Almond milk is an easy dairy-free milk substitute, made with almonds and water. It’s perfect for pouring over cereal, using it in smoothies, or even adding to your coffee! (Try this Healthy Coffee Creamer if you want an almond milk that foams.)
If you ask me, homemade almond milk tastes WAY BETTER than store-bought almond milk. I think you’ll agree once you taste it– homemade is the best! In fact, you probably won’t be able to go back to a store brand after you see how good it tastes, and how easy it is to make.
As an added bonus, you can use the leftover pulp to make a Almond Pulp Hummus or Almond Pulp Brownies. Win win!
How to Make Almond Milk
To make almond milk, you simply blend together almonds and water, until the almonds are completely broken down. The resulting “milk” is creamy, with a mild almond flavor that blends almost seamlessly into any recipe.
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Once blended, all you have to do is strain out the pulp for a smooth and silky milk. I use a nut milk bag (like this one) to make sure I get every piece of pulp, but you could also use a fine mesh strainer if you don’t need it silky-smooth.
Almond Milk without Carrageenen
One of the biggest perks of making your own homemade almond milk is that you can make it without preservatives or additives, like carrageenan– which is found in many store-bought brands. Carrageenan is derived from seaweed, and helps thicken and stabilize foods, but it may also cause inflammation and gastrointestinal discomfort in the body.
For people with autoimmune conditions, or sensitive digestion, it could be a good idea to avoid these additives by making your own almond milk at home.
Is Almond Milk Better than Normal Milk?
Since my family doesn’t drink cow’s milk, a common question I am asked is if we give my toddler or baby almond milk as a substitute for cow’s milk, and we don’t.
I have actually breastfed both of my children well past the age of 2 (the World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding up to the age of 2 and beyond), so we have never felt the need to supplement with formula, cow’s milk, or almond milk.
If I weren’t able to breastfeed, I don’t think I’d feel the need to give my kids cow’s milk or formula past the age of one. Instead, I’d focus on getting them plenty of nutrition through nutrient-dense foods, including baby & toddler smoothies, with plenty of fat for brain development, greens for calcium and some plant-based protein, and fruit for extra vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
What are the Health Benefits of Almond Milk?
What are the benefits of drinking almond milk vs. skim milk, or another type? Here are a few:
- Almond milk is dairy-free, so it has no lactose or casein, which can cause digestive distress up to 75% of the world’s population.
- Assuming all of the nutrition from the almonds gets distributed into the homemade milk, almond milk can have up to 6 grams of protein per serving. (About the same as 1 ounce of almonds.)
- Thanks to the nutrient-rich almonds, 1 cup of homemade almond milk may also have up to 8% of your daily recommended calcium needs, and 6% of your daily iron needs.
I hope you’ll enjoy this easy almond milk recipe whenever you need a dairy-free alternative.
How to Make Homemade Almond Milk Cheaper than Store-Bought
The advantage of making your own almond milk at home is that YOU get to determine the ingredients. There are no added sweeteners or fillers in this homemade version! That also means that you can decide how many almonds to use in this recipe.
For the creamiest almond milk, I recommend using the ratio noted in the printable recipe card below, but you can save money by using less almonds to water. I’ll often use only 1/2 cup of almonds in 4 cups of water when I’m making almond milk to use in cereal or in smoothies, which makes this homemade version much more affordable. I also think it tastes better than anything I’ve ever bought at the store! I hope you’ll think so, too.
How to Make Almond Milk (Better than Store-Bought!)
- 1 cup almonds , soaked in water for 4-6 hours
- 4 cups filtered water
- Drain the soaked almonds and rinse them well. (Discard the soaking water.) Combine all of the almonds and fresh water in a blender, and blend the almond have broken down and the milk looks creamy.
- Strain the almond milk through a nut-milk bag or cheese cloth, squeezing well to extract the extra liquid. You can save the remaining almond pulp for another recipe, or discard.
