Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk
With the increase of dairy allergies and intolerances, the need for milk alternatives has become increasingly common. Fortunately, there are now so many alternatives available on the market from almond milk to hemp milk, oat milk, soy milk, rice milk, and coconut milk. With that being said, like most pre-made foods, most store-bought milk alternatives have many additives and preservatives that make them less than ideal choices.
Fortunately, making almond milk (or any nut milk) at home is so simple and tastes so much better than the store bought versions! There are two great things about making your own almond milk; 1) you can sweeten or flavour it naturally any way you like, and 2) there is no waste as you can use the leftover almond pulp to make so delicious treats, be it cookies, crackers, smoothies or veggie burgers!
Although making homemade almond milk, is really simple and takes very little time to prepare, there is one very important step in the process that must not be skipped! Soaking your nuts is the first, essential and integral step to making any nut milk. Nuts, as well as seeds, beans and lentils, contain an “anti-nutrient” called phytic acid. Phytic acid is a natural substance found in certain foods which binds to nutrients in the food. From a dietary perspective, untreated phytic acid can combine with minerals in the intestinal tract and block their absorption – which is not good for nutrition business! In order to deactivate the phytic acid present it these foods, it is important to soak them well (6-8 hours) before consuming them. Soaking raw nuts before eating them helps to release the enzyme-inhibiting phytic acid in the skin, making them much easier to digest and helps to increase the bioavalibility of their nutrients.
When it comes to making nut milk, soaking the nuts before using them not only helps to eliminate the phytic acid, but also helps to ensure that the nuts can be more easily be blended, allowing for a creamier tasting milk.
Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk
This recipe can be used as a base to create any flavour of almond milk. You could easily add cocoa powder for a chocolate flavour, or a mixture of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger for a fun chai spice!
- Prep Time: 8 hours
- Total Time: 8 hours
- Yield: 4 cups 1x
- Category: Drinks
- Cuisine: Paleo, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 4 cups filtered water + more for soaking
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
- Optional: 1 tsp. raw honey or 2 dates
- Place almonds in a bowl and cover completely with water. Allow almonds to soak for 8-10 hours or overnight.
- Once almonds have soaked, there will be a murky film in the water, this is the phytic acid.
- Strain almonds and discard the water. Rinse the almonds well with cold water.
- Place rinsed almonds in a blender and add 4 cups of fresh filtered water.
- Blend nuts and water on high for 1-2 minutes until almond are broken down into a fine meal.
- Using a nut milk bag or very fine sieve, strain the nut mixture into a large bowl or container.
- Set the almond pulp aside, allow to dry, and store for a later use.
- Pour the nut milk back into the blender and add the vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt.
- If you want to sweeten your almond milk, add the honey or dates now.
- Blend for another minute until well combined.
- Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Serve cold and enjoy!