11th, 2012

    Thank you so much for the info on almonds and for the link to the D&S Ranch. So very helpful!!! I’ve just been being the ones in the store that say raw. That will change from now on. I just ordered some from the website. Thanks again!

  13. Jeff - January 15th, 2012

    Fascinating! I didn’t know that about almond regulations! Or about the fact that it’s pasteurized with toxic material…. Interesting stuff! And perhaps worth trying to make instead of purchasing!

  14. Ulrike - April 22nd, 2012

    what can I do with the mash? uli

  15. Sally - April 22nd, 2012

    Hi Ulrike. If you are referring to what is leftover after straining, I’m not sure what you can do with it. I do not strain my almond milk so I do not have anything leftover. I like the thickness of it after pureeing at high speed for 90 seconds. Just be sure to stir before use after it sits in the refrigerator. If you compost you might research if it’s a good addition.

  16. lousie - April 25th, 2012

    hi this is nice site amzing i like it…Thank you so much for the info on almonds and for the link to the D&S Ranch. So very helpful!!! I’ve just been being the ones in the store that say raw. That will change from now on. I just ordered some from the website. Thanks again!

  17. Mary - May 1st, 2012

    Great recipe! Thank you! I didn’t like the thickness of it though, so I used my Boldtbags filter bags to strain it.

  18. Jaclyn Evans - May 25th, 2012

    Ooh, I forgot to fridgerate while soaking.. Still ok? I’m in the habit of not putting things in the fridge.. Like eggs..

  19. Sally - May 25th, 2012

    Jaclyn, it should be fine, but refrigerate once you’ve pureed it.

  20. Aimee Clark - May 26th, 2012

    I just made almond milk for the first time today. I used muslin cloth to strain and have almond ‘mush’ leftover. Since I have a dehydrator I’m going to attempt to dehydrate it and use as I would almond meal, and even try making some raw biccies in the dehydrator! Hopefully it works. I used stevia to sweeten the milk and it tastes delicious! However it curdles in my tea and coffee, so I’ve been googling how to avoid this and it seems that warming the milk slightly can help prevent it curdling in the hot beverages. I don’t want to change the fat by heating it too much so will experiment with low temperature and see how it goes. Cross fingers!

  21. DramaQueen - September 23rd, 2012

    I love almond milk, but never thought about making my own, I am soo going to try this!!
    I’m curious though – where do you get the glass milk bottles?
    Even though, I know I could store it in any bottle, I love the one shown in the picture.

  22. Sally - September 23rd, 2012

    Hi, glad you found the post helpful. I use this almond milk in my smoothies almost every morning. Sure better than the stuff in a box, which is actually pretty processed. I found that bottle in an antique store, just for the photo. I store my almond milk in a BPA-free plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. I try to avoid glass in kitchens. It breaks!

  23. DramaQueen - September 27th, 2012

    Hi Sally,
    Thanks for the response. This is a great recipe, I’m using it in my smoothies from now on; it is soo good! I store most of my stuff in BPA-Free plastic as well…but it is still a great shot and a cool bottle.

  24. sue - October 15th, 2012

    Hi Sally,
    I noticed your recipe is to reused the soaked water. I’ve read that the soaked water
    should be throw out & new water to be use every 8 hours for soaking. Rinse before
    putting in blender and then add fresh water.

  25. Sally - October 15th, 2012

    Hi, in my research I’ve found many opinions on making almond milk and soaking almonds. In the fridge or at room temp, using the water or not, salted water or not. Recently I’ve decided, after doing more research and checking with a friend who is a chef and raw vegan expert, that tossing the water after soaking and using fresh water to create the “milk” could be beneficial, if you want to take that step. Why? Because the water contains the leached-out enzyme inhibitors present in the brown skins of almonds. Enzyme inhibitors protect the almond until it needs to germinate (grow), which might limit the nutrient value that you can absorb, or make it harder to digest. I’ve never had a digestive issue using the soaking water to make my almond milk. But point taken, I will make a note in the recipe. Nice thing about blogs, you can add new information and insights. Thanks. Hope that helps?