- Store the almond milk in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. (You can freeze leftovers, if needed, for up to 3 months, too!)
- If you don’t care for almonds, you can use any other nut or seed with similar results using this method. Try my Homemade Hemp Milk recipe or Oat Milk for a nut-free & dairy-free milk.
- For a sweetened almond milk, try adding up to 4 dates for the batch, then strain as directed.
- For a flavored almond milk, feel free to add a splash of vanilla extract for a vanilla milk, or 1 to 2 tablespoons of cacao powder for a chocolate milk. (Sweeten with dates or maple syrup, to taste.)
If you’d prefer NOT to strain your almond milk, try my Almond Milk recipe using almond butter instead.
What to Do with the Leftover Almond Pulp?
Try making one of these almond pulp recipes:
Reader Feedback: Do you make almond milk at home? Any other dairy-free milks that you love? I’ve been trying to perfect oat milk for coffee, but it keeps coming out slimy… so let me know if you have any tricks.
Questions and Reviews
YUM. Homemade almond milk is the best. I’ve made my own several times, but don’t have a nut milk bag. I think I need to put one on my wish list!!
You don’t need a fancy nut milk bag! Go to your local hardware store and get paint strainer bags. I got a pack of two 1-gallon paint strainer bags at Home Depot for $2.28. They are 100% nylon (like the nut milk bags) and all you have to do is thoroughly wash them with soap and water, let them dry and voila! A much cheaper nut/veggie milk bag!
Why do you need a bag to squeeze it out of? Is it not good after the blending?
The bag removes the pulp– there is about a cup’s worth of grainy almond pulp removed from the milk, which greatly improves the texture.
Unfortunately, nylon comes in different grades and there is a food grade. The paint bags are not food grade. 🙁
I like the idea about the paint strainers. TY 🙂 I use a new cut off knee hi nylon. I don’t make much at a time as I’m alone and can’t use it before it spoils so I guess that is not a work around for a family. oops But it works very well for making just a cup or so at a time.
Honestly you dont need to worry about straining it if u soak it over night and squeeze the almond. The skin will come of easily and youwont have to deal with the pulp. This method actually allows u to get the full benefit from the entire almond.
Do we have to use raw almond? Or it has to be roasted before?
You can use raw or roasted almonds for this recipe.
Can you specify how many servings and how much is a serving size in the nutritional info?
yet another reasont have a vitamix!!!
I have a PowerGrind Pro juicer and it makes nut milks! I have made the almond milk and it is sooo easy and delicious! I did strain mine through a regular fine sieve to get the excess pulp, but there wasn’t much left!
Yum! There is nothing like fresh made almond milk! 🙂 Mmmm! Now that REALLY does a body good! 😉
I never even thought to make my own… I would definitely have assumed it to be much much work. Thanks for showing me otherwise! Looks delish!
Sounds pretty easy! Looks like something I could do, even cheesecloth would work.
Yes, almond milk bought from a store pales in comparison to homemade almond milk! I personally use 1/2 cup almonds soaked overnight, 5 cups water, 3-4 dates and half a vanilla bean (seeds only) and run it through my vitamix. Also, this may sound like a pain in the butt, but next time after the almonds are done soaking, pop them out of their skin (it is really easy). You will have the creamiest best tasting almond milk ever! (All run through a nut milk bag obviously) I’ll have to try it with coconut oil in it!
LOl I can so relate! It took me a year and a half of mostly raw eating to try making nut milk! Then it was LOVE!! So good 🙂
I have exactly the same glasses too! 🙂
Isn’t homemade nut milk yummy?! And SO EASY! I was kicking myself too. I definitely need a baggy like yours so mine is silky smooth. I adore putting dates and a little coco powder for chocolate milk. Deeeelish!
You and Austin have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
You were a nut milk virgin?! (Ok, nut milk sounds naughty enough already, but I think I just upped the lewdness there…)
A-milk goes fast in my house too 🙂 You should definitely try it with brazilnuts sometime, too!
