How I Make Almond Milk (I don’t know why I make this stuff, Mom.)

How-to-Make-Almond-Milk-500

I made milk. Do you remember the other week when I ended up making crackers because I couldn’t bare going to the store with three children? Well we were also out of milk. I searched all over the kitchen thinking of how I could make milk appear. Certainly there had to be a way. Turns out without a cow, it is very hard to make milk. Well, that is until I learned how to make almond milk. A few days later a friend came over and as usual we got into talking about food and nutrition and she mentioned how she made almond milk for her kids. After her quick tutorial, I made almond milk the next day. It was easy, just like she said. Sure, it did add a little mess to my kitchen and a little more hassle, but not much more.
Almond Milk

What I like about it is the taste. Have you tasted almond milk before? I hadn’t, but it’s very, very good. It tastes to me like grown up milk or a gourmet version of milk. I don’t drink much cows milk, maybe in a bowl of cereal or in the occasional latte, but this version I could drink glasses of. And it makes ordinary breakfast cereal taste so much fancier. In this version photographed, I mixed in the seeds from a vanilla bean and that made it over the top delicious. For ease in my life I’ve switched to using vanilla extract, but if you have extra vanilla beans laying around, by all means, try a batch with one of those.
Almond Milk
Last time I visited my parents my mom said, ‘Did you know they make almond milk? I bought some at the store the other day!’ I said, ‘Oh yeah! I just made some for the first time last week!’ She gave me that look that she gives me when I told her I made something as bizarre as milk and said, ‘You know, Kendra, you can buy it at the store!’ I know Mom, I know. I don’t know why I make this stuff. I know you can buy chapstick and bread and crackers and yogurt and laundry detergent and chips and everything else I’ve tried to make before at the store. What compels us to try making these things? I ask you because I know if you read this blog that you’ve tried at least making some of these types of things too. Can you help me tell my mom why we do this? Is it because we are all a little crazy? Have we gone off the deep end? In my case, I’m sure I have, but I’d like to think I try making these things partly out of curiosity. It just seems fun and fascinating to figure out how to make these things. It makes me feel strangely independent and free from needing to buy all the time. And sometimes making these things at home are cheaper (although sometimes not), sometimes they are healthier for us and the earth, sometimes it tastes better (although sometimes not), and most importantly….Mom, have you tried taking all three of my young children to the grocery store before?
Almond Milk
Almond Milk

It should be said that my mom has also given up shampooing and she used to sew a good majority of my clothes growing up and always made our dinner from scratch every single night, so maybe she is who I get this drive from. You made me this crazy Mom!

Almond Milk

Anyway, onward to how to make almond milk.

Almond Milk

1 cup almonds soaked in water overnight
4 Medjool dates
1 t. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean

Combine 4 cups of water, almonds, dates, and vanilla extract in blender (if using a vanilla bean, wait to use it). Blend until almonds are well blended and mixture looks milky. Pour through a cheese cloth lined strainer into a 1 quart canning jar or other milk holding device. You will want a big enough piece of cheese cloth that you can gather together and squeeze out the last drops of milk. If using a vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and mix in now. Put it in the fridge to cool and shake well before drinking. That’s it!

Scott suggested I add a few cardamom seeds into the blend which I did with my last batch. It tasted good and spicy like chai.

The left over vanilla beans, if you use them, you can put into your sugar bowl to make vanilla sugar. Yum! With the left over almond meal you can get inventive in the kitchen. Try adding it to bread or cookies. I haven’t figured out the perfect recipe for the leftovers yet. Do you have any suggestions?

Vanilla Sugar

Tell me why you attempt to make these things too!

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60 Comments

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60 responses to “How I Make Almond Milk (I don’t know why I make this stuff, Mom.)

  1. my mom wonders why i make what i can buy too.
    can’t wait to try this almond milk.

    • Analita

      So happy to have found you! This is the way I want to live, and do try, even with a house in town, a tiny backyard, some potted herbs and a love for returning to the basics and the old ways of living. I had a friend ask me recently if I had bought a mule, yet? I’ve told my husband for years we need a horse and buggy!

  2. Although I never have any time left, I try to make things sometimes which could be bought at the store as well. Of course, we could buy EVERYTHING – from clothes to precooked meals – but I like to make things myself. I like to see whether I can do it, I like to feel independent, I like to know what goes into all this stuff I use and, of course, I like to save money. It’s a mixture of all these things, I guess. Plus, baking bread feels far more satisfying than buying it at the store.

