I eliminated dairy from my diet (what a challenge it was in the beginning!) and began using coconut milk (Trader Joe's Unsweetened) and almond milk as a replacement for dairy.
It hadn't even crossed my mind to make my own almond milk until I went on a weekend getaway with friends and one of my eco-conscious friends was toting around a jar full of homemade almond milk. A light bulb turned on in my head and I realized that I could be saving a few bucks if I made my own, too. So I returned from our weekend trip, purchased a huge bag of almonds from Costco, and dove into making almond milk. It is surprisingly easy to make and tastes great!
We use almond milk most often on cereal and in smoothies, but I'm happy to report that I've even used almond milk (with a splash of lemon) as a replacement for buttermilk in recipes (the results were delicious).
You can soak the almonds in water overnight for added nutritional benefit if you want. I never soak the almonds because I tend to 'need it now' when I'm making a new batch. I don't add a sweetener, but in the future, I might add either flax or chia seeds to it in order to boost the nutritional benefit. Don't add these if you plan on straining the milk. I don't strain my almond milk because you lose the fiber (and the seeds!) if you strain it.
I store almond milk in a canning jar in the fridge and give it a shake before pouring, as it will separate (see above).
Here's a quick and easy recipe for almond milk:
Almond Milk Recipe
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup raw almonds (you can also use cashews)
- Flax or chia seeds (2-3 tablespoons)
- Sweetener (i.e. honey, vanilla, agave, stevia, sugar) to taste (optional)
- Place all ingredients into the blender in the order listed and secure lid
- If using a Vitamix, select Variable 1
- Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to high (if using a Vitamix, increase to Variable 10, then to High)
- Blend for about 1-2 minutes (longer for standard blenders) until a desired consistency is reached
If you want to strain away sediment, place a thin tea towel, cloth napkin or cheesecloth over a large bowl. Pour almond milk slowly into sieve and allow it to filter through. To get the last little bit through, pick up the corners of the cloth and squeeze the milk through.