What You Need
- 1 cup raw almonds, preferably organic
- 2 cups of filtered water, plus more for soaking
- 1 or 2 fresh dates (optional)
- Pinch of salt
Fine metal strainer
Large glass measuring cup
Blender or food processor
Fine-mesh nut bag or cheese cloth
- Soak the almonds, Place the almonds in a bowl and cover them completely with filtered water and 1 Tbsp of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt. (The salt helps to extract the phytic acid from the nuts). If you don’t have filtered water, then boil enough water to cover the nuts and let it cool before soaking. The nuts will plump as they absorb water. Let stand uncovered overnight or at least for 8-12 hours. The longer the almonds soak the creamier the almond milk.
- Drain and rinse the almonds.Drain the almonds from their soaking water and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water. At this point the almonds should feel a little squishy if you pinch them. If you use nuts with the skins on you can slip the skins off with your fingers if you’re feeling up to it. If not you can make the milk with the skins on, but you will have more pulp when you’re finished. Up to you. (I like to skin them because I find it therapeutic).
- Combine 1 cup of the almonds, 2 cups of water, 1 or 2 small dates if you are using them and a pinch of salt in a blender The dates give the milk a smooth mouth feel and a touch of texture and sweetness.
- Blend at the highest speed for 2 minutes.Pulse the blender a few times to break up the almonds, and then blend continuously for at least two minutes. The almonds should be broken down into a very fine meal and the water should be white and opaque. (You can use a food processor for this, but you will need to process for 4 minutes total, pausing to scrape down the sides halfway through.)
- Strain the almonds. Use a fine mesh metal strainer to strain the milk into a large bowl or 8-cup Pyrex measuring cup.
- Press all the almond milk from the almond meal. Gather the pulp into a clean white cotton kitchen towel or a few layers of cheese cloth and, with clean hands, press and squeeze to extract as much of the milk out of the nuts as possible. You should get about 2 cups. (You can compost the nut meal or refer to the recipe note below for other uses).
- Sweeten or flavor to taste. You can add honey, vanilla, strawberries or other berries, chocolate or just about anything if you like flavored milk. Refrigerate almond milk. Store the almond milk in sealed containers, preferably glass, in the fridge for up to four days.
- Using the leftover almond meal: The leftover almond meal can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, muffins, pancake batter or other baked goods just as it is. Alternatively you can spread it out on a baking sheet and bake it in a low oven, around 170 degrees, until completely dry (2-3 hours). Dry almond meal can be kept frozen for several months and used in baked goods just like almond flour.