Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk // shutterbean

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk

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


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.

  • Tarika

    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!

    • Janet

      Am I the only one who removes the skins after soaking? I blend with a vitamix 1 – 2 minutes and there’s nothing left to discard.
      I sometimes blend coconut ‘meat’ separately with water and mix the two milks after for almond coconut milk. This I do have to strain and save the coconut for baking.
      Even though it may separate after a few days, doesn’t mean it’s gone bad. , just shaking it restores it. Tastes better than anything you can buy.

  • Helen @ the crispy crouton

    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.

  • Natalia (basmatilime.blogspot.com)

    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.

  • Maryea {happy healthy mama}

    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!

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

    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 : )

  • Jena

    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

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

  • Alaina {Fabtastic Eats}

    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

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

  • Sue

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

    • Tracy

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

  • stephanie @ iamafoodblog

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

  • Christine

    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

    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

      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

    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

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

    • Michelle

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

  • Heidi

    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

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

  • katie

    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’.

  • Erica@ Abbie and Erica's Adventures

    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.

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

    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

      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!

  • Heidi - Apples Under My Bed

    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.

  • Shutterbug

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

  • Amanda

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

    • Tracy

      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!

  • Lia : Dizzy Loves Icy

    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

    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:)

  • Tracy | Pale Yellow

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

  • whilehewasout

    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

    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.

  • Karin

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

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  • Bárbara

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

    • Tracy

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

  • Renee Barbera

    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

    Never mind lol…I found the actual recipe!

  • Annie

    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

      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

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

      • Annie

        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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  • Byron H. Elton

    Another tip … soak a huge batch of almonds and then put them in the freezer. Use them as needed and the milk is nice a cold when you make it.

  • Madeline

    I recommend So Delicious coconut milk coffee creamer for coffee if you want to go totally dairy-free. It has a great texture and flavor!

  • Charlotte

    How long will it last refrigerated and can I freeze the milk x

  • Katie

    I’m an almond milk groupie too! Once you go homemade you really can’t go back. It’s the bomb with cereal and it makes your coffee/tea lattes taste like costs $5 at the cafe down the block (but WAY better!) And you know they aren’t making homemade almond milk like you are

    I’m a huge fan of nut milks. I’m starting my food blog this week and will be posting my first post about almond milk! I’m also a huge fan of pecan milk – which I love to make into an egg nog alternative during the holidays.

    Love your blog!

  • Me @ love the kitchen

    thanks so much for the tips I just found out that I’m lactose intolerant and I don’t like soy milk so I’m going to try almond milk

    • Tracy

      Awesome! We just tried Oat milk and have loved it too. Another great option

  • Sherill

    Awesome photographs and awesome almond milk!!

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  • Leana

    I just finished making mine and it turned out watery. How do I fix that?? Did I soak to long?? or use to much water??

    • Tracy

      How watery are we talking about? It’s supposed to be like milk. Is it like skim milk? You might have used too much water? Did you follow the directions?

  • Regina

    I was wondering do you make this with raw or roasted almond? I’m thinking raw but just double checking. Also do you have a post for that oats milk? Thanks so very much!

  • Ana

    How long can the milk last in the fridge? So what’s it’s fridge life? I made some and left town for about 5 days and it’s still in my fridge and want to know if I should still drink it.

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  • Irma

    Dear, Tracy
    Thank you very much for this recipe, I came across with it 2 weeks ago and as I changed the whole diet recently as my husband is lactose intolerant. I’ve made this vanilla amond milk last night, it is so delicious and amazing,we can’t get enough of it. I’m so excited to try Turmeric latte with this milk, I hope it would be great as the milk itself.

  • Tim

    Be careful of soaking too great an amount of almonds in a sealed glass container as the swelling of the almonds can cause your container to explode!
    I speak from experience!

    I have been making almond milk for years and don’t quite understand why all the recipes call for straining the solids out of the blended mix.
    I leave them in.
    Isn’t throwing the resultant solids out only tossing away the most nutritious component?

  • Kris

    Hi when you soak the almonds do you place it in the fridge as well? Will be trying out your recipe soon:)

  • Holly

    If you are in a pinch for time you can use two tablespoons of raw almond butter with two to four cups of milk, pinch salt and sweetener of your choice (if using). Used a regular fine mesh sieve.

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