Brazil nuts have so much selenium, I’d be afraid I would get high from it LOL
I will really need to get a nut milk bag!!! Especially now after this post 😉
I make almond milk once a week for my daughter. I use it when baking as well. I, like some others, use about a half cup of almonds, some dates, water and a pinch of salt. Yummmm!
OK! you’ve convinced me to try this. I don’t have a vitamix yet, but I’m thinking since you strain it, I will get something good out of it…
Have you tried the Almond Milk from Pressed Juicery yet?. OMG – you have to try it! Total Nirvana. Or maybe don’t try it because you will want to order it all the time. I’ve been adding one to my order of greens delivery. They add dates, vanilla and sea salt. It’s funny how even the organic boxed kind tastes kinda lackluster….
I will also try the creamy dreamy shake next. have not used avocados for dessert yet either. thanks for the inspiration!
Wow, I think you finally convinced me to make this myself. Time to order the nut bag.
thanks for this post. quick question- how do you clean your nutmilk bag?
I wash mine by hand in the sink, using warm soapy water and rinsing well, then hang to dry. Turning the bag inside-out helps clean out all the little bits and pieces, too!
Whoa, looks delish, I’m going to try it! After you make the milk – are the leftover, squeezed almonds worth saving? Could you use them in one of your other recipes or are they too pulsed for use?
I have yet to find a good recipe for the leftover almond pulp! I tried making cookies with it once, and they were a total flop. The texture is very bland and mushy, so it’s hard to create something tasty out of that! (However, I’m sure it can be done– I just haven’t had any luck yet!)
Let me know if you make anything good with it! 🙂
Do you think it would help (for baking) if the pulp was dehydrated before trying to use it for recipes?? I would love to know. I hate the idea of just throwing it out. Seems like some good health benefits could still be had from it, right?
I know that you were referring to a recipe to eat, but the leftover almond pulp makes an excellent homemade facial!! SpaIndex.com Guode to Spas http://www.spaindex.com/HomeSpa/AlmondScrub.htm my face feels beautiful after using it!!
Should I dehydrate and regrind first, or use wet for the facial? In our family of 5 we have three girls including me so there are lots of facials to be had and perfect for some quality girl time. Thanks for the tip!!
BTW- I’ve made this almond milk a few times now, and it is fantastic, and so easy in my Vitamix!! Next I want to try flavoring/sweetening it. I’m sure it will be delish!!
**If anyone wants to buy a nut-milk bag without spending a small fortune, you can buy a nylon mesh paint strainer bag in 1 gal size that has an elastic band at the top for about $1.37 each at Sherwin Williams Paint stores. I just bought a couple a weeks ago, and they work fantastic, treat them as you would any nut-milk bag.
I usually dehydrate first simply because there might be too much liquid in the mixture. I am so glad that you like it! My sister and I both love the facials on this website! (I am 13 so facials are always very nice
Hi, How nany calories are in a cup of almond milk using this recipe (1 cup almonds to 4 cups water)? You gave the nutritional info but it did not specify the serving size.
The nutrition info is estimated for 1 cup, but keep in mind that it can’t calculate how much pulp is removed, so it’s a really rough estimate.
You can add the leftover almond pulp to a veggie/fruit smoothie to add extra fiber without changing the flavor.
You probably already know this by now, but dry the pulp in the oven, then make almond flour with it.
Couldn’t you use the pulp in anything just to add fiber? If the recipe has a good strong taste I would think it wouldn’t matter. Never mind I see someone suggested smoothie already… Sorry my brain doesn’t start until 4 pm PST. lol
Just mix the almond pulp with some coconut oil and use as an exfoliator, or dump it in your compost heap.
I dehydrate them in the oven and then season them to make fake Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Works great in meatballs.
temperature and length of time in oven?
I just made this and it tastes awesome!Definitely not the same as store bought, but worth it nonetheless to know there aren’t any extra chemicals/fillers. Also, the pulp makes great raw cookies with dates, cocoa, and nibs blended together. Yum!
