Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Recipe: Naturally Sweetened Almond Milk

Almond milk (home made almond milk that is) is a true treasure for me.

I feel the health benefits from this milk every day I drink it.

Here's the recipe:

Almond Milk

3 cups raw almonds
4 dried figs
4 dried dates
5 dried apricots
2 tsp real vanilla
1/4 cup raw organic agave
few dashes of sea salt

nylon material 6" by 6" material (or bigger if you like)
coffee strainer

Soak the almonds, in the fridge, in filtered water for 12 to 24 hours. (Soak them in the fridge to keep from bacteria growing on them as they sprout.) You can rinse if you wish - but you don't have to. I actually soak mine at room temperature for the first day and then allow it soak in the fridge for the next night and part of the next day.

Soak the dried fruit overnight in about 2 or 3 cups of water. They can all soak together. The dried fruit gives the almond milk extra nutrients, extra calcium and natural sweetness.

Blend the almonds in about 4 cups of filtered water in a commercial grade blender. (Blend tec or Vitamix) You will probably only want to use half of the almonds at first with about 4 cups of filtered water with each batch. I let it blend up as much as possible.

Add the dried (soaked) fruit mixture to a part of the almond mixture and blend that up as smooth as possible as well.

Add about 3 cups more water to this smooth mixture.

Strain the mixture. I use a fine metal mesh coffee strainer. I bought mine from Wal-mart for $5. It is somewhat cone shaped and therefore allows the liquid to drain into a large cup with ease as you use a spoon to move the liquid around allowing it to separate from the almond meal.

You'll end up pouring the liquid in your cup into another large bowl or pitcher as you go.

Take the almond meal leftover from each time you fill the strainer and place on a silk material which has been placed over a bowl. Lift up the edges of the material and "milk" the almond meal by gently squeezing the material from top to bottom allowing the leftover almond milk to drip into a bowl. (You can still get quite a bit of precious almond milk by doing this step.)

After all of the milk has been strained and "milked" pour it into the container you will be keeping it in within your fridge and add more water - enough to make almost 1 and 1/2 gallons.

Add a few dashes of sea salt (or to taste).
Add about 1/4 cup of agave (to taste).
Add 2 tsps of vanilla.

Stir and your done!

Now. I realize this is quite a bit of work. It takes a few try's creating your own rhythm within the process. But! To me this is similar to the kind of work children (who had to milk the family cows in order to have milk, butter and cheese) had to get used to.

Only... instead of squeezing a cow's utter to get cow milk my kids squeeze nylon to get nut milk.

But, A) We only do this once a week. And B) don't tell anyone but- we enjoy doing it!


  1. I've enjoyed your site very much. I'm quite interested in making my own almond milk but have a few questions. Where do you purchase raw, unpasturized almonds? Most recipes I've seen say to rinse the almonds after soaking but don't list a reason. You say rinsing isn't necessary. It seems rinsing would be wasting nutrients but then is the milk less bitter? When adding the soaked fruit, do you also add the liquid it was soaked in? Thank you for your help.

  2. Hi Lynette - thank you for the compliments. In the past I've purchased my almonds from Robyn Openshaw's group buy - which takes place sometime close to October.

    They store well in the cold so I purchase enough to last me throughout the year.

    I know Azure Standard sells them as well and I'm sure there are other places on the web that you can purchase them from as well. I would just double check with them to make sure they are in fact raw almonds - some say they are but the almonds have still undergone treatments such as irradiation - which keeps the almonds from sprouting.

    I'm guessing other places suggest to rinse the almonds because they fear the possibility of harmful bacteria being present in the water after soaking but if you're soaking the almonds in the fridge - they should be just fine.

    Do what you feel most comfortable with. There aren't very many of the nutrients that leak into the water so you won't lose out on nutrient content by rinsing them.

    I'm not sure if rinsing them will affect the milks taste.

    Yes, when I use soaked fruit for making nut milk I do add the liquid the fruit was soaked in.

    I just made some almond milk yesterday and basically made it in six simple steps:

    1. Soak the almonds overnight at room temp.
    2. Transfer to fridge and allow to soak rest of day.
    3. Placed in blender, added extra water to my liking into blender..
    4. (If you want) added a pinch of sea salt and vanilla.
    5. (If you want) add a sweetener of your choice: maple syrup, dates or apricots(no need to soak, simply chop up and blend again with milk), raw honey, or agave.
    6. Strain. I place a large piece of finely lined material over a sieve and milk the milk by squeezing the bag of pulp, allowing the juices to drip into the bowl underneath.

    Drink within one week.

    Hope this helps! Good luck making your almond milk.