Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

When I was little I was always so curious as to why my grandparents couldn’t eat a lot of foods. I just thought you ate what you liked and that was that. Going out to dinner with my grandparents went something like this, “So, Grandma isn’t eating meat tonight? So we can’t have burgers? Wait. She already had meat this week? Now she’s not eating dairy? It gave her indigestion last week?!”

And on and on…

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

FLASH FORWARD a few decades and I see what my grandma meant about the dairy. Oof. Getting older has meant there are certain things I have to start avoiding and milk is one of those things. Fortunately a little bit in my coffee doesn’t slay me (thank GOD as I CANNOT put another milk in my coffee for the life of me).  But I haven’t really been able to eat a bowl of cereal with milk for a few years. Ice cream? Whew! Through the years I’ve grown an aversion to the taste of milk. Perhaps it’s motherhood…and having to clean it up off the floor ALL THE TIME. Or maybe it’s trauma from cleaning out that sippy cup that was left in my car for a month? I digress…

I’ve been making my own Vanilla Almond Milk for the past month and am LOVING IT. It’s been a really great/easy addition to my Meal Prep for the week. I make one batch-sometimes two each week.  And if I have a little leftover, I add it to Cooper’s smoothies; it’s a great base. It’s light and slightly sweet. Sometimes I just drink it plain if I wanna little something something. I love it.

And we’re off!

ALMONDS! You could do this to any nut. I’m a fan of cashew milk too.

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

Soak them. Overnight! I grab a huge mason jar and put the almonds in with enough water to cover them and then some.

ABS= Always Be Soaking. That’s like the golden rule of being a hippie/vegan.

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

Now we get our lab going. It feels like science. Weird Science. (Rando Shutterbean Factoid: Weird Science was one of my favorite movies growing up. Anthony Michael Hall ALL THE WAY!).

We are going to use dates and vanilla extract to sweeten our milk. I soak the pitted dates for about 5 minutes in hot water to loosen them up a bit. No added sugar. If you want, you can add maple syrup or agave. Sometimes people don’t like dates…

I use filtered water because my tap water is no good.

I suppose we should talk about the elephant in the room…NUT MILK BAG. Get yourself one! If you aren’t ready to make a purchase because you do not yet know of the beauty of having nut milk in your fridge, you can use a fine mesh sieve. But then you can’t break the ice at your next dinner party with your nut milk bag… It’s up to you.

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

We start our blend! Add the rinsed/drained almonds and dates into your blender.

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

Top with vanilla. I use about 1 1/2 teaspoons for each batch. You could definitely use a vanilla bean pod. I’ve done it but I think it’s kind of a waste. If we’re straining the milk, you’re going to strain out all of the beans and those suckers are costly.

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

And we blend! It doesn’t take long at all. Just want to make sure there’s no big chunks.

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

Now we strain.

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

Nut milk bag in action. Word from the wise!

Make sure you tie the bag closed before you do any squeezing.

vanillaalmondmilk 510

Leftover almond meat. You can do stuff with the leftovers.

Can you make silly putty out of it? That’s what I want to know.

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

Now we pour it into a mason jar or a pitcher.

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

LABEL!  I use my favorite Sharpie. VIVA Chisel Tip!

It’s the key to my good (humblebrag) handwriting.

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

TADA.

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

We made vanilla almond milk. It wasn’t that hard, RIGHT?!

REAL LIFE APPLICATION: In my Killer Granola for breakfast. I’ve been enjoying this for the past two weeks.

Rut? Who is in a food rut? NOT ME.

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

If you love making your own milks too, you’ll probably dig:

Raw Chocolate Milk

Strawberry Malted Milkshake

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk

makes about 3 1/2 cups

  • 1 cup almonds, soaked in water overnight
  • 2-3 pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 liter filtered water

Place almonds in a large jar or bowl and cover with enough water to cover them. Soak them overnight (8-12 hours).

When ready to make milk, put pitted dates into a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit for 5 minutes and discard water. Rinse and drain almonds and place into the blender along with the dates, vanilla and filtered water. Blend until well combined, about 1 minute.

Place nut milk bag over a large bowl. Slowly pour the blended milk into the bag and tie the top. Lift bag over the bowl and lightly squeeze the bottom of the bag to express the milk. Transfer filtered vanilla almond milk to a jar/pitcher and refrigerate.  Milk keeps up to one week if stored properly.

