Homemade Almond Milk
(saving money & eating better)
As you probably know, I’m doing a massive sugar detox and have somewhat strung my family along for the ride. Whenever I really, really hone in on our health I start looking at ways to improve as much as possible because it’s just so easy with certain things, things we often don’t think twice about buying- like almond milk. We use almond milk and/or coconut milk daily. Well, we’re back to making our own almond milk instead of using store bought. Two benefits of homemade almond milk:
1). simple, minimal ingredients.
2). it’s cost effective!
The cost of almonds is quite high right now, yet despite all of that, this recipe will save you money, I’ll give you a price breakdown and the recipe.
1/3 cup of organic, raw almonds
1L water (filtered is ideal)
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional but recommended)
A pinch of sea salt
You can also do a sweetened milk by adding some maple syrup or honey to taste.
In order to get the most nutrient-rich almond milk, it is best to soak your almonds overnight in some water. All you need to do is put them in a bowl, cover them with water and a pinch of sea salt, drape a tea towel over top and let ’em rest. In the morning, discard the water and rinse them using a strainer.
Place all of your ingredients into a blender and blend for about 30 seconds.
Using your cheesecloth or nut milk bag, strain the milk into a large measuring cup, squeezing every little drop you possibly can. You don’t want to use a regular strainer because the almond meal will be so fine that it will slip right through the mesh and end up in your milk. Cheesecloth or nut milk bags are designed for this!
Then, simply fill a mason jar with the milk and store it in the fridge for 3-5 days.
The leftover almond meal can be dried out and used for baking! Almond flour (aka-almond meal) is super trendy right now especially amongst the paleo community AND it’s pricey! Which is why I love making my own milk with almonds. Almond flour can be used for baking cookies, muffins, pizza crusts, you name it.
Now that you know how to get the most nutritious almond milk AND almond flour, let’s look at price point (please note that the prices in your area may not be similar to the prices in my area, regardless, homemade almond milk is most likely cheaper to make at home and much, much better for you).
For one 16oz bag of raw, organic almonds (cream of the crop stuff), you will pay $25.
1/3 cup of almonds per litre of almond milk= 10 servings of almond milk (1/3 cup almonds= 1.6oz, 1.6 times 10= 16oz- the amount in your bag of almonds)
Which means that for every litre of almond milk you make, it will cost you $2.50.
Generally in my area, 946ml of non-organic almond milk starts at $2.99, upwards of $4.99 for 946ml of organic almond milk.
You’re saving at minimum, 50 cents per litre every time you make almond milk at home. Let’s say you buy 946ml (let’s just say a litre for simplicity sake and comparison) of almond milk every week, annually that adds up to a savings of $26. BUT, you’re getting almond flour from it too, which in my area for a small bag costs $17. If you buy the organic store bought almond milk and make it at home instead, you’ll save $130 a year.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF HOMEMADE, a look at labels
Simply put, you’re not getting a ton of fillers and cheap forms of added vitamins to make the product sound better than it really is. Someone in the food industry once told me that the average carton of almond milk contains only 5 almonds, the rest is just water and binding agents, thickeners and cheap forms of vitamins, so why are we even bothering with this stuff?! DIY is clearly the way to go.
The first label is a non-organic brand. This one is rare to find because it is free of carrageenan, which can often cause people digestive upset. But because it’s carrageenan free, there is gellan gum which is a vegan alternative to gelatin, used as a thickening agent and stabilizer. Most people tolerate gellan gum better than guar or carrageenan which is why you’ll see it on some labels, BUTTTT a study done on rats indicated that after 4 weeks of gellan gum intake, abnormalities in intestinal microvilli was seen. Kinda concerning.
The calcium you may think you’re getting (which can come naturally from almonds, in large enough quantities) in the store bought milk is the cheapest form available, carbonate. Absorption wise- it doesn’t do much. I do however like calcium carbonate for DIY Toothpaste, it remineralizes your teeth, but isn’t ideal for ingestion.
The potassium citrate is used to balance the pH of the product. It’s a white, odourless substance that is used to prevent the almond milk from turning acidic, or rancid. Which is why it can sit on the shelf for over a year and still be considered edible. Homemade almond milk, in the fridge will last just 3-5 days. I like my food to be capable of rotting, personally.
Finally, the sunflower lecithin is there to act as an emulsifier. This is what prevents separation- something consumers are generally afraid of. We don’t like seeing layers in our food, an indicator of a natural product free of emulsifiers, stabilizers and thickeners. So, yes you will see your almond milk separate, it should, if you shake it for 3 seconds, it’s emulsified again, sans unnecessary chemical-like by-products.
The second label is an organic brand, whyyyy is there rice starch in my almond milk?! Whyyy? It’s simply unnecessary. I want almonds in my almond milk, not rice! These 2 brands are *pretty* clean in comparison to some I have seen. But as you can see, there are unnecessary ingredients that aren’t giving us anything back nutrition-wise. You’ll get more out of making your own, especially when you’re using soaked almonds which I highly doubt these brands do. A bottle of soaked, organic, sprouted almond milk will cost you in and around $11 if you buy it from a juice bar.
I hope this inspires you to start making your own almond milk, it’s delicious and delivers a lot more nutrition than the store-bought brands, saves money and gives you the coveted almond flour people pay an arm and a leg for. If you make this recipe, please be sure to tag me in your creations!
Small changes over time lead to an impressive impact on our health in a lifetime,