Almond milk has become such a staple over the last few years, it's hard to even remember life before it was so ubiquitous. Though it's readily available in stores, almond milk is actually easy to DIY — and doing so has noteworthy advantages.
"Store-bought almond milk, unfortunately, doesn't have much nutrition," says Stephanie Middleberg, RD. "It's basically watered down almonds plus added preservatives to keep it shelf-stable and at a consistent texture. Homemade almond milk contains no additives, is made with more whole almonds and boasts a far superior taste."
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"Homemade almond milk contains no additives, is made with more whole almonds and boasts a far superior taste."
To make your own, all you have to do is soak raw almonds overnight (Middleberg recommends using organic, if possible) in cool water, drain, blend in a high-speed blender with fresh water and a pinch of salt, strain and you're good to go.
Nutrition per cup of unsweetened almond milk: 39 calories, 2.5 grams fat, 3.4 grams carbohydrates (with 0.5 grams fiber and 2.1 grams sugar), 188 milligrams of sodium, and 1 gram of protein.
How to Make Almond Milk at Home
Yields about 2 ½ cups (or 5 half-cup servings)
What You'll Need
- 1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
- Filtered water
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- Large bowl with lid
- Dry measuring cup
- Liquid measuring cup
- Jar with lid
- Nut-milk bag or cheesecloth
How to Do It
- Place 1 cup of raw almonds in a large bowl. Cover with cool filtered water by at least 1 inch. Make sure there is space left in the bowl because the nuts will plump up as they soak.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.
- Line a jar with a nut-milk bag or two layers of cheesecloth.
- Drain the nuts in a colander and rinse with fresh cool water. Transfer to a high-speed blender; add a pinch of fine sea salt and 1½ cups cool filtered water. Blend at low speed for a few seconds to start, then raise the speed to very high and blend for 1 to 2 minutes, until the nuts are thoroughly pulverized. Blend in up to ¼ cup more water if needed to reach desired consistency (leave as is if you like it creamy, like whole milk; add more a tablespoon at a time if you prefer it thinner).
- Pour the milk through the bag (or cheesecloth) into the jar. When all the liquid is poured in, squeeze the bag (or cloth) to release as much liquid as possible. Cover jar and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Tips for Getting the Best Almond Milk
Making your own almond milk is simple, but you'll want to follow these best practices to ensure your cup is up to par.
- Shake it up before using; it's likely to separate as it chills.
- Sweeten if you want to by adding a bit of maple syrup or raw honey when blending.
- Look for almonds in your health food store's bulk bins to save money.
Creative Ways to Use Almond Milk
One of the best things about almond milk is how neutrally flavored it is. That makes it useful just about anywhere you would use dairy milk. "I use it in everything — muffins, smoothies, chia pudding, overnight oats, ice pops, the list goes on and on," Middleberg says.
- Bake these Blueberry-Banana Muffins that pack 20 grams of protein per serving.
- Wake up to an Energizing Green Smoothie.
- Switch up your usual oats by whipping up Almond Milk and Honey Porridge for breakfast.
- Try this Warm Sweet Potato Pudding in a Jar for dessert.
- Need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up? This Matcha Latte With Almond Milk and Honey will do the trick.
What to Do With Leftover Almond Pulp
Save the pulp that's leftover after straining. Spread it on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees Fahrenheit until it’s just dried out, about 70 to 90 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Let it cool, and then pulse into crumbs in a food processor. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Use it as a breading for chicken or fish, or in place of some of the nuts in protein ball recipes. (Note: It won’t work as a swap for almond meal in baked goods.)