I used to loooove store-bought almond milk. So when I found out I had Lyme disease and was put on a diet that excluded cow milk I thought, hey, store-bought almond milk is great instead! Right?
But soon I found out that store-bought nut milk is packed full of all sorts of nasties. It’s hardly made of almonds at all! The thickeners are especially hard on your gut, and I was trying to stay away from inflammatory ingredients to help my leaky gut heal.
So I started making my own homemade almond milk!
When I discovered how easy it was, I decided I was never going to buy almond milk from the store again. I haven’t missed it at all!
Almond milk is great for you, but only if it isn’t loaded with other junk. Why not try making your own and see how easy (and healthy!) it is? Read on for why and how to make almond milk!
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Dairy- why you should try cutting it out
If you’re looking into how to make almond milk, it might be because you are trying to decrease your consumption of dairy. And that’s a great thing! There are a couple reasons you should think about reducing the dairy in your diet:
- Dairy can be inflammatory
- Conventional dairy farming practices
- Wasteful packaging
Let’s take a look at these!
Did you know that dairy can be inflammatory? It can be tough on your gut and cause inflammation. When it goes unchecked, inflammation can lead to chronic illness and can cause you to develop allergies.
That’s a great reason to try cutting out all cheese, cow milk, cottage cheese, and dairy ice cream (sorry) Try it for a couple weeks and see if you feel better!
There are a few other good reasons to reduce your consumption of dairy too. Read on!
Dairy farming practices
Dairy production, at least the conventional kind, is kind of a scary story. You can look it up (there are documentaries), but my opinion is that animals raised for milk are treated even more cruelly and have worse lives than animals raised for meat.
Another reason to try cutting out dairy is that it’s hard to find dairy products that don’t include plastic.
Sure, in some states you can buy raw milk that comes in a half-gallon glass jar. That’s a great option! Most people don’t have raw cow milk readily available, though, and they have to stick with the plastic gallon jugs or half-gallon paperboard cartons.
These cartons are lined with polyethylene, a type of plastic. Having any food or drink touching plastic isn’t a good idea- no matter how “safe” the plastic is supposed to be, it’s still made using a chemical process that can leach toxins into your food.
Both gallon and half-gallon jugs are supposed to be recyclable, but the vast majority end up rotting in a landfill. (source)
And it’s pretty much impossible to go to the store and buy cottage cheese, sour cream, cheese, ice cream, heavy cream, or any other dairy product without purchasing plastic as well!
If you’re trying to reduce your waste and live healthier, cutting out dairy is definitely an option you should look into.
Replacing cow milk is a fantastic place to start!
But look out what you replace it with.
Store bought almond milk ingredients
So what’s wrong with store-bought almond milk? A lot.
Almond milk ingredients are mostly artificial. To start, nearly every brand you’ll find has thickeners- including xanthan gum, guar gum, or carrageenan. These thickeners are indigestible and can cause gut problems, especially if you have pre-existing digestion issues.
Carrageenan, which is made from seaweed and used as a vegan thickener, is especially notorious for causing gastrointestinal problems.
Many brands also have sugar, and way too much of it. If you buy sweetened or chocolate almond milk, you might get almost as much sugar in one drink as you’d find in a can of coke!
Most almond milks only contain tiny amounts of almonds- some are less than 2% almonds! You’d never see any of the health benefits you’d get from eating a handful of almonds.
If you’re lucky enough to find a quality almond milk (such as Malk) with simple ingredients, that isn’t loaded with thickeners, preservatives, or sugar, and contains more than just a couple almonds, you can expect to pay a TON for it.
I know I can’t afford to regularly buy quality store-bought nut milk!
Thankfully, I learned how to make almond milk so that I don’t have to pay loads to enjoy it every day.
Almond milk benefits
First off, a little almond milking history for you: (please don’t take this seriously)
Why drink almond milk? Some people choose it because of allergies, wanting to cut out animal products, or trying to be healthier.
But now you know that you shouldn’t opt for store-bought almond milk.
But still, almond milk (with, you know, just almonds) actually has loads of benefits!
First, it’s low in calories. You can have a bowl of cereal or a latte without worrying about taking in more calories than you’re burning, especially if you’re trying to lose weight!