Where did you get the bottle you use for the milk? I love it!
Thanks, I found the bottle at Home Goods!
Stupid question – what do you do with the leftover almonds that were in the bag? Can they be used in other recipes or do you just toss?
Not a stupid question! I have yet to find a “good” recipe for the leftover almond pulp, so I will often throw mine away… but I’m still trying to work on that!
I dehydrate mine and then grind it into almond flour with the dry grains container in the vitamix! It works *really* well as a filler in meatballs – or as a thickener for sauces.
How much coconut oil, sweetener and salt? It doesn’t say, and I can’t tell if it’s a 1/4 cup of 1/8 cup of coconut oil. Thanks so much!
I love making my own almond milk, it tastes wonderful. However every recipe I’ve used seems to require soaking the almonds at least 4 hours, others saying 8 to 12…does not doing this change the consistency at all? Just wondering because it would be a HUGE time saver!
I haven’t noticed a difference in almond milk consistency, whether I soak my almonds for 4 or 12 hours. However, since I use a Vitamix, it would break them down easily, regardless!
The importance of soaking the almonds beforehand is to remove the enzyme inhibitors, which affect digestion, so I find 4 hours is sufficient for that, and rinsing really well before blending. Hope that helps! 🙂
Does soaking in water decrease phytic acid? Or would you need to add an acid to accomplish this?
If you are short on time, you can soak them for 2-4 hours using HOT water
Hey Megan, I was wondering how you can use the homemade almond milk instead of regular milk… wheres the calcium and nutritional value?
Hi Victoria! In regards to recipes, you can use almond milk as a substitute for regular milk in most situations. Personally, I don’t think we should be drinking regular milk at all, and don’t believe it to be a good source of calcium– in fact, from what I understand, calcium is actually depleted from our bones when we drink milk, due to the high protein/acidity content. (You can read more on that here: http://saveourbones.com/osteoporosis-milk-myth/) Countries with the lowest consumption of dairy products also have the lowest fracture incidence in their population.
It’s difficult to determine the exact nutritional value in homemade almond milk, but it should retain all of the nutrition found in the almonds used– one cup of almonds contain 25 % of your daily calcium, 25% vitamin D, 125% vitamin E, and 25g of protein. (Divide that by 4 servings for this recipe)
Hope that helps!
Spinach and Kale have more calcium then milk. I am with you all the way Megan. I know a woman who used almond milk her whole life because she was allergic to regular milk. She had a Bone density test and the Doctor said her bones were strong as if she was 30 years old. She’s 60.
Hi, just wondering if you have worked out the macros, carbs, protein and fat per serving of homemade almond milk? I make a litre of almond milk every 5 days or so but have started to track my macros but the almond milk is confusing me????
How much coconut oil do I use?
The recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil, but it’s completely optional. I usually make my almond milk “plain,” using just the almonds and water, but the coconut oil makes it extra-creamy!
I found the almond pulp works well in hummus. Also have made a few cookies with this. Although it’s loaded with sugar, I used the Alton Brown’s Chewy Chocolate Chip recipe (my all time favorite chocolate chip cookie). Just replaced all the bread flour with almond meal. I also had to put it in a 9×13 pan and cooked it a little longer. Again, this recipe isn’t the greatest for raw foods. But I imagine a lot of the ingredients could be replaced with more raw items.
This recipe looks fascinating, but I just have a question. Should I use raw or roasted almonds? Raw almonds are my most favorite snack 🙂
Does it make a difference? And sorry if someone has stated this already; I just didn’t see it.
I don’t think it makes a huge difference, though it will effect the flavor, since roasted almonds taste different. I prefer the taste of raw almonds, so that’s what I use!
