Nom Nom Paleo

Vanilla Almond Milk

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Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

A while back, one of our old college pals posed an interesting question: What would the ’90s version of me think of my modern-day cave-person incarnation? Without hesitation, I blurted out, “She would’ve hated the current me.”

It’s the truth. Despite having spent my college years among the tie-dyed masses at Berkeley, ’90s-Me would ridicule my new hobbies: home-brewing kombucha, collecting bones in the freezer for broth, and soaking almonds overnight to make dairy-free milk. To top it off, the eye-rolling, Doc Martens-wearing ’90s-Me would mock any near-40-year old who still sports pigtails. Seriously: when did I become this person?

Thankfully, the 2014 version of me fully embraces my midlife crisis transformation. She would tell ’90s-Me to go barefoot, stop eating gut-irritating foods, turn off the TV, and make some almond milk already.

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Have you ever made your own almond milk? A frosty glass of this homemade stuff totally hits the spot—particularly for those of us who are dairy-abstainers or lactose-intolerant. It’s so lumpin’ delicious that I don’t care if activating my almonds makes me an easy target. Call me an aging hippie—I don’t care.

Making your own almond milk is super simple, too. As long as you remember to soak your almonds for 12 to 18 hours, you can blitz a batch of homemade almond milk in about 5 minutes. Plus, squeezing nut bags relieves a lot of stress. (Heh, heh.)

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

There are tons of recipes for homemade almond milk on the Interwebs, like this one, this one, this one, and this one. I know I’m not reinventing the wheel with this recipe, but I wanted to share my own method for whipping up a satisfyingly creamy, nutty, vanilla-y bottle of almond milk. I don’t add any sweeteners to it (mostly ’cause this old lady doesn’t need to swig cloyingly sweet drinks like I did in the ’90s). Confession: Once upon a time, I chose to drink Zima at college parties. Don’t hate.

Let’s make some almond milk together!

Here’s what to gather to make 3 cups of almond milk:

  • 1 cup organic raw almonds
  • 2½ cups water, plus extra for soaking
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Here’s what you do:

Measure out 1 cup of almonds…

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and rinse well.

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Transfer the almonds to a large pitcher or mason jar…

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and add at least twice the volume of water (use filtered water if your tap water is icky).

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Cover with a towel and let the nuts soak at room temperature for at least 12 hours (but no longer than 24 hours).

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

When the almonds are ready, dump them in a colander…

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and rinse well with several changes of water.

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

 Your almonds should be delightfully plump at this point. 

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Add the almonds and 2½ cups of water to a high speed blender. I recommend using a powerful blender, folks—otherwise, you risk damaging your appliance and spoiling your milk.

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Add the vanilla…

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and a pinch of salt.

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Blend on high until the nuts are pulverized.

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Grab your nut milk bag (these days, mine can always be found hanging from my cabinet knob)…

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and place it in a pitcher or large measuring cup.

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Pour in the blended almond milk…

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and seal the top of the bag. Slowly squeeze out the milk from the top to the bottom.

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Be patient—the more you wring out, the more milk you’ll have to enjoy!

Transfer the strained milk into a spill-proof bottle and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

[Full disclosure: I’ve been a fan of Vitamix for years. It was my first big appliance splurge (purchased at Costco) back when smoothies were all the rage. My trusty blender has outlived my low-fat vegetarian phase and has continued with me as I turned full-on Paleo. I used it to make everything from Green Chicken to Sriracha. After spotting my trusty, well-worn Vitamix on this blog and in my cookbook, the good folks at Vitamix shipped me a brand-spankin’ new Vitamix S30 blender to test out. It’s pretty darn cool: compact, powerful, and easy-to-clean. Who knows? Maybe one of my lucky readers will get one of these in a future giveaway…] 

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com


Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013)