Making processed food substitutes can help you save a ton of money on your whole foods budget. I make my own Easiest Coconut Milk, Powdered Egg Replacer, Nut and Seed Butters, Coconut Butter, and Vegetable Broth Mix.
In that same vein, today I’m sharing How to Make Homemade Almond Milk.
It really is the Easiest Almond Milk Recipe Ever. Seriously.
My “cooking philosophy” has evolved over the years. Health-wise, but also “simplicity-wise.”
Maybe you can relate.
I used to, but not to excess, mind you :-), pour over cookbooks (especially the dessert section – cough-cough), dreaming about everything I could make. Then I’d try a fancy recipe like Stuffed Chicken Breasts or Candy Cane Shaped Cookies Dipped in Chocolate.
Well, it’s not that this busy momma doesn’t still like to play in the kitchen (I think I told you all about my 2 days of attempting to make a dairy-free, sugar-free caramel so I could make mock Samoa Girl Scout Cookies), but times have changed.
These days I am forever looking for recipes and tips that will get good yummy food on my table with as little effort and time as possible. (Cause I already am
stressed out to the max way too busy :-).)
So….today’s recipe is an example of one way I’ve managed to save a ton of time in the kitchen, while still making something good.
First of all, why is almond milk popular?
- Dairy allergies are on the increase.
- Lactose intolerance is on the increase.
- People living a vegan lifestyle want alternatives to dairy for cooking, baking and drinking.
Why make your own almond milk?
- The obvious – save money.
- Save time and money by not running out the store because you’ve run out of milk (or a dairy-free alternative). (See the price of gas going up – oh, my heart be still. Every trip you can save is money in the bank!)
- Life a more sustainable lifestyle – less packaging and less waste. Even if they ever figure out a way to recycle those aseptic cartons, you can bet that it will be a super labor intensive.
We love almond milk – and ever since my oldest was diagnosed with a life threatening allergy to dairy (at 3 months of age), I’ve had to find ways to make allergy-free substitutes for drinking and for baking. But this method makes it super easy.
Now, to be fair, this method won’t match the super-creamy store-bought, aseptic packed almond milk you are used to. But it gets the job done lickety split. And it’s pretty good.
Just yesterday both of my sons asked for some. They said it’s not quite as good as my Easiest Coconut Milk, but good nonetheless. And in the future, I’ll try my hand at making smoother “more perfect” almond milk and I’ll share that with you as well.
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- 1 cup almonds (soaked and dehydrated, if possible. Please also read Is There Engine Fuel on Your Almonds?)
- 4 cups water (filtered of course. See How to Make Your Water Safe)
- Sweetener to taste (I use 1-2 scoops [1/32 tsp each] NuNaturals stevia extract - see How to Use Stevia)
- ½ tsp vanilla (optional; to taste)
- Dash salt (I love Real Salt)
- Other optional flavorings: Chocolate or carob, cinnamon - the sky's the limit!
- Place all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend 'til smooth. In my Vitamix, I blend for approximately 2-3 minutes. This machine it totally worth it!
- Strain milk through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, if desired. I don't bother - I'm just too busy :-)!
- Pour and enjoy.
1. If you don’t strain the milk, you can either stir the solids into the mix as you wish, or use the solids for another purpose.
2. I know…it sounds counter-intuitive to dry the almond before making the milk. But I soak and dry about 38 cups of almonds whenever I soak and dry them. Then I store them and keep them on hand for snacking, making almond butter, or making almond milk, or almond meal…you get the picture. This way I don’t have to time my almond milk making around soaking. The nuts are always ready.to.go :)!
3. If you are doing a food plan like Trim Healthy Mama, a more acceptable proportion is 1/2 cup almonds per 4 cups of water. You can thicken the resultant milk with glucomannan if desired.
4. These tiny stainless measuring spoons make measuring stevia super easy. The second smallest spoon is 1/32 of a tsp which is “one scoop”‘s worth.
You can use this method for making other nut-based milks as well – I personally haven’t made these (mainly since my son is allergic to all nuts except almond and macadamia – and those macadamias are super pricey!) but why not try your hand at:
- walnut milk
- pecan milk
- hazelnut milk
- cashew milk
How Much Can You Save?
And just so you can feel super good about yourself and your new frugal tip to help with your budget, here are the real numbers: Of course, this all depends upon where you buy it and your cost for almonds.
Almond Milk bought in bulk, buying 4 32 oz containers at Amazon, costs $2.43 for 4 cups.
Homemade Almond Milk (using a price of $4 per pound for almonds) costs $1.27 for 4 cups (plus your water cost, of course.) Savings: 48% That’s not as amazing of a savings amount compared to my Homemade Coconut Milk, or Homemade Rice Milk, but saving almost 50% is nothing to sneeze at.
(Note: Although I would like to encourage you to make your own almond milk, I will say that to be fair, the Green Polka Dot Box has almond milk super cheap. Just $1.78 for 32 oz. And you don’t need to buy a
boatload case at a time :-)! I’ve been shopping with them since December 2011 and have been thrilled with their prices and service.)
So there you have it – motivated to save time and money (and be environmentally conscious at the same time)? I hope so!
And just so you know, all this doesn’t mean that I’ve given up on that caramel recipe yet either :-).
More “Quick and Easy” Pantry Staples:
What’s your favorite way to use almond milk?