Almond pulp is actually really useful if you dry it out. Either in the oven at a low temperature or in a dehydrator. If you want great almond flour (and you’re not eating completely raw) blanche the almonds to get the skins off: http://www.ehow.com/how_2081995_blanche-almonds.html
After you make the milk, dry out the pulp and grind it up in a vitamix/spice grinder/bullet. BAM…perfect almond flour to use in baking. It tastes more bitter if you leave the skins on, but then you can manage some raw-some brownie bites with the help of a dehydrator.
I used to make these all the time: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=609048
Thanks for sharing! I love Ani Phyo’s recipes, so I’ll have to try those cookies! 🙂
Hi, thanks for the inspiration. I am always looking for ways to make interesting, good for my family that is a healthy alternative. I figure any change is good. This almond milk recipe looks promising, will give it a try. My daughter does not like the store version, so maybe she will give this a try. Also love that you suggest but don’t force the issue of raw eating, it is more inviting to those of us that take change more slowly. Thanks Again!
Do you have a source for your organic almonds? It seems that you use a lot of them so I would think you get them in bulk somewhere. I have a large family and so making these recipes can be very expensive. Any info on a good source for organic bulk shopping would be appreciated. Thank you
Hi Paula! I’ve listed a few sources for raw & organic almonds in this post: https://detoxinista.com/2012/08/are-your-almonds-truly-raw/ You can buy them in bulk directly from one of the farms I’ve mentioned there, though shipping is still rather expensive. Lately, I’ve been using less almonds and just buying the organic, raw almonds from Trader Joe’s.
I just put 3 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of almond butter (I make my own, but any will work) in the blender for a few minutes (even though I have a vitamix, because the small particles require longer blending). Then I put a fine mesh tea strainer (a coffee filter would work too) on whatever container I’m going to use and strain it through. It stays in the fridge for a few days, just like normal almond milk. If you’re not picky about the pieces you can skip straining it altogether. I bet with blanched almonds you wouldn’t even need to stain it, but I can’t find organic blanched ones, and I like that the organic ones I buy are in the bulk section (reduces waste).
Thank you so much for this almond butter receipe. I tried making it tonight and turned out really good, then i tried honey roasted peanut butter, execelent good and nutrious and ya know whats in this stuff, next is the almond milk, but need to get more almonds. gonna share this with my friends.
WOW….this is awesome and SO much better than the box kind….EASY…. Why the short shelf life in the fridge??
It doesn’t have the same preservatives that the boxed stuff does, so it will go bad faster. I’ve been known to use mine for a little over a week, but you will *know* when it’s bad– it will taste awful after too long!
Could I use raw honey instead of maple syrup? It may last an extra day too with honey.
I am so enjoying this recipe. My question is when making coconut milk do you need to throw out the liquid it soaks in, or do you use it?? I understand with the almond milk that you throw it out and why, (because I read the whole thread 🙂 ) , but not sure about the coconut milk!
I think the soaking water for coconut could be used– it would probably add to the flavor. 🙂
Can you use panty hose for straining the pulped almonds?
I’ve never tried it myself, but I’ve heard it works well!
So ANOTHER question 🙂 ! I am loving making my own milks. When I make coconut milk, the residual rises to the top and requires skimming…it look suspiciously like coconut oil/butter,I rubbed some into the back of my hand and it absorbed. I was wondering if I whipped this up in the food processor if it would work as either. What do you think???
Maybe use the pulp for some muffin that use almond meal instead of flour. I just made the almond milk plain, and it doesn’t taste that good to me. I like almond milk from the store, unflavored. I’m not sure what I did wrong. Raw almonds, soaked overnight, rinsed, blended with 4 cups cold water. I didn’t strain it, but the texture didn’t bother me. It had almost a bitter and watery taste. Any ideas on what I did wrong? I will try to reblend it with maple syrup and see if it improves.
The flavor of the almond milk depends on the flavor of the almonds you use– mine usually taste slightly sweet on their own, so my almond milk tastes slightly sweet, too! Straining the milk might make a difference, since you’d be removing the skins with the pulp… maybe they could affect the flavor? I hope adding some maple syrup helps!