    (I don’t have time to bake bread, with job and writing my novel and obtaining certificates for work and trying to exercise regularly, but I do cook all our meals, and sometimes try to make funky stuff like raspberry lip care.)

  3. I just like the fact of doing it myself, plus the money thing is coming in handy too right now as my husband lost his job in Sept. We are empty nesters so I have the time, but oh I so wish I could have been a stay at home mom and done all these kinds of things.. I give you so much credit for all you do and your children reap the rewards, and you will reap the blessings.
    Thanks so much for your blog and all the fun things you share! I have purchased all the stuff to make the hand lotion and the chapstick, hope to get to it this weekend, depends on how nice it is outside though, we live in Michigan so I have to get out and enjoy the weather as I can. Have a wonderful weekend!
    Val

  4. I LOVE almond milk and I always wondered how they made it. Thanks so much.

  5. ~This looks wonderful,I am going to try it.

    ~with the help of my four littles!

    ~I’ll be the only one to drink it as usual but you made it look so easy:0)

    ~Happy Thursday:0)

  6. JoAnn

    I make things myself because I KNOW what I put in it!
    It is NOT processed or pasteurized and does not have preservatives or additives.
    I enjoy making almond milk and it tastes so much better than store bought!
    That is why I make almond milk, skin cream, grow my veggies etc etc etc….

  7. Why? Well for all the reasons you listed; sometimes it is cheaper (sometimes not), tastes better (sometimes not), etc. Because I want to know how to do it in case it is no longer available at the store. =)

  8. see

    I make a lot of things from scratch basically because I don’t trust others to do it for me! I like to know what’s going into my food and if I make things myself, then I know. Otherwise, there’s always this huge unknown. After having watched Food, Inc. and read The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, it’s just too hard to simply believe others are looking out for your health.

  9. Jessica

    The reason I make these things is because it is hard to know what exactly is being put in store bought foods/cleaners/hygiene products. I can’t stand how manufacturers put dye or food coloring in EVERYTHING! I DO NOT need my chapstick pink, or my mouth wash “glacier blue”, or my ginger ale caramel color! I would prefer to eat, drink, and consume things the way they are naturally.
    Another excellent reason to make your own is to bypass all the stabilizers. I bet the store bought almond milk has something in it that allows it to sit on the grocery store shelf for 3-5 months!
    What is wrong with our society that we get questioned when we choose to do things the wholesome, natural way?
    You are doing a wonderful thing for your family and especially your children. They will remember these “lessons” and carry them through their lives.
    Wow…guess I needed to vent on this issue! Thanks:)

    • Marie P.

      If you don’t mind me asking how do you make mouthwash and ginger ale? I’m just curious because I love ginger ale :)

  10. I like not HAVING to run to the store every five mins. And I like to practice making these things so, in a pinch when I am in the middle of making something and I realize I am out of something….I can go Oh, I know how to make that or this is great replacement.

    Besides it’s FUN!

    Thanks for this tutorial. We only drink almond milk now, so this will be even COOLER that we make our own!

  11. what about using the left overs and making it into a facial cream?

  12. Cyndi

    First – I homemake things like this becuase I can, becuase I want to do it when my money isn’t available or the stores don’t have it, becuase it feels “old fashioned” to me, becuase it tastes (some of that store stuff doesn’t even bother to do that), becuase you did, just because. I keep doing it becuase I feel good when I succeed and I learn alot when I don’t. But I know that look your mom gives you – my mom has the same look. I’m going to make (Fill in the blank). And then she rolls her eyes, gives me the look and says, you live two blocks from store that sells that…why are you making it. I just tell her it’s because I can…

    For your almond leftover – I don’t know how it’s made, but could you make an almond paste and then make dutch letters? or add them to an almond cake? Or use them to coat chicken or fish or beef with some kind of rub, or make an almond butter?

  13. Liz Hardwick

    Since the stores are a minimum of 1 hour away – the best ones are 3 1/2 hours away – it makes sense to be as self-sufficient as possible.

  14. Michelle

    I had no idea how easy it was to make! I will definitely give this a try. Do you have to use a certain kind of dates or will any do?

