This homemade vanilla almond milk is so easy to make and much better tasting than the watered-down stuff that costs an arm and a leg at the store!
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.
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.)
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 vanilla almond milk together!
Makes 3 cups
- 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…
…and rinse well.
Transfer the almonds to a large pitcher or mason jar…
…and add at least twice the volume of water (use filtered water if your tap water is icky).
Cover with a towel and let the nuts soak at room temperature for at least 12 hours (but no longer than 24 hours).
When the almonds are ready, dump them in a colander…
…and rinse well with several changes of water.
Your almonds should be delightfully plump at this point.
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.
Add the vanilla…
…and a pinch of salt.
Blend on high until the nuts are pulverized.
Grab your nut milk bag (these days, mine can always be found hanging from my cabinet knob)…
…and place it in a pitcher or large measuring cup.
Pour in the blended almond milk…
…and seal the top of the bag. Slowly squeeze out the milk from the top to the bottom.
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.
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. If you can afford it, a Vitamix is a good long-term investment.
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).
PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD
Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 2½ cups water plus extra for soaking the almonds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- Rinse and drain the almonds. Transfer the almonds to a large pitcher or mason jar and add at least twice the volume of water (use filtered water if your tap water is icky).
- Cover with a towel and let the nuts soak at room temperature for at least 12 hours (but no longer than 24 hours).
- When the almonds are ready, dump them in a colander and rinse well with several changes of water.
- Add the almonds, 2½ cups of water, vanilla, and salt to a high powered blender. Blitz on high until the almonds are pulverized.
- Grab a nut milk bag and place it in a pitcher or large measuring cup. Pour in the blended almond milk and seal the top of the bag. Slowly squeeze out the milk from the top to the bottom.
- Transfer the strained milk into a spill-proof bottle and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.