Almond Milk (and Strawberry Almond Milk)
Homemade nut milk is a staple in our household. It’s easy to make and richer and tastier than any version you can find at your local grocery store—dairy included. It has two basic ingredients: nuts and water. From there, you can add maple syrup and a pinch of salt, seasonal fruit, or even unsweetened cocoa powder for a really fun and decadent twist. The outcome, whichever path you take, is a super delicious and nutritious plant-based milk.
- Yield: 6 cups
2 cups raw almonds
5 cups water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1 pound fresh or frozen strawberries, hulled (optional)
Place your almonds in a large glass bowl and cover with room-temperature water. Soak overnight or for at least 8 hours until plump and hydrated (you should have about 3 cups once hydrated).
Drain and rinse the soaked almonds and place with all other ingredients in a blender. Add optional flavor variations, such as strawberries, now. You may need to make your almond milk in batches if you have a small blender. Blend on high for 2 minutes or until thoroughly blended. The longer you blend your ingredients, the more nutrients you’ll extract from the almonds.
Place a cotton nut milk bag, double layer of fine cheesecloth, or thin dish towel over a large bowl; pour the almond milk mixture into it and gently squeeze the contents, separating the milk from the pulp. This may require two or three batches to avoid overflow. Once you’re done, set the pulp aside and pour the almond milk into two separate quart jars or glass containers with lids; store in the refrigerator. Fresh almond milk will keep for 3 to 5 days. Shake well before serving.
If necessary, you can freeze the milk in small amounts in ice cube trays. I recommend making smoothies with the nut milk or adding some to soups, etc. first before freezing for the best consistency when thawed.
Save your nut milk pulp and dehydrate it in the oven with herbs and salt to make gluten-free “breadcrumbs” for roasted veggies or pasta and pesto. I sometimes make a natural body scrub by adding the pulp to coarse sea salt, coconut oil, and a few drops of my favorite essential oils.