How to Make Dairy-Free Almond Milk

September 17, 2009

I can't start my day without my morning fruit smoothie.  I've never been a milk drinker because of the lactose, and I'm not a fan of soy milk.  That leaves a bunch of great nut milks to choose my smoothie base from, and my favorite is Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla.  I add a splash of juice to it, plus frozen berries, vitamin powder, coconut oil and flax seeds.  Whiz it all up in my pink Kitchenaid blender, and away I go to work with all kinds of nutrients zipping around in my bloodstream.

So, I go through a lot of almond milk, and it's not terribly expensive but if I make it at home, I can choose  the ingredients that go into it and save a little money too.  How difficult is it?  Not difficult at all, in fact, it's pretty darn easy:

  1. Buy raw almonds from the bulk section of your local store.
  2. Soak a cup of them in water for 8 hours, or less if you don't have that long. I think the milk is creamier with longer soaking.
  3. Rinse and drain the soaked almonds.
  4. Blend them with 4 cups of water.
  5. Drain the pulp out.  I use a couple of coffee filters in a strainer over a tall bowl.
  6. Add flavorings and sweetener as desired:  vanilla extract, cinnamon, maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, or anything else.
  7. Chill and enjoy within 3 or 4 days.

Voila!  That's all there is to it!  You could use macadamia nuts or cashews instead of almonds.  I don't know if you could use pecans or walnuts successfully, but it's an intriguing idea.  I like to add the flavorings after I strain the pulp out so that I can use the pulp in a savory way if I choose.  Adding lemon, olive oil, garlic, salt and dill to it makes an awesome spread for crackers.

Remember this milk is dairy-free, but it's not just for vegans.  It's great for anyone who is allergic to milk or lactose-intolerant, or who just wants a healthy tasty beverage.

If you'd like to see photos of the process or learn more, go check out Gina's awesome blog at Choosing Raw.  That's where I learned to do it, and I'm glad I did!


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