Edited: I've seen many links lately for using this recipe as an infant formula. Please, please, please find a holistic health care provider to work with before you decide to either A) supplement your breast milk or B) give nut milk to your infant. All the best to you and yours.
Commercial almond milk can not compete with homemade. Store bought almond milk, with its overly sweet and overly processed attributes, is nothing like what can come out of an ordinary blender. Skeptical? Read the ingredients on a box of store-bought almond milk. I promise there are ingredients in there you would never put in your blender.
Homemade almond milk takes just minutes to make and is far more nutritious than anything that can be stored in an aseptic cardboard box. And you can use the leftover pulp for all kind of delicious recipes, so no waste.
Real, live, whole food.
Homemade Almond Milk Recipe
1 C soaked raw almonds (I soak and then dry all of my nuts to make them more digestible, but you can use soaked and still wet or even unsoaked/straight from the store almonds.)
1/2 C raw unsweetened coconut flakes (optional but encouraged)
5 C water
Pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tb honey (optional - I don't usually add this but if you are accustom to sweet almond milk this will ease your transition.)
Heat your water to just below a simmer.
In your blender jar, combine almonds, coconut, hot water, and salt. Allow to soak. (If you are in a hurry skip the soaking. It will turn out beautifully. I promise.) Wait 15 minutes or more - you can soak all day if you wish.
Add honey and vanilla. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes in an ordinary blender or for a shorter time in a fancy-pants blender. Strain out pulp in a fine mesh strainer. (To speed the straining I first pour it through a wider mesh strainer, then strain it a second time through a very fine strainer.)
Uses for your Almond Pulp:
Make More Milk: You can make a second batch of (thinner) milk by returning the pulp to your blender and adding 3 C water and following above procedure for blending and straining. I don't love the second batch but it works well as a skim-type milk, while the first batch is very creamy. Or mix them together and call it 2%.
Make Almond/Coconut Flour: Oil cookie sheet with coconut oil. Spread the leftover pulp onto the sheet and dehydrate in a low heat oven. The flour will be in big chunks that you will need to grind up in your food processor, but it crumbles easily. Use as a gluten-free flour for making muffins, crackers, or waffles. You can even skip the drying and portion onto a cookie sheet with an ice cream scoop, then bag. This way you can add a few to every batch of baked goods you make, gluten-free or not.
Homemade Coconut Milk Recipe: Proceed as above but omit nuts and add 1 C coconut flakes.
Any Nut Milk Recipe: Substitute other nuts or seeds for the almonds and/or the coconut flakes. The options are endless!
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July 2011 Note: I've seen many links lately for using this recipe as an infant formula. Please, please, please find a holistic health care provider to work with before you decide to either A) supplement your breast milk or B) give nut milk to your infant. All the best to you and yours.
Postscript: How sweet you have all been since the comments box came back up. Yes, I missed you! Many of you are revisiting older posts to finally leave your comments there, and plenty of you are leaving unrelated questions on current posts. I'll get back to each of you soon if you had a question for me. I promise! Thank you for sharing your voice. It is one of my favorite things about writing here.