Easy Almond Milk
We just realized that one of our kitchen staples, homemade almond milk, wasn’t fully posted on our blog. Technically we had a post, THREE years ago (!) but it wasn’t extremely comprehensive. Here’s how to make some almond milk for yourself!
Obviously you can buy it, but I like making my own when I need a LOT or if I’m out of it, which is often because it usually comes in such small containers. Also, you save a lot on packaging & shipping by making it yourself.
What you’ll need:
- almonds, about .5-1.5 cups depending on how much you want to make
- a blender
- a mesh bag (like we used in our chai concentrate the other day)
- a funnel
- a large bowl, preferably with a spout
- bottles/jars with tops for storage (we use old pasta sauce jars, very useful things)
How to make it:
- Pour the almonds into the large bowl, then cover with water. Leave them to soak for a couple of hours, ideally 8 hours if you have a less powerful blender. The longer you soak them, the creamier your outcome. I usually go with 1.5 cups almonds, which makes enough milk for a week’s worth in our house and fits nicely in our blender. I don’t think it needs to be exact, just check the consistency as you go to make it how you want/need it.
- Drain the water and rinse the almonds. Pour them into a blender with enough water to cover, then about a cup or two more. Blend on high for a few minutes, or until the almonds are completely pulverized and it’s creamy and smooth.
- In your large bowl, place the mesh bag in it, folding it over the sides of the bowl so that you don’t make a mess. Pour the milk into the bag, lift the sides of it and squeeze the liquid out into the bowl. Do this until all that’s left in the bag is dried almond pulp.*
- Pour the strained liquid into your storage jars, using a funnel if necessary. Repeat the straining until everything in your blender is gone.
- Pour 1/4 tsp vanilla and a dash of cinnamon into each jar, then stir to combine. If you’d like sweetened milk, add in 1 tbsp maple syrup or other liquid sweetener and give it a shake. (I like to add these after straining so you get the full flavor.)
*If you’re interested in not wasting a bit of this process, save the almond pulp! You can either use it again to make more milk (great for baking) or use it in baked goods such as pie crusts, crackers, or in batters. Just store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two weeks. (I haven’t tried storing it longer than that, though I’m sure you could.)
This milk lasts about 5-7 days in the fridge - use it in cereal, baking, curries, hot chai, or to make creamy smoothies! I’ll be using it tomorrow for my birthday cake, which might grace the blog ;)
If you’re looking for more non-dairy milk recipes, we have a REALLY comprehensive guide in the Spring 2013 issue of Chickpea Mag - there are recipes to make use of the almond pulp, how to make make milk out of pretty much any nut/seed/grain, best techniques, and best add-ins for each type. Check it out here in print or digitally.
This is one of those things I’ve been dying to try making for years, but never got around to it because it seemed hard. On the contrary, it only took about an hour out of my weekend and made the house smell amazing - and now I’ve made enough to last me a few weeks! So if you’re interested in drinking hot, sweet, spicy, complex chai, try this out and save yourself years (!) of just thinking about it.
- 1 tsp each ground cardamom, nutmeg, black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp whole cloves
- 1-inch piece of ginger root, sliced into medallions
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 vanilla bean pod, sliced open
- 3 pieces star anise
- 3-4 tablespoons whole-leaf black tea leaves - we used Earl Grey Creme c/o The Tea Company
- 3/4 cup light molasses, maple syrup, or sugar (such as sugar in the raw)
- 4 cups boxed coconut milk (found in the refrigerated section) - we also tried canned coconut milk but found it too fatty for this drink. Almond milk would also work in this recipe. Our favorite attempt was vanilla coconut milk c/o So Delicious.
Other equipment you’ll need: a fine-mesh bag and a mesh strainer, a funnel if you’re working with small openings, also a large glass bottle with a top for storage.
If you don’t care so much about the residue of powdered spices, a mesh strainer will work just fine by itself. Use whole spices, alternatively.
Get a stronger tea by using whole spices instead of ground, and/or let the mixture steep on the stove longer.
- Pour all of the ingredients into a pot and turn the heat to medium. Stir to combine and let sit for about 40 minutes, partially covered, stirring every so often.
- Put your mesh bag (or the mesh strainer, if you’ve used whole spices instead of ground) into a large bowl and pour the tea in. Let it strain through, then pour into your storage bottle. I did mine in batches so it was easier to pour.
- When you’re ready to make drinks, fill your cup(s) up halfway, then the rest with a strongly brewed straight-up hot black tea. Top with a dusting of cinnamon and drink it up!
- If you’re using this later on, after it’s been refrigerated, just shake it a bunch of times before you pour it out - sometimes it’s even nice to use the metal mesh strainer again, just as you pour it into glasses, to strain out any lumps.
These ingredients make about 4 cups of chai “concentrate”, but you could easily just keep adding more coconut milk as you empty the pot and reuse the spices a few times. I ended up making about 4 batches total, because I love chai so much. It’s a really warming drink that is so comforting as it keeps snowing here every few days. Hope you enjoy it!