It’s no secret we milk lovers are constantly finding ways of adding vigor and substance to our favorite dairy drink. A recipe I recently stumbled upon is homemade almond milk.

You’re going to, no doubt, love the mellow milky flavor this drink offers, coupled with its incredible creaminess. This is really good stuff and so easy to make, chances are you won’t ever feel the need to have the store-bought kind. Fresh and delightful almond milk, this is one of the best mood-elevating drinks there really are.

Homemade almond milk lasts just a few days in the fridge though so it’s best to consume it within 3 to 4 days. You can however, extend its shelf life by heating it on a stove; this will pasteurize it.

The ‘grinding and straining the milk’ process takes just a few minutes; make smaller and more frequent batches to cut down on your labor.

Ideally, you’d want to begin with a 1 cup almond to 2 cups water ratio. This would result in milk that amounts to the consistency of 2% milk. Thinner milk would naturally require more water. I personally prefer mine to be rich and creamy.

Making almond milk in either a blender or food processor, yields good results. A blender is preferred though, since it gives you that silky texture and mildly sweet flavor. By contrast, using a food processor gives you thicker milk, at times with some grit and results in a particularly nutty flavor. You can’t really tell the difference, so use the one that suits your specific preferences.

Let’s take a look at what you’ll need:

–       1 cup raw almonds, ideally organic

–       2 cups water, a little extra for soaking

–       Sweeteners: honey, agave syrup, or maple syrup to taste

–       A bowl, strainer, measuring cup, food processor or blender. Cheese cloth or fine-mesh nut bag

How to get it done:[list type=”icon-arrow”]

  • Soak almond overnight, preferably 2 days or more – Place them in a bowl, cover with roughly an inch of water. They’ll plump up nicely as they absorb water.
  • Drain and rinse – Drain them from the soaking water and rinse completely under cool running water. Pinch them to make sure they feel squishy.
  • Place the almonds in a blender. Cover with 2 cups of water.
  • Pulse the blender a few times just to break them up – The almonds should be broken into a fine meal while the water takes a white and opaque appearance. (In case of a food processor, a total processing time of 4 mins is sufficient, as you pause intermittently to scrape down the sides)
  • Strain – Line the strainer using a nut bag or cheese cloth. Place over a measuring cup. Now pour the almond mixture into the strainer.
  • Gather the nut bag/cheese cloth around the freshly prepared meal and close it tightly. Squeeze and press to extract as much almond milk as you can. It should amount to almost 2 cups.
  • Add flavor – Taste it and if you feel you must, add a preferred sweetener to taste[/list]

Refrigerate – Store it in a sealed container. Try to consume it within 2 days.