The Almond Milk Experiment

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Our recent Whole30 experience left Ben and I between a rock and a hard place when it came to morning coffee: Either drink it black or pay a hefty $1 or so per ounce for the deliciousness from Portland Juice Company.

Now wanting to blow through our grocery budget, I knew there had to be another way. Sure, we could fudge our way through with store-bought almond milk, which even when it’s organic and free of lactose, soy, gluten can have some nasty additives (just Google “carrageenan,” for example).

So that left us (read: me) with one, final option: Making it home-made, which I was trying to avoid at all costs — literally and figuratively.

A little math:

  • Nut-milk bag: $10.99
  • 6 oz package of raw almonds: $4.99
  • 12 oz package of dates: $6.99
  • Finally getting over the fear of using my food processor: Priceless

Is it worth it? Well, I might not be the best person to ask since I love my dairy and have since added it back into my diet — in moderation, of course (#BecauseIceCream). But almond milk is a delicious alternative for people with dietary restrictions — especially with the addition of dates as a natural sweetener and pumpkin pie spice for an extra kick.

Making it on my own not only was a learning experience, but it also got me thinking about all the extra gunk I’m consuming in my usual store-bought, sugar- and chemical-laden creamers, so although I don’t expect to make it regularly, I will add it into my repertoire of “every-now-and-then” recipes.

Here’s a look at the process:

Step one: Purchase nut-milk bag. Get mocked by husband when you tell him you’re “going to the store to buy a nut bag.”

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Step two: Soak almonds. Overnight, ideally, but for at least a few hours or until the nuts plump up.

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Step three: Rinse almonds and place in food processor with 3-4 pitted dates and a few cups of fresh water. Blend.

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Step four: Clean up explosion of water from said food processor. Locate manual and read instructions about not filling above “fill line.” Oops.

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Step five: Repeat step four. Clean up second mess, and wonder if you assembled it incorrectly. Nope — just too much liquid. Again.

Step six: Finally blend (for 1-2 minutes) until white and frothy. Smells lovely.

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Step seven: Hold open nut-milk bag over a large bowl and pour mixture into bag to strain. Gently squeeze to get excess liquid out.

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Step eight: Store in airtight container. Preferably a mason jar, particularly if you live in Portland, to cement neo-hippie status.

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Now…what do do with the almond remnants? I’ve got a recipe for that, too! Stay tuned…

Have you made home-made almond milk?

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11 thoughts on “The Almond Milk Experiment

  1. Great post! I drink cow’s milk still – it’s cheaper, easier to cook with (added creaminess, etc), and I don’t have dietary restrictions so I just never considered an alternative. Almond milk tastes pretty good though, and I’d be interested in trying this one day! I love ice cream too, hehe.

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  2. Nice work. While I would love to say that I have made my own almond milk, I haven’t. And I probably won’t any time soon. I have been drinking cashew milk lately, but don’t have a dairy problem to go back and forth with my milk options. I love that you tried this and did Whole30! Hope you have a great Monday!! 🙂

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    • Yep! I just rinse it out & hang or open it up to dry. Super easy once you get the initial items, and then it’s just getting the technique down. I’ve done it a few times since – gets easier every time!

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  3. I wonder if it would work to make in my Vitamix… I’ve found it usually doesn’t like dates, but that was when I made larabars 🙂 From what I’ve heard, homemade almond milk is the BEST!

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    • Yes, I bet it’d work well with the Vitamix (on my wish list)! You can try soaking the dates first in some boiling water for 5 mins if they’re too hard – but I’ve found that adding them in with the almonds & water works just fine. Once you go homemade, you won’t wanna go back!

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