  15. Jen C

    You aren’t the only one:) I’m stuck in the house a lot because I have a little one and a gram with dimentia so a trip to the grocery store is a luxury. I have made my own ricotta cheese, yogurts, graham crackers (I wanted smores and couldn’t get to the store), marshmallows (for the same reason), butter, breads, rolls, crackers – you name it, I have tried it. My mom thinks I’m crazy, too. But it’s a way I can control the quality of my food as well. If I am making it, I know where it comes from and it’s not filled with preservatives. If I’m out of something that I need, I’m on the internet to see how I can make it:)

    Jen C
    http://www.lehighvalleymomma.com

  16. Brenda Alreck

    For all of the above stated reasons! My mom used to say “If you really lived on a farm you wouldn’t think it was so glamorous!” I love the satisfaction of doing it myself, knowing how much money i saved and freaking out my friends who would never try this stuff!

    I think maybe we were destined for another era. Or we will be the ones people come to for help when things get so expensive that they need to learn to cook from scratch, or make detergent or whatever!

  17. KimH

    I love your site & I love your creativity.. Perhaps thats truly the reason you do it.. because you can and its a way to express that huge amount of creativity that you have burning inside your soul.

    Its why I did it when I was a young stay at home mom.. I wish I had known other young folks living this way when I was in my 20s & 30s & 40s too.

    I was the only one in my generation (Im 50 now) I knew that got into this sort of thing besides a few hippies out in the Berkley Ca area and the Mother Earth News types up East. We connected via magazine adds & seed swaps back then..

    I did have a lot of elderly friends, family, & neighbors who shared these wonderful ways of life & experiences with me, thank God! It was a beautiful time of life.

    I like knowing what is in my food, where it comes from, and whos hands have touched it.. but there is a soul satisfying feeling to know that you gave birth to the food you eat & the products you made, filled with your very own loving energy..

    Yes, its a creative expression of love for Life.. ♥

  18. I made this almond milk today and it was sooooooo good. I used an immersion blender but now I am convinced to get a “real”blender. Thanks.

  19. I get those same looks from other people, not just my mom. For me, I think it’s about being independent and curious. Also a bit of “sticking it to the man”. Such as “You think I’m going to pay $6 for a loaf of organic bread?”…”Ha! I can make better bread for $1…organic and preservative-free!” I have hens mostly because I can no longer stand to be part of what’s going on in the factory farms…even the ‘organic’ ones. It’s not fair to those animals.

  20. Cathy

    We love these brownies utilizing almond meal: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2006/01/dark-chocolate-brownies.html It’s the second recipe down. We’re not gluten-free any more but I still make them at times because they’re THAT good.

  21. carjobo

    Mmmm, that looks yummy! And aside from the yummyness, I do things like this because I enjoy the creative process. And it’s easier to justify creating if the process ends up with something practical that is good for my family. Plus it is satisfying to know exactly what’s in a product and to be able to change it to suit our wants or needs – the possibilities are endless!

  22. I think it’s intrinsic to certain people – to want to make rather than buy things. I know I’m always thinking “Can i do that… I bet I can do that!” But only some of us seem to think that way.

  23. Maggie

    First time reader, and now in love with your blog! Can you tell me where to find Medjool dates (or a good substition for them)? Thank you!!

    • asonomagarden

      Hi Maggie, I’m so glad you found our blog! I found Medjool dates at our Whole Foods. I think, really, you could use any type of dates, many times you can find them in or near the produce dept.

  24. Hi, I’m Bebe & I’m just happy to know there are other people out there “compelled to create”. Its been lonely by myself, my friends & family think I’m wierd. Found this web-site in Jan 2011 & read it all. It’s great you share your world. I quit shampoo last year, I now use WEN. Also been making almond milk for about 10 years now. I just use almonds. Important to use RAW Organic almonds & let them soak for 48 hours in fridge. It becomes a “live food” because 48 hours give the almonds time to sprout. I make a squeeze bag( works better than cheese cloth) & use the pulp to make body/facial scrub. The nutrients are gone into the milk…..So happy to find this site, please keep sharing & as I remember the other STUFF I do I will share also…Bebe

    • asonomagarden

      Thanks for the comment Bebe! You are right, I should change it to specify raw almonds and I will try soaking it for 48 hours in the fridge next time. Looking forward to hearing more from you!

