Homemade Almond Milk

This homemade almond milk, made with just almonds and water, is a dairy-free milk alternative that’s easy to make from scratch. No sweeteners or preservatives or gums. And you can flavor it however you like. Here’s how to make it at home.

A glass half-filled with homemade almond milk with a serving knife resting in front of it.

For the freshest, purest taste, buy almonds in bulk and make your own almond milk. It requires soaking the almonds overnight or while you are at work, after which you can have almond milk in just minutes. [Editor’s Note: Ever wondered whether it’s actually cheaper to make your own almond milk vs store bought? The answer is switching to DIY almond milk isn’t going to help you retire early. But it’s unspeakably more creamy, fresh, and satisfying than the packaged stuff riddled with preservatives and gums. And that’s sorta priceless.]–Georgia Pellegrini

How Long Does Homemade Almond Milk Last?

You can easily keep your almond milk in the fridge for up to 3 days—provided it doesn’t disappear before then! You may need to shake it to recombine prior to pouring.

Almond Milk

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 15 M
  • 6 H, 15 M
  • Makes about 5 cups
5/5 - 4 reviews
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Special Equipment: Cheesecloth

Ingredients


Directions

Dump the almonds in a large bowl and add enough cold filtered water to cover.

Let the almonds soak on the counter or in the fridge for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight.

Drain the almonds, discarding the soaking liquid.

Toss the drained almonds in a blender or Vitamix and add the 5 cups cold filtered water. Blend until the mixture is white and frothy and very nearly smooth, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Rinse your cheesecloth under cool running water and then squeeze out the excess water. Fold the cheesecloth so it’s several layers thick and place it in a fine-mesh strainer. Place the strainer over a bowl or pitcher and pour the almond mixture through the cheesecloth a little at a time, pressing on the solids with the back of a wooden spoon or ladle.

Tester tip: If the cloth becomes heaping full of almond meal, gather the cheesecloth at the edges to form a ball and gently squeeze the excess liquid out of the meal through the cheesecloth and the strainer until no more can be extracted. Then shake the the almond meal from the cheesecloth, reserving the almonds for another use*. Rinse the cheesecloth again under cool running water, and strain more of the almond mixture.

Use the almond milk immediately or stash it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and shake to recombine before using. Originally published January 7, 2015.

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    *Variations

    • Flavored Almond Milk
    • To flavor homemade almond milk, you have a whole host of options, including vanilla, honey, cinnamon, cocoa powder, or maple syrup. Add a smidgen to the blender along with the almonds and water and blend, then strain as directed. Taste and adjust the amount of flavoring, if desired.

    • *What To Do With Leftover Ground Almonds
    • Almonds are expensive. And you’re going to need almonds for this recipe. Furthermore, you’re going to have some leftover almond shrapnel from this recipe. Rather than throw out the almond shrapnel, you can put it to swell use. We like to spread it in a rimmed sheet pan and toss in a 200°F oven until dry and sandy, about 4 hours. Let cool and, if necessary, pulverize in a food processor, and keep at room temperature to use in place of almond meal in recipes, stir a little in your dog’s dinner for added nutrition, or mix 1 cup almond meal, 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 1/8 cup olive oil, and 2 tablespoons honey and stash in a Mason jar in the fridge for up to several months. Use as a face scrub, gently pressing it in a circular motion on your skin, and then rinse.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    Like magic: almonds + water + blender = homemade almond milk. It looked like almond milk and tasted like almond milk. I poured some of this on cereal before I’d even transferred any into jars to put away, and it was wonderful—just almond milk with no added sugars or flavorings.

    I pulled out my 30ish-year-old Osterizer and got to work. It's a workhorse of an old blender and had no trouble pulverizing almonds and water until the mixture was white, frothy, and nearly smooth. The fine mesh strainer I used is very fine mesh, so I think I will skip the cheesecloth next time. Near the end of the process, when my cheesecloth was just a mess, I decided to toss it and do the last bit with only the strainer. It worked fine and was actually less cumbersome and awkward. I wouldn’t skip the cheesecloth with any but the finest strainer, though. (To wit, when I sift ingredients with this strainer, kosher salt won’t go through.)

    We don’t consume almond milk on a regular basis, and I’m not all that much of a DIY person, so I don’t know how frequently I’ll be doing this, but I’m definitely going to keep raw almonds on hand for back-up emergency milk production.

    This almond milk recipe was a lovely success—creamy and clean-tasting without any of the off flavors or extra ingredients some packaged products have.

    I buzzed it up it in 2 batches using an ordinary Osterizer Classic (on/off/pulse) blender. (No all-powerful Vitamix or Ninja here.) Tasting right after filtering, it was perfectly creamy, no grit. Initially I strained it with the cheesecloth-lined double-fine mesh sieve, then I set my yogurt strainers in the mesh in place of the cheesecloth. Both worked, and while yogurt strainers are extra fine and easy to clean, the cheesecloth is easy to squeeze out.

    I tasted the almond milk iced, steamed, and in a cappuccino. It worked great in all instances, and although my latte art may not be grand, it delivered a nice microfoam without any of the weird behaviors of store-bought almond milk products. Nice! The next morning the remaining almond milk had slightly fractionated, but a gentle turn of the glass jar mixed it one again, and it still tasted lovely.

    I am really pleased with the delicate and simple flavors this method produced. And it's easy to flavor as needed to incorporate into smoothies or other beverages, though we will mostly drink this batch neat. It's so simple that I already have another batch soaking! I left the skins on, another improvement over previous recipes in terms of both ease and nutrition. It didn't seem to affect the flavor in any way. And the almond meal became a sugar-honey hand scrub!

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    Comments

    1. Can’t wait to try it!! One thing that I wanted to ask is since my son is a very fussy eater, can I mix his regular cows milk with almond milk in equal quantities?

      1. UzmaD, glad to hear you’re so excited about trying this! In terms of mixing it with your son’s cows milk, I guess that depends on a number of things, including whether you’re certain he’s not allergic to tree nuts and, from a nutritional standpoint, that he has sufficient protein, calcium, and vitamin d in his diet outside of cow’s milk? It seems a question for his pediatrician. Good luck!

    2. Almonds, hazelnuts, coconut… all kinds of milks using the same method (I’ve seen some calling for hot water, but still…)

      Now I’m wondering if the leftover almond meal could be turned into marzipan, or would the texture be too rough for that… ?

    3. I’ve been wanting to try making my own almond and coconut milk for ages, but my blender wasn’t up to the task. But…I got a Vitamix for Christmas (be still, my heart!), so I’m ready to give it a go. Can’t wait!

    4. I am excited to try this. I always want to buy almond milk at the store, but the smallest container it comes in is a half gallon (at least, that is, for the unsweetened variety). Since I am the only one who will be drinking it, a half gallon is just too much. This seems like a more reasonable amount. I may even cut the recipe in half.

      1. I’m in exactly the same situation as you, Laura. And I think you’ll find that the taste of homemade almond milk is truly incomparable to the packaged stuff. It’s almost sweet on it’s own, and without any preservatives or those strange things that make it seem gummy in texture. Wishing you as much success with this as we had…

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