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.

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

Almond Milk

5 / 4 votes
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.
David Leite
Servings5 cups
Calories63 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Soak6 hours
Total Time6 hours 15 minutes


  • Cheesecloth


  • 1 1/2 cups raw (not roasted) unsalted almonds, skins on
  • 5 cups cold filtered water, plus more for covering the almonds


  • 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.


*Almond Milk Variation

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.

Adapted From

Modern Pioneering

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Serving: 1 cupCalories: 63 kcalCarbohydrates: 2 gProtein: 2 gFat: 5 gSaturated Fat: 0.4 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 3 gTrans Fat: 0.002 gSodium: 12 mgPotassium: 79 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 0.5 gVitamin A: 0.1 IUCalcium: 36 mgIron: 0.4 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2014 Georgia Pellegrini. Photo © 2014 Georgia Pellegrini. All rights reserved.

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!

This almond milk was fresh and delicious and tasted so much better than almond milk from the store.

I soaked my almonds overnight—probably about 14 hours—and in the morning they were plump and smooth. I’m fortunate enough to have a Vitamix blender. I blended the almond water mixture for 1 1/2 minutes (2 minutes might have been better) and then poured the mixture into a mesh bag, which I used instead of cheesecloth. The finished product does have a little texture, but it isn’t unpleasant. I think the addition of some vanilla or perhaps a date in the mixture while getting blended would be quite nice.

Once refrigerated, the almond milk does separate but with a little shake mixes up very easily.

This almond milk recipe definitely works. The resulting almond milk is clear and beautiful. The taste, though, was a little bland for my extended family. I like it because it feels like there’s some leeway to make the milk your own—that is, you could add flavoring or even sweetener, but you’d have control.

I’d definitely make it again.

I’ve always been intrigued with the idea of making homemade almond milk, and never realized how easy it was to make. All you need are raw almonds, water, and cheesecloth, and the results are a thick, decadent, almond-flavored milk. This is fun to make and the texture is much creamier than the store-bought version.

I will be making this again and again, that’s for sure.

Having a member of the family who is lactose intolerant and only drinks almond milk, I thought this would be a good recipe to make. I found it very easy to follow.

I substituted a flour sackcloth for cheesecloth because it works much better and can be washed and reused. (I use them in cheese making.) I tasted the commercial stuff and this was close. It’d be closer if I decreased the water to 4 cups and added 1/8 teaspoon vanilla. My taster said it was very good and used some every day to make breakfast smoothies.

This is a great starter recipe for adding whatever ingredients you’d like. I found it to be very nice with fresh blueberries. I will definitely be making this regularly once I can get almonds in bulk. It’s a good recipe to play with, and it doesn’t contain any ingredients you can’t pronounce.

I’m totally in love with this recipe. Why have I been buying almond milk all these years? I guess I’d never researched how easy it is to make almond milk at home. The recipe says it takes about 15 minutes, but apart from the waiting time while the almonds are soaking, I would argue it takes even less.

I let the almonds soak overnight. After rinsing them, we placed about half the almonds in the blender along with the water. The final result was a beautiful, creamy almond milk, filled with flavor and certainly much better than store-bought milk.

Making this will be my new ritual, as I love almond milk, especially for smoothies. I cannot wait to see how the almond meal will work as flour or a scrub. The total amount of milk ended up close to 7 cups. I cannot wait to play with this recipe, adding vanilla or cocoa to create all different tastes for my family.

Making one’s own almond milk is so easy with this recipe. Raw almonds are soaked and then processed in a blender and strained. I soaked my almonds about 9 hours and then I processed them in a blender with filtered water and strained the mixture for a few hours. Then I put it in a container and refrigerated it overnight and the next morning I had almond milk for breakfast. I loved the fresh taste of the milk and would love to make this as a regular item for our pantry. The only thing I’m concerned about is that I use milk as a source of calcium and vitamins for our daily requirements. I’m going to look into enriching the milk myself. I have a daughter who hates taking vitamins in any shape or form, and the best way to make sure she gets her calcium is through her milk and yogurt.

This was a very simple recipe to follow and yielded delicious results. I like my almond milk unsweetened when I buy it in the store, but I would have appreciated recommendations for what to add to the milk to make it a bit sweeter (honey, brown sugar, vanilla, etc.). This was a lot more bitter than even the store-bought unsweetened almond milk. I’ll experiment by adding a bit of honey. I had to make 2 batches so as not to overload the mixer. A Vitamix was perfect here. This is one recipe that I’ll make over and over!

I’ve been putting off making homemade almond milk because I thought I needed fancy stuff to do it—don’t ask me what the fancy stuff is because I don’t know. I promise not to put it off any longer. It’s easy and delicious.

Depending on the price of almonds in your area, making almond milk at home may not be any cheaper than buying it, but I like knowing there’s nothing else in it besides almonds and water. I only had to deviate once from the recipe. I couldn’t find any cheesecloth, so I strained the whole shebang through a flour-sack towel. It worked fabulously! I did get a bit overzealous and poured the whole mess into the lined strainer. I just let it drain, stirring it occasionally. When the draining slowed, I simply squeezed out the remaining almond milk by gathering up the towel and giving it a good twist and squeeze.

I used skin-on whole almonds from the bulk bin at my local grocery store. They weren’t the freshest almonds, so I thought the flavor wasn’t as pronounced as I would have liked. Next time, I’ll hunt around for a better supplier. I’m hooked now!

Two things: I let the almonds soak on the countertop. I’ll probably chill it next time so I don’t have to wait to drink it after I drain it. I prefer my almond milk cold, cold, cold. It doesn’t hurt to give the almond milk a good stir periodically and once before you want to use it.

Simple and delicious. I used my almond milk for iced coffee and hot cocoa and it worked perfectly. I soaked my almonds about 18 hours, and I think that might have been a little too long because the almond flavor was a little muted. I ended up grinding the almonds in 2 batches since they wouldn’t all fit in my blender.

I used whole, blanched almonds for this recipe and wondered afterwards if it would have given such a nice white milk if I had used unblanched almonds.

I soaked the almonds for 12 hours. The almonds remained quite crunchy after 12 hours of soaking, which wasn’t what I would’ve expected. The 5 cups water almost filled my Vitamix. The milk had a gentle almond flavor. It looked very much like cow’s milk, although I found it more insipid than cow’s milk. If I was allergic to milk, I would be very grateful that I could make this vegan milk instead. I am not sure what to do with the almond paste or the milk I have made. Presumably they can be used in any recipe that requires milk or ground almonds.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    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… ?