I love buying almond milk, but I hate how it can be so expensive and most brands have added preservatives. I had no idea that making my own milk would be so easy and so delicious!
You can make this milk from any type of nut you like. I first made it with almonds and then another batch with hazelnuts. Both were equally delicious. I have some raw pistachios left over from when I made a batch of granola, so I know what type of milk my next batch will be!
I got the recipe for this basic nut milk recipe from Bon Appetit magazine, but I didn’t add as much agave as they suggested because I prefer unsweetened nut milk. You can make it as sweet as you like. I also chose to add vanilla, but feel free to omit it if you prefer the plain nut milk, or you could try adding cocoa power for chocolate milk.
Basic Homemade Nut Milk
You will need:
- 1 cup raw nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, cashews, or peanuts…go nuts!)
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 2-4 teaspoons agave syrup (optional)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Place nuts in a large bowl and add water to cover by 2”. Let stand at least 12 hours or up to 2 days (this is key for silky, nongritty results; the longer the nuts soak, the smoother the milk will be). You can either leave the nuts out on the counter to soak or put them in the refrigerator if you plan to let them soak more than 12 hours.
Drain nuts; discard soaking liquid. Purée nuts, agave, salt, and vanilla extract (if using) and 4 cups very hot water (but not boiling; hot water yields creamier milk) in a blender on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes.
Strain the milk through a fine-mesh sieve or strainer into a bowl or glass jar, pressing down on the solids to get as much liquid out as possible. Thin nut milk with water as necessary to reach desired consistency (I like it creamy and didn’t need to add any additional water). Transfer to airtight container and chill until cold.
**Another variation: I had a ton of almond meal that I needed to use up, so I soaked 1/2 cup of it in water for 12 hours and then followed the recipe the from there. I̶ ̶ d̶i̶d̶n̶’̶t̶ ̶ d̶i̶s̶c̶a̶r̶d̶ ̶ t̶h̶e̶ ̶ s̶o̶a̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶l̶i̶q̶u̶i̶d̶,̶ ̶ w̶h̶i̶c̶h̶ ̶I̶ ̶ t̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶t̶ ̶ w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶m̶a̶k̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶m̶i̶l̶k̶ ̶t̶a̶s̶t̶e̶ ̶a̶ ̶ l̶i̶t̶t̶l̶e̶ ̶ f̶u̶n̶k̶y̶,̶ ̶ b̶u̶t̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶ t̶u̶r̶n̶e̶d̶ ̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶ t̶a̶s̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶ a̶b̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶a̶m̶e̶ ̶a̶s̶ ̶ w̶h̶e̶n̶ ̶I̶ ̶u̶s̶e̶d̶ ̶ t̶h̶e̶ ̶ w̶h̶o̶l̶e̶ ̶ n̶u̶t̶s̶.̶ Update: I wouldn’t recommend keeping the soaking liquid at the risk of toxins, such as phytic acid, that may be present in the liquid. So if you go the almond meal route, try to drain it as best as possible through your strainer before adding it to your blender with fresh hot water. See comments below for more on soaking your nuts. (Thanks Rick!)
The real trick to this is the tools. Having a good, high powered blender really helps to make smooth milk. If you have a regular blender, that works too, just start on a low speed and gradually turn it all the way up. Also, you really need a fine-mesh sieve or strainer (or you could use a nut-mlik bag, if you happen to have one, in which case you probably aren’t reading this because you already make your own nut milk). I didn’t have a mesh strainer so I first tried putting a coffee filter in a funnel. That doesn’t work. Don’t try that at home. Then I tried a little mesh tea infuser–voila! However, this took a long time as I had to pour the milk through the tiny infuser in batches. The next day I went to the dollar store and bought a fine mesh strainer for future use. Best investment of my life.
No matter how well you strain your milk, there will still be a little bit of sediment left in it. Just shake or stir before using.
This milk keeps surprisingly well without any sort of preservatives. I kept mine refrigerated in an airtight mason jar and it was still fresh even after a week. The oils in nuts are what make them go rancid, and since pureeing the nuts releases these oils, I would guess you should use the milk up within 7-10 days. Or freeze your leftover milk to use for future baking!
The Bon Appetit recipe says to discard the pulp, but I just couldn’t bring myself to throw away all that nutty goodness. So, I decided to try and turn it into crackers. BEST IDEA EVER. Save the pulp—recipe to come next time!