Homemade Almond Milk
This recipe can be used interchangeably with many different nuts. I have tried cashew milk, almond milk, soy milk and coconut milk. Cashew milk is a much faster process when you consider the soaking time, but it is more pulpy because the cashews are so porous.
1 cup of almonds (slivered or whole almonds)
5 cups of distilled water (I just boil water in my kettle)
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 pitted date (if you want sweeter milk)
Cheesecloth or nut milk bag
Blender (or you could also use a food processor)
For almond milk, first begin by soaking one cup of almonds overnight. Soak the almonds in about one cup of distilled water or enough to cover all the nuts. You can use a glass jar with a lid to soak the almonds in overnight, or if you don't have a jar that is large enough, use a bowl with a cloth napkin to cover. Almonds are a really hard nut, so soaking them overnight softens the nuts up a bit.
10-12 hours later, pour out the water from your bowl or jar of soaked almonds. Pour the almonds in the blender with 4 cups of warm distilled water. I think that the warm water helps blend the almonds better giving the milk a nuttier taste (Don't use hot water or else it will be too hot to handle when milking the almonds.). Blend the almonds and water on high for 2 minutes. Then add a teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of salt (the salt works as a preservative). Blend on high for 1 more minute.
Next, pour the blended almond mixture through a double layered cheesecloth set over a mesh strainer. You can allow the milk to drain through the cheesecloth on its' own, or you can speed up the process by "milking" it. When you initially pour the milk on the cheesecloth, it drains quicker, but as the almond pulp (this is the leftover blended almonds inside the cheesecloth) builds up, the process becomes a little slower. Pull up the edges of the cheesecloth and begin "milking" the almond pulp until all the milk drains through. Once completely milked, pour the milk into a glass jar and store in refrigerator. I personally pour about half the milk into a jar for the fridge and the other half into a glass jar and place it in the freezer because I do not drink that much milk in a week.
Don't throw away the almond pulp either, there are many different uses for almond milk. The almond pulp is full of nutrients. A majority of the nutrients from almonds are still contained in the pulp and only about a quarter of the nutrients are drained into the milk. You can use the almond pulp in many different recipes or even just sprinkle it on top of your food for a little extra nutrients.
This recipe makes about 4 cups of milk and is good in the refrigerator for about 1 week. I use the milk in the refrigerator first, then when I run out, I thaw out the milk that is in the freezer. Once thawed, that milk is good for about one week as well. Pour in your coffee, tea, cereal and much more and enjoy!
Update: I tried cashew milk again (because I needed some sooner than I could make almond milk) and I was actually a big fan! The cashews only have to soak for a couple of hours cutting down on the time. This time though, I used quadruple lined cheesecloth to sift through and the cashew milk turned out perfect! No pulp! Just make sure not to squeeze too hard or else the cashew pulp could definitely make its way through the cheesecloth.