Almond milk is one of those things you see at the super market and wonder how it would taste like. At least that was my case. Thank goodness I don’t have any food allergies (knock on wood), so I don’t need to modify my diet to accommodate for dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan (ugh!…with the due respect) or such, so, almond milk never made it into my grocery shopping list. That was until my wife got it for free one day (and judging by the taste of store-bought almond milk, it surely be always free) when I first tasted it. Honestly, I am not a fan!
A couple weeks ago I overheard a conversation regarding making almond milk and how easy it was. I started doing some research and pretty much all the recipes I found online lacked flavor and were almost as bad as the store-bought version. I decided then to give it a spin and try to make it taste good.
If you want to make your own almond milk you need to get a “nut milk bag”. You can find it online or in natural foods stores (online is cheaper though!). Second, get good quality almonds. Avoid the roasted or salted versions, you need raw almonds. Third, this will require some patience as you will have to start the day before by soaking the almonds in water.
The picture below is a side-by-side comparison of dry almonds (right) and almonds soaked overnight (left). Which ones do you think your body will process faster? obviously the plump and moist ones!
Once chilled you can use the milk just as regular milk but honestly it tastes way better chilled than heated up!
So, what did I do to improve the flavor and texture of the milk? Very simple, while doing my research, I found that almond milk is made following a similar process as Mexican horchata which is a rice flavored water (not to be confused with Rumchata!). I love horchata, it is one of my favorite drinks, so the choice was obvious, horchata-style almond milk!
I used dates for sweetness instead of condensed milk and invited cinnamon and vanilla beans to the party, with that on hand I was ready to convert this insipid drink into a morning staple.
- 1 cup Raw Almonds
- 3½ cups Filtered Water
- 2 Medjool dates (pitted)
- 1 Vanilla Bean
- ½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- Place almonds in a plastic container and cover with water. Soak overnight
- Rinse and drain the almonds. Blend the almonds, pitted dates, and vanilla bean with water on high speed
- Place the nut milk bag over a large container and slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the bag
- Squeeze the bag to extract as much milk off the solid sediments
- Pour the milk back in the blender. Add the cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Blend to combine
- Transfer to a glass container and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
- If you don't have a nut milk bag you can use a cheese cloth folded several times
- Separation is natural, shake before serving