Almond milk is also very low in sugar. Cow milk, on the other hands, is packed with carbs that are mostly sugar. (source) Once you try cutting it out for a while, you’ll notice how sweet it is!
Almond milk is perfect for anyone who’s vegan or has dairy allergies. It’s super easy to switch out cow milk for almond milk, and you can use it exactly the same way in any recipe that calls for milk!
Almonds are fantastic for your health too. They’re a good source of vitamin E and healthy unsaturated fats, along with copper, magnesium, and protein. They’re good for your heart, and some studies suggest that they can help lower cholesterol. (source)
Finally, almond milk is super cheap (like, pennies per pint!) if you make it yourself. You don’t even need to buy a nut milk bag for this recipe!
With all these benefits, it’s a no-brainer that you should learn how to make almond milk at home!
Homemade almond milk recipe
It’s super easy to make homemade almond milk, but I’ve found a couple tricks to help you out.
First off, the almonds. It’s a good idea to soak any nuts or seeds you eat. This is because they have phytic acid, which is sort of a defense mechanism. Soaking reduces the phytic acid and makes seeds and nuts better for your digestion, teeth, and stomach.
To soak your almonds, just put them in a jar, cover them with water, and add salt. Soak your almonds for at least 18 hours, and then strain and rinse well. You can then dehydrate and roast the nuts if you choose, or just turn them into almond milk!
If you don’t have time to soak the nuts overnight, try to soak them for at least a couple hours before making almond milk.
Then, just take about a cup of almonds (or any combination of nuts- I like mixing almonds with pecans and/or macadamia nuts!) and two cups of water. Blend at a high speed for about 30 seconds. The nuts should be in very small pieces.
I use this blender and love it- it’s not expensive but it’s perfect for making nut milk!
Then fill the blender up with water (5 – 6 cups total) and let it sit in the fridge overnight. This step isn’t necessary, but I think that this way lets even more flavor soak into the milk!
Either way, blend it up again and pour it all into a bowl -preferably one with a spout for easy pouring- covered with a flour sack. (Flour sacks are wayyy easier to clean than cheesecloth or a nut milk bag!)
Then just lift up the fabric and squeeze out the rest of the liquid!
Pour your milk into a jar, refrigerate, and enjoy!
I like using this kind of jar for easy access.
Try to use your milk within a week- if it goes longer than that, it might get a sour taste. Smell it first if it’s been in the fridge more than a week.
Make sure to keep the leftover almond meal too! You can use it in recipes in place of almond flour, or as part of a topping for cobbler! I usually stick the almond meal in the freezer and keep adding to it each time I make almond milk.
Printable almond milk recipe
Homemade almond milk
A super simple, healthy way to DIY your own almond milk! Including all the yumminess and none of the nasty thickeners or additives found in store-bought almond milk.
- 1 cup almonds
- 6 cups water
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
- Sweetener (optional)
Put nuts and 2 cups of water in a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.
Add remaining 4 cups of water to the blender.
Put blender in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight (optional)
Blend again for 10-15 seconds, then strain with a flour sack.
Mix in sweetener or vanilla, if desired.
For sweetener, try a tablespoon of maple syrup or 5-15 drops of stevia.
Refrigerate your almond milk and use it within a week.
Quick almond milk hack
What if you need to make almond milk and use it immediately?
There’s a hack for that!
Just put a couple tablespoons of almond butter in the blender instead of whole almonds and blend away! Making almond milk this way might be a little grainy, but you don’t need to strain it and you can make it in seconds!
Recipes with almond milk
My favorite way to use almond milk is in my coffee alternative recipe! This recipe is a healthy, caffeine-free substitute to your morning joe, and since I’ve started drinking it, I’ve been able to cut way back on caffeine and coffee.
I used to be a coffee addict but I really don’t miss it with this substitute!
Some of my other favorite recipes with almond milk include smoothies, overnight oats, cauliflower mashed “potatoes”, and for gravy when I’m craving biscuits and gravy!
Almond milk is useful in tons of recipes and super easy to make yourself! Try it out and see how great it is!
What do you enjoy using almond milk for? Let me know in the comments below!
I hope you enjoy your homemade almond milk!