Unlike cow or goat milk, almond milk is easy to make with just a few simple and inexpensive steps at home. No animals necessary! But, why almond milk? It is dairy-free and made from raw almonds and water. It's rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium and phosphorus, and is a wonderful substitute for cow or goat milk, without the saturated fat and cholesterol. Homemade almond milk tastes incredible because it's much creamier and fresher than store-bought varieties.
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The process of making almond milk involves soaking raw almonds in purified water overnight, then puréeing them in the blender. If you don't have a blender, using a food processor is an acceptable substitute; however, I prefer the consistency of the milk when processed in the blender as it's silkier.
Here is an easy-breezy recipe to whip up fresh almond milk in your kitchen. If I can do it in my Manhattan apartment, you can surely do it in your home, too!
Makes 2 cups
1 cup whole, raw almonds
2 cups purified water, plus more for soaking almonds
1 tsp honey or maple syrup, optional
1. Place almonds in a large bowl and soak them by covering with an inch of water. The almonds will absorb water, so you will see them expand. Let the almonds soak uncovered overnight; the longer you soak them, the creamier your milk will be.
2. Drain the almonds and rinse them under cool water. They should now be soft. Place the soaked almonds in a blender with two cups of water. Blend on high speed for about two to three minutes, or until blended into a fine meal consistency. The water will be opaque and white.
3. Line a strainer with a cheesecloth and strain the almonds over a large bowl. Then, pour the almond-milk mixture back into the strainer. Using your hands, press all the almond milk from the almond meal.
4. Taste the milk, and add honey or maple syrup if desired. Place in the refrigerator in a sealed glass container for up to two days.
You don't have to feel bad about wasting any food, because the leftover almond meal can be used in other recipes; I love using the pulp in my gluten-free smoothies, baked breads, scones, oatmeal, and granola recipes for an easy protein boost.
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Amie Valpone, an NYC-based personal chef & culinary nutritionist, decided to adopt a "clean" lifestyle after she was diagnosed with a host of serious health issues. Now, she spends her days curating The Healthy Apple, a blog that discusses everything from food intolerance tests to her favorite go-to meals — all gluten-free, of course.