These days, it doesn’t take much effort to go through a considerable amount of almond milk each week. Between smoothies, lattes, breakfast bowls, and even treats, non-dairy milks are a true necessity in the superfood kitchen. And even with all the fun new milk products on the market (like oat milk or cashew milk), almond milk still remains one of the most versatile varieties of them all.
So with all this almond milk action, why bother to make your own? The truth is, homemade almond milk has many advantages to store-bought. With your homemade batch, you’ll enjoy a much cleaner milk product (free of all the thickeners, gums, and preservatives used in commercial varieties your body could likely use less of); you can adjust the flavor based on your own preferences; it’s a little less expensive; and one sip and you’ll quickly agree… homemade milk genuinely tastes so much better!
Our secret to making best-ever almond milk is adding sunflower lecithin to the blend. Lecithin is a natural emulsifier—a substance that helps bond water with fat. Although we’re not adding any oil to the milk, the natural fat in the almonds binds a little better to the water when lecithin is added, resulting in a creamier, smoother milk. Lecithin also has a very mild flavor that adds a subtle touch of complexity to beverages ... a welcome addition in almond milk (which can sometimes taste watery on its own).
Although lecithin is found in several foods (such as soy, egg yolks, and peanuts), we like using sunflower lecithin powder to avoid allergens and GMO’s. What’s more, sunflower lecithin may even be considered a health booster as an excellent source of choline—a nutrient that can improve energy metabolism, heart health, overall cognition, and more.
Even if you don’t use lecithin, you can still make a very good almond milk, but we recommend trying this healthy upgrade to make your staple beverage the very best it can be!
WATCH HOW WE MAKE OUR HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK:
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ALMOND MILK PREP TIPS:
Aside from soaking the nuts, almond milk takes just minutes to make. Here’s how to improve your next batch.
Use raw almonds. Roasted and salted varieties won’t work well here, as they’ll change the flavor quite dramatically.
Soak and rinse well. We recommend soaking the nuts for 8-12 hours in enough water to cover them by an inch or so. This softens the nuts for blending, helps to reduce phytic acid (which can diminish mineral absorption in the body), and increases the nut's digestive enzyme content.
Try sunflower lecithin. Sunflower lecithin will greatly improve the texture and taste of your milk, and add many health benefits at the same time.
Strain thoroughly, but gently. A nylon nutmilk bag (the easiest variety to clean) is needed to strain out excess pulp from the milk. Just be sure to squeeze the milk out gently, else you’ll begin to press some of the pulp through the fibers of the bag into the milk as well. Feeling fancy? You can clean out the bag and do a second round of straining, if you wish, to get the milk extra-smooth.
Save the pulp. While you won’t need the almond pulp for your almond milk, that doesn’t mean it needs to go to waste. You can enrich your next batch of cookies or muffins with this high-fiber byproduct, add it to smoothies, or dry it out inside a low temperature oven and use it like breadcrumbs on pasta and salads. Refrigerated, wet almond pulp will last up to 5 days.
ALMOND MILK VARIATIONS:
For Sweet Milk: Add a small amount of your favorite natural sweetener while blending the almonds. Sweeteners like pitted dates, maple syrup, and liquid stevia are a few of our favorites to use.
For Flavored Milk: Almond milk can be made into all kinds of special flavors. While blending, add teaspoon of vanilla extract, a couple pinches of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, or even a tablespoon of cacao powder (along with your sweetener of choice), and instantly transform your basic almond milk into a real treat.
For Upgraded Drinking Milk: Prefer drinking your almond milk a la mode? Replace the water with coconut water while blending your almond milk for a lightly sweetened and full-flavored milk that’s delicious enjoyed by the glassful.
For Super-Fast Milk (AKA The “Cheat” Method): No time to soak nuts or strain milk? No problem. In the place of ¾ cup of almonds, use 3 tablespoons almond butter instead ... then simply blend and enjoy!