Making homemade almond milk is so simple and affordable that it’s really unnecessary to buy it in the grocery store. It’s worth trying to make at home, at least once, so you understand the difference between homemade almond milk and shelf-stable almond milk from a carton. When you make almond milk at home, stripped to its barre essentials (nuts, water, and little salt), it becomes more than just almond water.
Benefits of Homemade Almond Milk
While I love the convenience of a store-bought milk, there are several reasons why I prefer to make my own:
- It’ delicious – seriously, if you’ve never tasted homemade nut milk, you are missing out! Once you’ve had it fresh, you’ll never buy another carton of nut milk again. Say goodbye to the unpalatable, flat, watery version.
- It’s appealing – have you ever noticed almond milk from a carton has a grayish hue? No wonder you find whitening colors on some of the ingredients label. Honestly, I have no idea why the milk would be grey. The plant-based milk I make at home is always beautifully bright and white.
- Customizable – thin and light for your breakfast cereal, creamy and rich for your coffee, mildly thick to enjoy straight from the glass – you can make the exact consistency you like. And don’t let me get even started on the different flavors you can play with. Craving sweet almond milk? Use a date and some vanilla (no refined sugar, please!). Like the chocolate version better? Add some raw cacao or cocoa powder. Personally, I like my almond milk simple, pure, with nothing added.
- More nutritious – the problem with store-bought nut milks is that the nuts are rarely soaked prior to being blended into milk. Soaking or even better – sprouting – is so beneficial because it helps to get rid of phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors found in nuts, increasing the nutrition of almonds significantly.
- Fewer additive – some of the ingredients used in mainstream popular almond milk brands contain questionable ingredients. Things like carrageenan, xantham gum, guar gum, locust bean gum, or gellan gum can all be problematic for those with digestive issues. While they are not likely to cause harm, it’s always ideal to avoid food additives altogether.
- Fresh – no shelf-stable, nutrient-depleted product from aseptic carton that lasts months (if not years).
- Cheaper – 32 ounces of homemade almond milk averages at about $1.60 whereas store-bought ranges from $2 to $3 per 32-ounce carton.
- Without waste – I’m not talking just about the aseptic packaging nut milks are sold in, but also the almond meal/pulp. Instead of throwing the almond meal out, blend it into a smoothie, bake with it, toast it up in the oven and sprinkle on top of oatmeal, or dehydrate it and use it as breading. If you absolutely cannot use it, put it in the compost.
The one “problem” with homemade almond milk is that is has no viscosity. Straight from the blender, it has the perfect flavor, but none of the creaminess you expect from milk. Remember? This version doesn’t contain any stabilizers and emulsifiers to help the almond milk maintain a uniform consistency and emulate the thick milk. That’s why homemade almond milk separates as it sits in the refrigerator.
The good news is that there is a way to naturally thicken and homogenize homemade almond milk. Bringing the almond milk to just under a boil for a few minutes permanently increases its viscosity. That’s right – no more vigorous shaking before using your homemade almond milk. I would love to take credit for this “discovery”, but you’ll have to thank Andrew from One Ingredient Chef for this.
So give this recipe a try! It’s so easy to make.