There was a time when making my own nut milk sounded super ambitious. Like something I'd dream about doing one day when I have tons of free time for all the DIY projects I save on Pinterest, but in reality, not likely to happen. So it's kind of funny that laziness is what got me started on homemade nut milks. It's true! Making nut milk is easy. Like, really, really easy. And lugging around cartons of nut milk at the supermarket is a pain. I like to be a light shopper, and dealing with heavy groceries is my pet peeve. So one day I decided instead of piling a bunch of cartons of almond milk into my near-overflowing grocery cart, I'd grab a little bag of almonds instead. I wondered if I'd regret it later when I had to turn those almonds into milk, but I didn't at all! In fact, I got myself hooked on homemade nut milk. I think you'll be hooked too once you give it a shot.
Here's how I make almond my milk!
You'll start with some raw almonds (be careful not to buy them roasted!). One cup is a good amount to start with. Stick them into a bowl, cover with a few inches of water, and soak them for 4 to 8 hours so they get nice and soft. This is the one hurdle for most people: you have to plan ahead so you remember to soak the almonds. I found that once I became a regular almond-milk maker, it wasn't a problem. As soon as we get near the bottom of the jug that's in the refrigerator I take a cue and start soaking a new batch of almonds.
Place the almonds into a blender with some water and blend them up really well. As to how much water, that depends on how creamy you like your almond milk. 3 cups is my happy place, but you might want to start with 2, because you can always add more water to thin the milk, but you can't take it out once it's added.
You'll need to get your hands on a nut milk bag, which you can find at some health food stores or on Amazon. I've tried working with a strainer instead, and always end up with chunks in my milk, so the bag is a must, and a worthwhile investment if you plan on making almond milk regularly.
Set the bag over a large bowl, pour your almond mixture into the bag, and squeeze it over the bowl. Your bowl will fill up with creamy, delicious almond milk.
I don't usually add anything to my almond milk—that keeps it nice and versatile for drinking and recipe use. But I totally get it if you like a little flavor or sweetness! Maple syrup and agave are great choices if you'd like to sweeten up your almond milk. Dates work too, but you'll want to blend the up along with the almonds, rather than at the end of the process. Vanilla, cocoa powder, spices, or pretty much anything else that you might use to flavor up some dairy milk is fair game too.