Almond Milk

I’ve switched lately from soy milk to almond milk. At first it was because Mark seems to prefer almond milk (he’s skeptical about milk in general), but now it’s also because almond milk is easier. Almond milk is not cheaper, unfortunately, but I’m willing to pay for the convenience. You do have to soak the almonds, so it requires planning, but if I soak the nuts the night before, I can quickly whip the milk up the next morning before breakfast, whereas with soy milk, because it needs to be cooked and then cooled before using, the only time I could make it during the week is in the evenings and sometimes I’d find myself out of luck at breakfast. It’s so easy to make it barely warrants posting here, but I’ll do so in the interest of anyone who thinks making their own non-dairy milk isn’t worth the effort.

Almond Milk
1 cup raw almonds
4 cups water
vanilla, to taste (optional)
pinch salt (optional)
sweetener, to taste (optional)

Soak the almonds in the water for 8 hours or overnight. I soak them right in the blender and stick it in the refrigerator. That way, when I make it, the almond milk is already cold and ready to use. I also don’t even bother measuring the almonds or the water; I plunk four handfuls of almonds in the blender and fill it with water up to about the 4 1/2 cup mark on the side.

When you are ready to make the milk, prepare the blender.

Blend for two minutes.

Meanwhile, place a strainer or nut (or okara) bag over a container that’s at least a quart.

Pour the almond milk through the strainer.

If you are using a strainer, press and scrape the almond meal with a spoon. If you are using a nut or okara bag, squeeze it tightly.

Remove as much milk from the meal as you can, then discard (read: compost, use for baking, etc.) the meal.

Pour the milk into a serving container that closes tightly enough that you can shake it. Add the optional ingredients if you’d like: salt, sweetener, and/or vanilla. I only use vanilla. Close the serving container and shake.

The only drawback of almond milk as opposed to soy is that it separates. I had to buy this plastic container that I could shake before serving instead of keeping it in my nice glass pitchers because it was too hard to shake it back together. Here’s what it looks like after sitting for a while. Just shake it before serving.

Other than the occasional use in bread baking, the only thing I really use any non-dairy milk for is cold breakfast cereal, which I eat most mornings, not because I love it (breakfast is my least favorite meal), but because I don’t function well enough before noon to make anything else. All bowls of cereal start out with a layer of Grape Nuts. Grape Nuts has been my favorite cereal since I was a child. I loved Grape Nuts and Brussels sprouts as a kid. If I could be guaranteed to have a kid as awesome as I was, I’d consider it!

Then I add a layer of some other hippyish cereal. Mark’s been eating hemp cereal. Once I read the advertising slogan, “Now with more twigs!” on a box of cereal I was eating. No sugary nightmares for me.

Next comes some sliced fruit and/or berries. Bananas and strawberries is a favorite.

To be enjoyed with a glass of orange juice and a book!

On Food and Cooking informs me that almond milk is the easiest-to-thicken nut milk, which has me thinking of other things to do with it. According to McGee, it makes a lovely pudding-type dish.

Did you notice the book stand in the photo above? I use it all the time.

It’s a Book Gem. When I’m traveling for work and eating many of my meals alone in restaurants, it’s my best friend. When Mark’s playing video games instead of eating dinner iwith me, it’s my best friend. When I’m on a plane or train, it’s my best friend. When I’m brushing my teeth, it’s my best friend. (I don’t waste a minute of reading time!) Basically any time you want to read hands-free, this thing is the tops. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where I can’t be bothered to hold my book open at any time, even when I’m just lazing around in my reading chair. In cooler months, I just prop the Book Gem up on my leg, but when it’s warmer and I’m bare-legged, it’s uncomfortable to do so, plus I get weird marks on my legs. I’ve therefore been eying up this Thai Book Rest for a long time now, thinking that in conjunction with my Book Gem, I’d be the most comfortable (and lazy) book reader in the world. However, it’s made of silk and even if silk were a vegan product, it wouldn’t be a practical one for a book rest in my opinion. And it’s $38, which I find a bit extravagant. I tossed around the idea of making myself something like this, but as I have mentioned here, I am really, really bad at sewing.

However, after a brainstorming session with my mom via email this week, I got it into my head I was going to try to make my own book pillow, and when it all went pears (as I fully expected it to do), I planned to say the heck with it and throw away $39 on this non-silk book seat I found. Lo and behold, however, I managed to make a book rest without screaming, without crying, without cussing, without kicking my sewing machine, and without needing to kill anyone. Without, even, going to that horrible hell-on-Earth Jo-Ann’s, as I happen to have a large fabric stash from countless other projects abandoned in frustration and a couple of bags of polyfill from I don’t know what, but there they were. So it was free! I’m so impressed with myself!