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53 Comments

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  • Tarika
    April 2, 2014

    I make this pretty often, and yes, turning 30 does change a lot of eating habits! But how long does your homemade almond milk last? I can’t make mine last through the week!

  • Love this! Mine usually goes off in a few days which is why I go for store-bought sometimes (I know, I know..), but I’m going to get back into it!

  • I think this would be great even if you’re not avoiding dairy – almonds are so good for you why wouldn’t you try this once in a while? I love almonds and vanilla so am definitely going to give it a go.

    • Tracy
      April 2, 2014

      awesome! I hope you make it!

  • this is brilliant, because we do not have vanilla almond milk in Spain, we do have almond milk but not with vanilla and I was always jealous of everyone going nuts over the vanilla almond kind…
    I also have a problem with regular milk and I have also tried to put other nut milks in my coffee and I have to say it’s one of the worst things one can experience in the morning… Now I’m using lactose free milk which heats up well and my coffee tastes delicious.

  • I make my own almond milk, too. Once I did it I couldn’t believe how easy it actually was. I always make mine plain because that how my husband prefers it, but I’ll bet it’s wonderful with your addition of dates and vanilla!

  • April 2, 2014

    I am in LOVE with homemade almond milk right now! Also, I just made granola with the pulp and it works beautifully, so just another way to get rid of that stuff : )

    • Sharyn
      April 22, 2014

      Please share how you made the granola!

  • Jena
    April 2, 2014

    What happens if you soak the almonds longer than overnight? (Mom to two little ones–plans to do stuff like this often get started but postponed.)

    • Tracy
      April 2, 2014

      I think it should be fine…just don’t go over a day! And if you do, put it in the fridge?

  • April 2, 2014

    I can’t handle dairy either..haven’t been able to for awhile. I always have a couple jugs of almond milk on hand. I didn’t realize it was so easy to make at home though–so great to know! Thanks!

    • Tracy
      April 2, 2014

      You’re gonna love it! You will also be stoked when you start customizing your milk. It’s great with cinnamon in it!

  • Sue
    April 2, 2014

    I only have a stick blender or a food processor. Do you know if either of those will work for this?

    • Tracy
      April 2, 2014

      food processor should work. you’ll just have to process it for a bit longer.

  • April 2, 2014

    I love that you have a favorite sharpie. A girl after my own heart!

    • Tracy
      April 2, 2014

      yeah girl!

  • April 2, 2014

    hi Tracy Shutterbean! Thank you so much for putting up these healthy recipes. YOU ROCK. I started a vegan diet recently after watching the documentary “vegucated” on netflix. I love your website and its nice to know you put up vegan/vegetarian recipes and you always have a good funny story.. THANK YOU!!!!!!!! (oprah voice)
    I’m off to purchase a nutbag!

  • Mariana
    April 2, 2014

    I made it once and hated it, I didn’t add the dates so that could have been the problem. It was good with coffee, tho…

    I tried to change to almond milk because it has less carbs than cow’s milk and since I count carbs (type 1 diabetes =P) I thought it would be better, but my doctors told me to switch back to cow’s milk because of the nutrients and all but I might give it another try

    • Tracy
      April 2, 2014

      I’m enjoying it in tea this week. I’m gonna have to check out what the nutritional facts would be. I am not really drinking it for the nutrients…it’s more as a way to add liquid to things like smoothies & cereal.

  • Holly
    April 2, 2014

    I’ve been making almond milk for the past year after finding out how easy it is. It is also better for you since it has none of those stabilizers like the store-bought varieties. Did you know that adding just a pinch of salt to the soaking water will remove more of the phytic acid from the almonds to make them more digestible? I also like to stir in a bit of vanilla paste to the finished product instead of adding it to the blender to keep those vanilla flecks from getting filtered out.

    • Tracy
      April 2, 2014

      Good to know! I will add salt in my next batch.

    • Michelle
      April 21, 2014

      About adding a pinch of salt — should it be sea salt, table salt, or any salt ?
      Thanks. Going to try it this week.

      • Tracy
        April 21, 2014

        I would try sea salt! The more natural, the better!

  • Nutbag. Teehee!

  • Heidi
    April 2, 2014

    I love homemade almond milk. I usually just blend the soaking water with the almonds though… should I be changing out for fresh water?

    • Tracy
      April 2, 2014

      I like to change it out. The water can have a bitterness with the stuff leaching out of the skins.

