Homemade almond milk is easier than you think. Here are 3 techniques to learn how to make almond milk that’s clean, flavorful and creamy.
Making almond milk at home is incredibly satisfying and delicious. It gives you that feeling of accomplishment similar to making homemade jam or bread, and it also tastes infinitely better than anything you can buy at the store.
Homemade plant milk is creamy, wholesome and 100% natural – no artificial flavors or stabilizers. Today I’m teaching you how to make a creamy + delicious plant-based milk 3 different ways, plus an infinite number of ways to use your new fav beverage.
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I love how accessible and convenient it’s become to make your own almond milk. Whether you blend it, use an Almond Cow, or the help of Joi, it’s so easy to make quality nut milk with clean, simple ingredients. I make plant-based milk weekly at my house and can’t wait for you to start this tradition too.
Let’s break down the three ways I make this milk. Then, you decide which version is best for you.
How to Make Homemade Almond Milk in Blender— #1
Nothing tastes better than this version… in my opinion. It’s incredibly easy, but a little more time consuming than the other methods. Yet once you taste it, you’ll see what I mean. To make nut milk in a blender, you’ll need the follow supplies:
- fine mesh sieve
- cheese cloth or nut milk bag
- mason jars or glass containers with lids
- raw almonds
- filtered water
- sea salt
- vanilla extract
- pure maple syrup or preferred sweetener
While your recipe can be as simple as raw almonds and water, I like to use lemon juice, filtered water, sea salt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract as well (and I think you’ll agree).
Soak the Almonds
Step 1: Measure 1 cup of raw almonds into a bowl or mason jar with space.
Step 2: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top.
Step 3: Fill up with filtered water.
Step 4: Cover and allow to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. The almonds will really absorb a lot of water, so be sure to use enough water! Add more if needed. The water will become a little cloudy – totally normal. You’ll notice that the almonds have swelled and absorbed a lot of water.
Drain and Rinse Almonds
Step 1: Pour the soaked almonds into a sieve.
Step 2: Drain and rinse almonds well. I like to use a sieve to make it easy and not lose any almonds down the drain.
Step 3: Place almonds in a blender.
Step 4: Add 3 cups filtered water
Blend and Strain the Almonds
Step 1: Blend almonds to a creamy consistency (the fewer chunks, the better).
Step 2: Set a sieve on top of a container. Put cheesecloth on top of that. Pour the nut milk through the cheesecloth bag (or a nut sack) with a container underneath to catch the liquid.
Step 3: Squeeze the cheesecloth to allow the liquid to seep through into the container.
If you’re not familiar with straining options, here’s a photo to help you identify them. You can buy nut milk sacks online through Amazon or at most cooking stores like Sur La Table and William Sonoma. I strongly suggest a fine mesh sleeve as well— I use this at least once a week to rinse and drain beans or when making almond milk.
Straining the blender contents isn’t 100% necessary, yet it does remove the pulp which can make the milk taste gritty. Some people prefer to use the milk unstrained, so it’s totally up to you! I def prefer straining it– it’s incredible and will make you never want to buy store-bought nut milk again.
Flavors and Sweeteners
You can enjoy your homemade milk just as it is: pure almonds and water. Or you can add a little love to take it to a whole new level. I like to do a lil’ sea salt and vanilla extract as well as maple syrup. My kids are much happier drinking it when I add these flavors and natural sweeteners.
Step 1: Add a pinch of sea salt to the milk (you can do this while blending or afterwards)
Step 2: One teaspoon of vanilla extract is a great flavor additive.
Step 3: One-two teaspoons of pure maple syrup adds a smooth sweet taste. You can also use honey, agave or a simple syrup if you prefer. I love maple syrup for the rich taste and and nutrients it provides.
Step 4: Pouring through a funnel is sometimes the easiest way to not spill.
How to Make Almond Milk with Almond Cow— #2
When the Almond Cow first came out, I was like: can it really be worth the cost?! The answer is yes… and no. Almond Cow is a milking machine that can blend plant milk in minutes. This machine costs $245, yet can make 5 cups of milk using 1 cup of raw almonds (yet the less water you use the creamier it gets).
Even though it has almond in its name, the Almond Cow can also make oat, coconut, cashew, hemp, walnut… pretty much any other plant-based beverage I could ever want. It’s pretty genius.
Since I’m an Almond Cow affiliate, you can save $25 off your purchase with code SimpleGreenSmoothies at checkout.
Yet for the quick and easy method the Almond Cow provides, the final product isn’t as good as the blender method above. Using a cheesecloth allows you to squeeze out all the healthy fats to create a creamy almond milk. The Almond Cow “rushes” the process and makes a less flavorful, frothy version of nut milk. Yet clean up is SO much easier and the entire process is quick—which is why I have an Almond Cow. Days when I just don’t have the time to squeeze a cheesecloth and wash more dishes— this is how I make milk.
The whole process from start to clean up took less than 5 minutes, and the recipe I followed was simple and straight forward. The milk was foamy + easy for me to customize how I wanted it with adding dates, maple syrup, etc.
Pro Tip: When using the Almond Cow, I strongly suggest soaking the nuts overnight to get them creamier.
Get $25 off your order with Almond Cow w/ code “simplegreensmoothies”
Joi Nutbase for DIY Almond Milk— #3
Joi Nutbase has taken almonds and blended them into a paste. This paste is 100% almond— nothing else. Plus, they are using the entire nut (so also zero-waste), and it has a shelf life of 18 months… with no additives what-so-ever. To make 1 cup of almond milk, just add 1 tablespoon of Almond Joi paste to 1 cup of filtered water, and blend for 30 seconds. That’s literally it!
