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Go Nuts! Homemade Almond Milk

Photo: Grace Elkus

Almond milk is high in nutrients, low in carbs and calories but the best part of all, you can now make it at home. Who knew the popular milk alternative would be so easy to make yourself and taste even better than the store bought brands? The creamy texture and nutty flavor shines in our homemade recipe. 

Almond milk continues to gain popularity as a delicious alternative to its dairy counterpart, and here at Cooking Light, we can’t help but get in on the trend. We’re drawn to its many health benefits—low in calories and carbs, no cholesterol or saturated fat—and we’ve fallen in love with its wonderfully nutty flavor.

We previously shared the results of our almond milk taste test, and while we stand behind these store-bought favorites, it’s possible the best one yet wasn’t eligible for inclusion: our delightfully simple homemade version!

I’ve been an almond milk drinker for the past couple of years, and until recently, I never thought to make it myself. But eliminating those hard-to-pronounce additives and tightening the ingredient list from 6+ to 2 has me hooked. The result is remarkable—a heavenly, slightly foamy “milk” that looks almost identical to store-bought but tastes infinitely better. Closing my eyes and taking a sip, I find myself savoring the natural flavor of almonds in a creamy, refreshing new form, and the unpleasant aftertaste I now notice in store-bought is eliminated entirely. If you’re still not convinced, take a look at the ingredient list below. It’s. So. Easy.

Homemade Almond Milk
Ingredients:
1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
2 cups water (plus more for soaking)
Optional: vanilla extract or honey for sweetening

Kitchen Tools:
Blender
Cheesecloth or nut bag

Yield: About 2 cups
Serving size: 1 cup

Step 1: Place almonds in a medium-sized bowl. Pour in enough water to completely cover the almonds and let them soak overnight. (If you’re in a rush, use boiled water to help plump the almonds more quickly).

Step 2: In the morning, your almonds should be almost doubled in size, lighter in color, and softer to the touch.  Drain the almonds and rinse them under cold water. Place in a blender (I used a single-serve smoothie blender and it worked just fine) with 2 cups water and blend for 1-2 minutes, until a smooth, cream-colored liquid forms.

Step 3: Using a cheesecloth placed over a fine mesh strainer (the strainer alone will leave you with too much pulp), strain the almond milk into a bowl or glass measuring cup. Take a sip and smile—you’ve just made almond milk! Try it with cereal, in a smoothie, or poured into your morning cup of coffee.

If you prefer sweetened or flavored almond milk, blend the almonds with half a vanilla bean or add a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract or honey to the finished product. I also experimented with strawberry almond milk (added frozen strawberries and a bit more water to the blender) and chocolate (added melted dark chocolate chips to the milk). My conclusion? You really can’t go wrong.