  • April 2, 2014

    Thanks for sharing this – it looks too easy and delicious not to try! All this talk about nut bags reminds me of that Upright Citizens Brigade sketch where the people are sitting in a circle singing John Denver songs but replacing all the lyrics with the word ‘nutsack’.

    • Tracy
      April 2, 2014

      HAHA. OMG. YES.

  • This is in my weekly meal prep too! I use my food dehydrator to dry out the almond pulp, then process it in the food processor until its like almond meal/flour. It keeps for up to 6mths in the fridge and you can add it to baked goods, pancakes, smoothies etc. Love it! Sometimes when I get too much almond meal, I switch to cashew milk for a bit, since you use the whole “nut” (ha!) in the process.

  • I can completely relate to your aversion to any milk other than cow’s milk in your coffee. I can’t do it either. It just totally changes the taste! I want to make this recipe very much, but I have a crappy little magic bullet and I don’t think it will cut it. One day, when I have a good blender (hopefully soon!) I will definitely give this a try.

    • Tracy
      April 2, 2014

      It definitely changes the taste. It’s not how I like my coffee! If you do small batches, your magic bullet should be able to work. I’m gonna be giving away a blender at the end of the month. Stay tuned!

  • YES! Doing this, thank you for the push. I must get a nut milk bag, it’s gotta be easier than using tea towels. That shit is messy.
    Heidi x
    ps some people don’t like dates. I don’t understand those people.

  • April 3, 2014

    Love that the milk is slightly sweeten with dates, instead of added sugar.

  • Amanda
    April 3, 2014

    Do you just use painter’s tape for your labels?

    • Tracy
      April 3, 2014

      Scotch makes their own “washi” tape. It works really well. It’s less sticky than painter’s tape so I can get it off the jar so easily. But painter’s tape would work too!

  • April 3, 2014

    I’ve always thought making your own nut milks was too much like hard work! WRONG! Thanks Tracy – i consider myself inspired (now where’s my nut bag? Fnar!)

  • Alexis
    April 3, 2014

    Tracy – love that you and I are both 12 year olds. I can not say the word nut milk bag without stopping to laugh, don’t even get me started on trying to say it to my husband.
    I buy super fancy coffee from an ultra hip coffee place in town, I use a french press and then I go and bastardize it by adding almond milk to it since I cannot have dairy anymore. I do add a splash of half and half, it doesn’t kill me thankfully:)

  • April 3, 2014

    Love ABS! I feel like I always have beans or nuts or something in a mason jar soaking!

  • April 3, 2014

    I’m reluctantly joining the no-cow-milk group of peeps, and happily trying out your recipe : ) Will probably need to replace dates with some honey though ;)
    Thank you for sharing!

  • fusilliamy
    April 3, 2014

    I’m just here for the NUT bag and the almond MEAT.

    I’ve become obsessed with almond milk lately. It took me 2 times of throwing out old milk to realize I’m not drinking it as much/at all anymore. I can’t wait to get my nut soak on this weekend.

    • Tracy
      April 3, 2014

      nut meat

  • Karin
    April 3, 2014

    Tracy, do you use raw or roasty-toasty almonds?

    • Tracy
      April 3, 2014

      raw almonds :)

  • Bárbara
    April 21, 2014

    Do you happen to know the nutrition value of homemade almond milk?!

    • Tracy
      April 21, 2014

      I don’t, but I’m pretty sure we could figure it out with a google search!

  • Renee Barbera
    April 21, 2014

    Do I add just enough water to cover…and then some once in the blender? I can’t seem to find how much water is added once drained!

  • Renee Barbera
    April 21, 2014

    Never mind lol…I found the actual recipe!

  • Annie
    May 1, 2014

    Quick question, have you tried different amounts of water to blend with the soaked almonds? I’m seeing different amounts with different recipes. It seems to be all over the place! From 2.5 cups to 5 for 1 cup of almonds. What do you think? Thanks :)

    • Tracy
      May 2, 2014

      I am happy with the thickness/taste with the liter of water. If you go with less water, then it’s going to be thicker.

      • Annie
        May 2, 2014

        Ah, got it. I’m giving it a try right now! Perfect timing :) Thank you!!

      • Annie
        May 2, 2014

        mine came out great at 3 cups of filtered water, but I think my vanilla extract may have expired because it tasted funny :/ I think I’m going to have to drink this batch myself and make another for my daughter who is dairy free.

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