  25. I love making things (even though I can go to the store and buy them). The point is (like others that have commented) I want to know what is in my food and where it came from. I have a questions about the recipe. When you soak the almonds over night in water (or 48 hours like another comment said) are you soaking them in the 4 cups of water you are going to use later? …so soak in 4 cups of water , then combine the dates & vanilla, etc? Or are you just soaking them in enough water to cover them? Then adding enough water to make 4 cups + dates, vanilla, etc…

  26. I make thing because i love to see how thing are made and want to know what goes in them. For example, I had no idea what or how a marshmellow came into being :) My Mom also said you know you can buy those when I told her about making marshmellow. Also, it is eye opening to know what goes in our food and beauty products. I try to keep it natural when I can. That is why I tried to make fruit snacks from scratch too :)
    I once read an article about how if we had to make all our food from scratch we would not have an obesity epidemic in this country. Imagine if every-time you wanted French Fries you had to peel, cut, and fry them yourself?
    Most people would probably not eat then as often, right?
    Also, it is fun. I love playing mad scientist in the kitchen :)

  27. I know for me that making things from scratch is my own weird form of laziness. If it would take 20 minutes all told to run to the store and back for an item anyway, and only 30 minutes to make it . . . why not just make it myself? Laziness and a weird kind of self-reliant pride. :) Which is why we have peppermint vodka mouthwash next to the sink right now!

  28. Stevie Frisby

    Hi there
    I have a quick question about the almond milk.
    when you add all the ingredients, are the almonds drained from the water that they were soaked in? Or, do you add the almonds with the water they soaked in, plus the additional water for the recipe?
    I want to try this tomorrow -almonds soaking now- and I would like to do it right.
    thanks so much
    ps, your blog is AmAzInG I absolutely love it
    ~stevie

    • asonomagarden

      Stevie- use the drained, soaked almonds. Toss the soaking water. Thanks for the question, two people have asked so I better revise the post.

  29. Stevie Frisby

    TaDaH! I just made the almond milk today! T’was awesome! I can’t believe I had so much almond meal left over! I will totally try to make the brownies Cathy suggested.
    Thanks again
    you Rock!
    Stevie

  30. Bunny

    Ah man, maybe I’m lucky but my mum encourages me to make more things – she’s one of those people that loves the idea of it but never gets around to doing it herself, so she gets to live vicariously through me instead!

    The almond milk sounds lush and I can imagine the leftover pulp being great for all sorts of things. Ground almond replacement for cakes, filler for body scrubs…

    As for WHY I make these things. I just tell people I am preparing to be as self-sufficient as possible, because when the zombie apocalypse comes ain’t gonna be any supermarkets selling fresh milk!

  31. Joann

    You can use the almond meal and vanilla sugar to make a Greek almond cookies. They are used finely chopped almonds, butter, sugar, and vanilla.

    Mix 1 c. butter with 1/4 c sugar, cream. Add 1 c flour, 1 c ground almonds, and tsp of vanilla. Roll in powdered sugar and bake for 30 min on 300. Let cool and roll in powdered sugar again.

  32. OK, I am soooo uber new to all this eating good & living well stuff =) I’ve tried for years but with 40 approaching I’m feeling a little serious about it now!! Thanks so much for your blog, it makes EVERYTHING a little less intimidating, I look forward to getting to know you more & can’t wait to “make milk” with my girlies =D

  33. Suzanne

    I make things by hand because I can. I hope to share the love of trying new thing with my preschool aged boys as they grow up. I’d make more from scratch but taking care of 2 young children is my full time job. Making MARSHMALLOWS, GRAHAM CRACKERS, NUTELLA, and all sorts of things like these is a sort of therapy for me.

  34. Chris

    Kendra…Just like you said…curiosity!
    P.S. Love reading your blog and learning so much! Thank you!
    Sincerely, Chris

  35. SRD

    I couldn’t believe how much almond meal was left, I had almost 2 cups! and it took forever to drain. Though I didn’t have any cheesecloth, so I used a coffee filter and paper toweling, alternating. anyhow, can you freeze the almond meal? I like the idea of making a facial paste with it, maybe almond meal, sea salt, honey? wonder if it would work in a conditioner, or not bec of all the little bits..? the milk was good. btw, what are ‘raw’ almonds vs ‘un-raw’ ones?

  36. Aileen

    Hi!
    In regards to your leftover almonds, you could make cranberry almond bread! The almonds would need to be sprinkled on top of the loaf! Mmmm.

  37. joan

    I think that you are preparing for a time when life is going to be much more difficult. well done, keep going.