I haven’t had much of a chance to use it yet as I just finished it up at 1 am last night (it only took a couple of hours, though), however, I can tell you that Brachtune doesn’t think much of it. She thinks the only thing that should be on my lap is herself. I think it’s going to work out very well despite Brachtune’s disapproval. Now I need to make a waterproof version for the pool! I spent many hours floating around reading last summer and intend to do so in complete comfort this year!

And finally, I think telling Brachtune how beautiful she is a hundred times a day has finally gone to her head. Brachtune is so vain she probably thinks this post is about her.

I came home the other night and found her admiring herself in the mirror, and she didn’t even get up to come greet me; she just went right on staring at herself. Which is unusual because most cats won’t look at themselves in the mirror – and I’ve never seen her do it before. But if I were as pretty as she is, I’d stare at myself in the mirror all day too.

Brachtune’s so pretty, oh so pretty…vacant!


  1. Josiane Said,

    May 1, 2009 @ 10:40 pm

    Your book rest is great! That’s inspiring!
    I may try your technique for making almond milk: it would make for a little less cleaning than it does when I make it in my soymilk maker! Seriously, though, it would be interesting to try it and see how different it comes out.

  2. Ksenia Said,

    May 2, 2009 @ 2:02 am

    I think that I should invest in a good blender. I only have a hand-blender, so it’s hard to make things like almond milk =(

    The book stand is a good idea! I love too reading while I’m eating breakfast (although in my case breakfast is my favourite meal). The pity is that hardly ever I can ejoy a good book, because usually I read economics or any other subject outlines >.<

  3. Jain Said,

    May 2, 2009 @ 7:52 am

    Great post. I kept thinking it was over but it kept coming!

    Almond milk looks easy, I’ll try it. I wonder about other uses for the pulp. Thrown into any baked good? Dehydrated for crackers? Nuts are so expensive, wish I could find a source for cheap bulk quantities.

    Yes, I noticed the book stand in the photo above! Must have one. Looks like it would be handy to hold cookbooks, too. As for the book seat, I think I hate sewing even more than you and probably won’t go there.

    I laughed out loud at the Brachtune pics, very cute.

  4. Sarah Said,

    May 2, 2009 @ 8:33 am

    Been meaning to switch from soy milk (that stuff is pretty processed). Was toying with the idea of almond milk – it’s supposed to be pretty healthy for you – but was wondering how easy it was. Seems easy enough! Now I just have to price out the almonds to see if it’s financially reasonable!

  5. Courtney Said,

    May 2, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

    I use almond milk too, but have yet to make it myself. I always knew it was easy, but actually seeing you do it makes me totally embarrassed that I have been spending money to buy it all this time!

    I was totally going to comment on the book stand when I saw it in your photo before you started talking about it! I NEED one of those–it sounds so handy and useful, and would probably keep my books a lot cleaner from when I cook and eat while reading… :o)


  6. Katy Said,

    May 2, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

    I love making my own almond milk!

    Congrats on making your own book thingy! That’s some impressive crafty skills!

  7. Melissa Said,

    May 3, 2009 @ 4:02 pm

    Thank you so much for posting the about almond milk. I was just searching for recipes to make some, and then I opened your blog! Perfect.

    Have you tried it with any sweeteners? A few sites I checked out mentioned maple syrup or dates.

    Also, Brachtune is amazing.

  8. Meg Said,

    May 13, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

    Hey there,
    I tried making some almond milk but it came out decidedly watery… would this be just the nature of almond milk in general or did I not blend it long enough? I’m thinking my blender is a total wimp compared to yours so maybe will need to increase the blending time or mayhap try it in the food processor if you think that might be the culprit.

  9. renae Said,

    May 14, 2009 @ 8:32 am

    Meg, almond milk has a reputation for being a bit thin, although I make mine a little thicker by increasing the amount of almonds. You do want to make sure the almonds are very well ground, so you could try blending for longer or using the food processor, as well as using more almonds or less water.

  10. Kim Said,

    July 3, 2009 @ 2:27 pm

    It’s great that you are making fresh almond milk, but you’re skipping a very important step. After you soak the almonds, drain them and rinse them until the water runs clear. You should never re-use water from soaking nuts since they contain the enzyme inhibitors you’re trying to get rid of in the first place. Plus, the soaking water turns brown – not very appetizing. Instead, soak your almonds in a smaller amount of water – you won’t need 4 cups of water for 1 c. of almonds – drain, rinse, and put the almonds into the blender with fresh water. Try keeping a jug of purified water in the fridge so you’ll always have cold water on hand. Another suggestion – get a nut milk bag for straining. They are much easier and less time consuming. In addition, you will get a lot more liquid out of your almond pulp.

  11. Edwin Hollemon Said,

    June 7, 2013 @ 5:48 am

    Because almonds are naturally very nutritious, almond milk doesn’t need to be fortified. You can make almond milk yourself at home, and it will have the same nutritional value as the almond milk available commercially.

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