  26. Celia - January 4th, 2013

    Love this post! Thank you for the info… I used your link to buy from Hopkins AG. Have you tried (gently) heating the unstrained almond milk? Does it separate or curdle? I’ve got a “wand” frother, so I don’t have to steam it, but warming the milk makes a much nicer latte. 🙂

  27. Sally - January 4th, 2013

    Thanks for your comment. Glad it’s helpful. I’ve never tried warming it for a latte but have always wondered. If you try it, please comment back and let everyone know!

  28. Celia - January 15th, 2013

    Okay – just made my first batch with the Hopkins AG almonds, and warmed and frothed it just out of the blender.

    The warming didn’t make it separate, and the frothing worked, nominally, but you don’t really get a head of froth on it… just a frothy texture throughout.

    Tomorrow morning I’ll see if adding the espresso makes it curdle.

  29. Sonja - January 12th, 2013

    I’m not sure if anyone is interested, but I just watched a documentray called, “Queen of the Sun – What are the Honeybee’s Telling Us”, and there was a fascinating section on the California almond market in it. I just thought it might be something worth noting. I’m glad to read that most people are going to their local markets and independent farmers though! It’s a little harder to get fresh organic produce through the winter months (and you pay a premium at the stores for it) up here in Canada…but I make a huge effort to do so for my family, and for my local economy. Thanks for the tips on the organic natural almonds as well. I’ll definately look into it! 🙂

  30. Shayna - March 17th, 2013

    really nice article- thank you! I’ve been from organic dairy to soy now to almond milk and I’m excited to try this. You noted about being able to purchase raw, unpasturized almonds directly from farmers- any tips for storage, or how long will the raw almonds keep for since they’re not pasturized. Thanks!

  31. Sally - March 17th, 2013

    Hi Shayna. Thanks for your comment and question. The organic almonds I purchase, and I buy 6 pounds at a time, are currently from D&S Ranches. They come vacuum sealed in 1-pound packs. I store them in the pantry until opened, then in the refrigerator. We go through them so fast I don’t know how long they would actually last. A long time I would think.

  32. Adrienne - May 15th, 2013

    Sally, Can I use a food processor? or blender? Don’t have a Vitamix.

  33. Sally - May 15th, 2013

    Unfortunately not. A food processor won’t do the job. You really need a blender. Get the best one you can. If the capacity is smaller than a Vitamix, which has a 2-quart capacity, you may need to blend in half batches. Another option, you can get a reconditioned Vitamix with free shipping from the ad on my home page. The reconditioned models have just been used for shows. They are a great deal! It’s what I would do to save money. Check it out. I know even then, they are $329 but they are a terrific investment. I could not live without mine. It will last forever!

  34. Gwynn - January 26th, 2016

    Could you roast the almonds first? This seems like it would enhance the taste. Or is there a nutritional detriment to roasting?

  35. Sally Cameron - January 26th, 2016

    Hi Gwynn. I would not roast the almonds. Roasting equals heat equals not the same nutritional benefits as raw. The taste is great, fresh and clean with raw almonds. Hope you enjoy it. I make a batch about 3 times a week. For the best almonds and best price. I ship my almonds from a grower in CA. I buy 10 pounds at once and get free shipping too. Seems like a lot of almonds, but as we snack on them plus use them for milk, we go through that much about every 3 months, just two of us. Check out http://www.california-almonds.com

  36. Julie Richter - March 1st, 2016

    How much vanilla extract would be best to use?

  37. Sally Cameron - March 1st, 2016

    Its really to your taste Julie. Start with a teaspoon and taste. Add from there. I love vanilla, so I might double that. You can use extract or pure ground vanilla bean. Hope that helps.Let me know.

  38. Goldie - August 9th, 2016

    Hi, thanks for the recipe. I never make it by myself.now i want to make it by myself.

    1. Must i peel the skin before blend it?
    2. Is there any difference for the finale taste & texture between peel the skin & not peel it? I bought raw almond with skin.
    3. Must i boil the milk?if yes, how long should i boil it? How high is the temperature to boil it?

    Thanks

  39. Sally Cameron - August 10th, 2016

    Hi Goldie. Glad you are making almond milk at home rather than buying it. Much better! This is a very simple and easy recipe. You do not peel or skin the almonds and you do not boil the milk. Just soak the raw almonds, drain, and puree with fresh filtered water about 90 seconds. That’s it. Refrigerate. it will last a few days. I make it several times a week.

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