  38. Faten

    Hey,

    I’m wondering if you peel the almonds after they are soaked and also if this works in a food processor rather than a blender? What do you think?

  39. Love your site! You asked why others do this DIY stuff too? I live remote in the Western Highlands of Panama (previously in Patagonia) and at first did these DIY things out of necessity. But then I realized how utterly satisfying it is! From making my own pasta, tomato paste balls, dried vegetable soup mix, to rag rugs, quilts, granola and rustic furniture, I am obsessed now to “not buy” of often as I can. Just got electric so while I will be compelled to “buy” a blender or food processer, I am excited to make almond milk.

    Thanks for the wonderful information you share here.

    Vicki

  40. I live in Brooklyn, NY and my mom can’t wrap her head around why I would want to make something that I could simply buy on the corner. I tried this recipe this morning and it is delicious! I’ve bought almond milk and it’s OK. Chocolate almond is my favorite. But this recipe is just so delicious! Thanks for sharing!

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  42. Resistance Report

    The sense of accomplishment is why I do things myself. The fact that sometimes it’s cheaper in volume to do it yourself is all the better.

  43. Annette

    After I have blended my almonds and water, added the vanilla and salt, etc, I run it through my juicer to separate the pulp from the milk. Seems quicker and to me less messy than using the cheesecloth.

  44. jenny

    I think it is because we have a need to be artistic and creative but maby not the skills required for textiles. At least thats what I tell myself!

  45. marie

    For the almonds do they have to be shelled or unshelled? If I have shelled almonds how can I make this delicious recipe? :P

  46. Hazel

    Instead of going through the whole process of making almond milk, i HIGHLY suggest getting a milking goat. Quite easy to care for as long as they have food, space, and an occasional hoof trimming. There are many different milking goat breeds that produce different kinds of milk, but my favorite is the nubian alpine cross. Because they have really good milk. (with all the richness of a nubian and the quality of an alpine) And they have these ADORABLE airplane ears.
    Well anyway, i suggest goats. :)

  47. Bb81

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I have my almonds soaking right now and am excited about being able to make it myself, since a)it is so expensive in the shops and b)it is always overly sweet with sugar (so useless for savoury cooking.

    Here are my reasons for making stuff:
    1) I think I do save money (soda shampoo, moisturiser and now almond milk) – the raw ingredients are definitely cheaper.
    2)you know what is in the things you make – I have food allergies so I already have to read the ingredients of every food I eat. Reading the labels of things like moisturisers is scary – there are so many ingredients that have possible links to cancer or are cheap rubbish (like petrolatum) that aren’t good for your skin. In the UK we are told at baby massage classes you should only moisturise your baby with edible oil, and that got me thinking why not ourselves too!
    3)I think it teaches you to be a savvy consumer and not a super consumer. When you consider what a product actually is, you are more likely to generally only buy what you need and then save up money for treats you really want and can’t make.
    4)It saves on packaging. I generate a lot less plastic bottle/tub waste as I reuse jars/bottles for my home-made stuff.
    5)It feels empowering and satisfying to make stuff you need and be in control of your own recipes. How often do you get annoyed that your favourite product has changed or isn’t stocked any more! You’re no longer at the mercy of your local store stockist.

  48. Elena

    Hey, I just read this. I don’t know if you’re stil looking for what to use the leftover almonds with, but I usually use mine to make chocolate cake. It doesn’t turn out quite as good as when you use actual almond flour, but it turns out fine. Instead of melted chocolate for mine, I make a raspberry sauce with frozen raspberries, almond milk or water and dates.

    Here is the link: http://hip2save.com/2012/02/16/grain-free-chocolate-cake-recipe-yum/

  49. Ayanna Stika

    i really love almond milk because it also imparts some supplements and trace minerals in our body. *

    Our favorite webpage
    http://www.foodsupplementdigest.com/melatonin-effects-on-reproductive-system/

  50. Missy

    We don’t drink milk at our house and so I don’t like to keep it around, but when I need some to make cornbread or whatever it is so fast and easy to whip some up. It is much healthier than the store bought kind too. I also have gotten to where I don’t strain out the almonds. It is more like whole milk that way and no waste:) I only use 1 part blanched almonds to 3 parts water.

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  52. Cathy

    What kind of almonds raw I’m assuming?

  53. Pingback: Walnuts : : A Tough Nut to Crack | A Sonoma Garden

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