Almond milk is easy & fun to make. Drink it by the glassful, or add it to recipes as a one to one replacement for dairy milk. Vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free.
One thing that’s super handy about being vegan is how easy it is to make staples when you run out.
Back when I drank dairy milk, if I ran out, I didn’t have a lactating cow in the backyard. But now, if my cereal bowl needs filling but my milk supply runneth empty, it’s not hard to make my own.
Some of the easiest non-dairy milks to make are nut-based. It’s just a matter of blending nuts with water, straining, and drinking. (If you desire, you can add a few other ingredients to round out the flavor, but more on that in a bit.)
Almond milk is beautifully neutral. It is a delicious addition that doesn’t take over, but it is still totally drinkable by the glassful.
Depending on how much water you add, it can be really thick & creamy like a whole milk, or thinner & more gulpable like a skim milk. I like to stick somewhere around the middle, like a 2%.
How to make almond milk
Pour almonds into a bowl, and cover them in water. Then move them to the refrigerator to soak several hours or overnight. This helps the almonds to soften for easier blending.
Once you’re ready to make the milk, drain them.
Put the following into a blender:
- Soaked raw almonds
- Pinch of salt
- Agave syrup
If you’d like a bit of vanilla flavor, add a splash of vanilla extract as well.
(I prefer to leave the vanilla out of mine, because then the almond milk can be used for savory applications as well as sweet. Vanilla almond milk isn’t recommended in vegan quiche, for example. If you’re making a sweet recipe and do want the vanilla flavor, you can add it then.)
Blend a minute or two, until you don’t hear the sounds of solids cracking up in the blender.
Then use a clean spoon to give it a taste. Add additional sweetener if you prefer.
Put a nut milk bag into a large glass jar or pitcher with the bag folded over the sides.
Slowly pour the milk from the blender through the bag and into the jar. Once it’s three quarters full, use your hands to squeeze out the remaining milk, leaving behind the almond pulp.
If there’s still more milk in the blender, put the bag into a second jar. Pour the remaining milk from the blender through the nut milk bag, and into the jar. Gently squeeze the bag to get out any remaining milk.
If a jar isn’t convenient or the mouth of the jar isn’t wide enough for your hands, pour the almond milk through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and into a mixing bowl instead.
After all of the milk is squeezed out, you will have almond pulp leftover. You can freeze the pulp, use it in smoothies, or add it to baked goods.
Do I have to use a sweetener?
No, you don’t have to use sweetener. There’s not much agave syrup in this, because I only like a little bit of sweetness. However, if you’d prefer none, you can leave it out.
Or if you don’t have access to agave syrup, you can blend the almond milk with one or two pitted dates instead.
Conversely, if you prefer a sweeter milk, add more agave syrup or pitted dates, and then blend.
What if I want a creamier milk?
If you’d like this milk to be thicker & creamier, use less water when blending. You can use as little as 3 cups. If you like a thick creamer for your coffee, this is a good way to go.
If you’d prefer a thinner milk, use more water. You can use as much as 6 cups.
What if I don’t have a nut milk bag?
Nut milk bags are convenient because they can easily hold the pulp afterwards. And they stay in place in a jar when pouring liquid through it.
However, you can use a cheesecloth, a thin linen kitchen towel, or even a clean cotton t-shirt in a pinch.
How long does homemade almond milk last?
This milk lasts about 5 days in the refrigerator. You will notice some separation as it sits. So give it a shake or stir before using.
How to use almond milk
Use almond milk in any recipe that calls for dairy or non-dairy milk.
It is a perfect addition to smoothies:
- Cherry smoothie
- Mango banana smoothie
- Blueberry banana smoothie
- Peanut butter banana smoothie
- Chocolate peanut butter cup smoothie
Homemade almond milk
- Pour raw almonds into a bowl. Cover them in water. Then put them into the refrigerator to soak for several hours or overnight. (Short on time? Pour hot water over them instead, and let them soak for about a half an hour.) Then drain the almonds.
- Pour the soaked raw almonds into a blender along with four cups of water, a pinch of salt, and agave syrup. Blend for a minute or two, until the loud sounds of almonds cracking can't be heard.
- Use a clean spoon to taste the almond milk. Add more sweetener to taste.
- Put a nut milk bag into a large jar or pitcher. Fold the edges of the bag over the sides to secure it. Then pour the almond milk through the nut milk bag and into the jar or pitcher. Once it's three quarters full, use your hands to squeeze any additional milk from the bag into the jar. If there is still more milk left in the blender, move the bag to a second jar or pitcher, and pour the rest through it. Squeeze the bag to get all of the milk from the almonds.
- Keep the covered jar or pitcher in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Up to a teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 or 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
- A dash of cinnamon
Content, recipe, and photos updated July 2020. Originally posted July 2011.