Right now, I live in an almond milk household. After 25 years of cow milk, I’m living with a couple of lactose-intolerant cuties and so, feeling pretty laissez faire about the source of my milk, I’ve started drinking almond milk.
The thing is, though, I’m kind of almond-milk-intolerant. For a while, I thought my body just didn’t like almonds. Lately, though Trader Joe’s changed the names of all their milks and waters to “beverage” because there’s been all kinds of hubbub about what’s really in the shelf-stable stuff and I started wondering if maybe one of the preservatives was the culprit.
Surprise: It was!
Listen, I’m all about convenience and will continue buying other tetra-brick stuff til the cows come home, but I’m pretty thrilled that I can jump back on the almond milk bandwagon now that I’ve figured out how to make it for myself.
Speaking of convenience, let’s talk about how easy it is. Besides the 4-8 hours of foresight required to throw some almonds and water in a cup, the process of actually making almond milk takes less than 10 minutes and requires minimal clean-up.
The price is pretty good too. Here’s my breakdown:
|Total||$2 (yay recycling!)||$4.53|
Almond Milk and Almond Flour
|Water||6 cups (separated)|
- cup or bowl (for soaking)
- fine mesh strainer
- cheesecloth or nut milk bag
- bottle (for storing almond milk)
- pan (for drying almond meal)
- jar or tupperware (for storing almond flour)
Begin by soaking 1 cup of almonds in water for 4-8 hours. You can soak them while you’re sleeping, working, running errands, out for the night, exercising, or doing anything else that takes up a good chunk of your day.
After the almonds have soaked, toss out the water you soaked them in and pour the almonds into a blender. Add 4 cups of fresh water and blend until the almonds are pulverized into little bits and the water is milky. This should take about two minutes.
Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and line it with cheesecloth or a nut milk bag (Which are apparently things that exist). Slowly pour the water/almond mixture from the blender into your straining contraption. Once you’ve poured it all, squeeze the cheesecloth or nut milk bag to get out every last bit of milk.
Pour the strained milk into a sterilized (I sterilize my bottle by pouring boiling water into it each week before making more almond milk) 1 liter bottle.
Not sure where to get a bottle? Try recycling an olive oil or wine bottle. Mine was an olive oil bottle that my grandma saved for me. Because the rubber stopper broke off, I replaced it with a silicone mini cupcake wrapper.
Your almond milk will last for a little over a week refrigerated. Once you’ve use it up (or ¡qué horror! if it goes bad), clean out the bottle and make some more.
Now that you’ve got a bottle of fresh milk, you’re well on your way to making almond flour. Unwrap the mass of wet almond meal from the cheesecloth or nut milk bag and spread it in a cake pan.
Bake at 200ºF for an hour, turn off the oven, and let the meal continue to dry in the oven overnight. If it’s not dry, repeat the process again. You’ll want it to be completely dry so that it doesn’t go rancid when you try to store it.
Almond meal is good for lots of things, but if you want to bake with it (try making macarons, panellets, marzipan, or tarta de santiago, or use it as a high-protein and gluten-free alternative to wheat flour), you’ll probably need to turn it into almond flour. Use a blender or coffee grinder to crush 1/2 cup amounts at a time. It’ll only take 30 seconds to turn meal into flour.
Each liter of almond milk you make will yield approximately 1 cup of almond flour. You might be used to lighter colored almond flour; this is because most store-bought almond flour is made with blanched almonds. The only difference between our almond flour and light almond flour is the color; it’ll cook exactly the same way.
Store in a well-sealed container in a dark, cool place for a year. Almond flour will last longer if you keep it in the refrigerator or freezer, but I’ve never had a problem with storing mine on a shelf along with my other baking ingredients.