Tip: To up the creaminess, add 2 tablespoons of Joi to 1 cup of filtered water.
Even after settling, this milk kept its frothy top. It tasted super creamy, and was a little less dry than the Almond Cow’s version. Fun fact: 27 cups of almond milk can be made from 1 container of Joi, retailing for $19.99. That’s less than $1 per cup! 1 cup of this milk is 4 grams of protein as well— woot, woot!
Try Joi Nutbase 10% off w/ code “simplegreensmoothies”
How to Store Homemade Milk
No matter which of the three methods above you choose, you’ll be way happier than most store bought milk. Homemade almond milk doesn’t have any shelf stabilizers, which means it won’t stay “fresh” as long. I suggest:
- Store in a clean, glass container with a lid. Mason jars as well as carafes work great.
- Refrigerate for up to 4 days. The almonds and water will separate in the fridge, so give it a good shake before using.
Waste-Free Homemade Almond Milk
When using the Almond Cow or a blender, you’ll have leftover almond pulp. You don’t have to throw it away! This can be dried and used in granola, added to a smoothie for extra fiber, put in oatmeal, or as a yogurt topping. This creates a zero waste product!
DIY Almond Milk vs Store Bought
You might wonder why I like making my own nut milk when there are SO many store bought varieties available today… and that’s a great question! I make my own for 2 reasons: cost and ingredients.
Cost: I broke down the cost of making my own milk, even with the investment of the Almond Cow, and found it was cheaper to make my own than to buy the cleanest store brand (my fav brand is Elmhurst). Yet that doesn’t mean I only make my own milk. When in a pinch, I will buy Elmhurst (it’s great, just a lil’ pricey). I did a Best Almond Milk Brands blog post where I blind taste tested a variety of brands so you can see what I consider to be the best ones (and why).
Ingredients: Making your own almond milk guarantees the cleanest, freshest result, which is why I love doing it. You know exactly what is in it! I think using a blender is the best way to go, yet an Almond Cow is a great runner up. And I love having Joi on hand when in a pinch to make my own quickly. And when none of those options are gonna happen, I’ll head to the store and buy it.
Soak almonds in filtered water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for at least 8 hours. Drain, then add soaked almonds to blender with 3 cups of water. Blend for several minutes, until smooth. Using a nut milk bag (or cheese cloth/tea towel) strain the ‘milk’ into a pitcher. Once the blender is emptied into the milk bag, squeeze as much liquid out of the almond pulp as you can. If you want your milk sweetened, add a bit of maple syrup to the finished product (or add in a date or 2 during the blending step).
I recommend soaking almonds for at least 8 hours, or overnight for almond milk. If you’re soaking them overnight, place them in the fridge to ensure they stay fresh while soaking. If you need to make a quick batch of almond milk, you can soak in steaming water for 30 minutes to speed up the process. The almonds won’t be quite as soft, yet will still work fine for the milk.
No need to use a nut milk bag to enjoy homemade almond milk. You can use a clean tea towel or cheese cloth just as easily.
How to Use Almond Milk in Recipes
Now that you know how to make it, how will you use this deliciously fresh beverage? I’ve got a few ideas to get you started:
- Almond Milk Smoothie
- Pineapple Banana Smoothie
- Homemade Hot Chocolate
- Chocolate Protein Shake
- Cinnamon Date Smoothie
- Almond Butter n’ Jelly Smoothie
- Almond Smoothie
- Warm Almond Milk
In tasty dishes:
You can pretty much swap in plant-based milk anywhere you use regular milk, baked goods or otherwise. It makes a deliciously creamy smoothie as well.
More Homemade Milk Recipes
I’ve learned how to make all kinds of dairy-free milks since I have preferences on which kind to use depending on the recipe. Here’s my list of homemade milks:
Rate + review this recipe once you’ve tried it; I can’t wait to hear how yours turns out!
How to Make Almond Milk
- 1 cup raw almonds organic if possible
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- pinch sea salt
- 1-2 tsp maple syrup optional
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Place 1 cup of almonds in a medium bowl. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top and completely cover almonds with filtered water. Soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. The almonds will really absorb a lot of water, so be sure to use enough water! Add more if needed.
- Pour the soaked almonds into a sieve. Drain and rinse well. Place almonds in blender with 3 cups water.
- Blend on high speed for several minutes until thick and smooth. There will be quite a bit of almond pulp mixed in with the milk.
- Set a sieve on top of a bowl with a cheese cloth over the sieve. Pour the almond milk through the cheesecloth + sieve into the bowl, catching as much liquid as possible. Squeeze the cheesecloth tightly to allow the liquid to completely seep through into the container.
- Mix in sea salt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract (if adding) to the separated milk.
- Transfer the milk to a quart size jar or glass bottle with a lid. For a thinner milk, add a little more filtered water to make it an even quart. Refrigerate immediately. The milk is best consumed within the first 2-3 days and must be kept refrigerated. It will separate as it sits. It is fine to drink and use, simply shake the bottle and the milk will be creamy again.
- Be sure to sanitize all of your bowls, utensils, blender, jar and lids before making the milk to prevent any contamination.
- If you want to keep some of the pulp in your milk, simply strain through a sieve alone. Alternately you can use a nut milk bag instead of cheese cloth.
- If the milk smells “off” best not to drink it in case it has spoiled. Drink or use within 3-4 days, but sometimes it will keep for a week.
- Add other flavors or spices, as desired. Example – cinnamon and a little almond extract.
- Honey or date syrup can be used in place of the maple syrup. You can also place a date in the blender with the soaked almonds and blend together.
- Do not freeze the almond milk, the texture will be affected.
- This method can be used on a variety of nuts and seeds!