For those of us who were such almond enthusiasts in the past that we’ve become allergic to them (so unfortunate!), would other nuts or seeds work with this recipe? I’ve heard of people making cashew milk, but i’m not sure if the process would be the same.
I’m sorry if you’ve already answered this but can you use a food processor to make this or does it have to be a blender?
Thanks for the great recipes!
I’ve never tried it myself, but I bet it would work!
Just FYI, from my experience, a food processor did NOT work for this. The speed from the processor was too fast with all the liquid so it essentially just swooshed the almonds around in circles without blending much.
I just finally tried this recipe, and I can’t believe how easy it was! The almond milk came out so delicious- better than any store-bought version I’ve ever tried!
Hi there.. I really want to do this but I’m having a hard time figuring out how this is more cost effective. It’s of course better than the store bought kind but it seems crazy expensive. There are approximately 4 cups per pound of almonds.. if you need 1 cup to make 4 cups, and drink a cup a day, then you would need about 2 cups of almonds per week. So about 2 lbs per month – the cheapest I’ve found of organic, raw almonds is $20 for 2 pounds. That is very expensive for a month of milk! Am I doing something wrong?
How much are the Trader Joe’s organic raw almonds?
I don’t know how many cups of almonds makes a pound but currently I’m buying Almond Breeze, which is about four cups a box and each box after taxes comes to just around five dollars when it’s not on sale. Twenty dollars would get me four boxes (sixteen cups) of Almond Breeze. So by your estimate, $20 would get me double the amount of almond milk to last the whole month! Yay!
I pay about $3 for a half gallon of Almond Breeze so I totally agree with Essie. Making it your self is unfortunately much more expensive. My family didn’t like the taste either but I haven’t tried the sweetened version. I just wish it was cost effective.
I was eating out of a can of mixed nuts today, I buy the deluxe mix without peanuts…I was thinking I really need someone in the house that likes almonds because they are what is left…I like them but cannot chew roasted ones with dentures. We use almond milk almost exclusively…so now I know what to save my almonds for!
Tried this and added a sprinkle of cinnamon and a half teaspoon of vanilla and a teaspoon of honey. Heaven in a glass! Yummy!
I want to try making Almond milk and have a question first! Can I use Coconut butter instead of Coconut oil? My family prefers the taste of Coconut butter over coconut oil… Do you even taste the Coconut oil?
Thank you Megan!
Can you use a French coffee press to separate the milk from the compost?
I’ve never tried it, but it sounds like it might work! The french press filter still may allow some pulp to strain through, but it wouldn’t be a big deal.
I strained my almond milk into a jar through some white unbleached fabric, which caught most of the pulp. Then I spooned the remaining pulp into my coffee press to finish. I only got a couple of teaspoonsful of milk with that, but my pulp was so fine that most of it came through to the top of the coffee press filter. I had run my soaked almonds for two minutes in the Vitamix. There is still some sediment in the bottom of the milk, but it is so superfine that after stirring it back into the milk I can’t even tell it’s in there. Next time, I’m planning to leave my milk unstrained and see if it makes a difference. I’m also planning to use 1/2 cup of almonds instead of a full cup, based on a previous commenter’s remark, because I don’t care for the almond taste of the milk. I just use it to replace cow’s milk (for drinking mostly) and don’t want it flavored or nutty, or sweetened. And using 1/2 cup of almonds would certainly make the almonds go further!
I can’t find organic almonds that don’t cost a small fortune. I am on a limited budget and would like to make my own almond milk. Is using raw nuts ok. How much chemicals are actually on the almonds once you remove them from the shell?
I still use raw nuts on occasion, if it makes you feel any better. The organic ones aren’t always available at Trader Joe’s! I wouldn’t be able to tell you how many chemicals may still be on the nuts, though… we’d probably need our own lab for that!
Hi Megan, the jug you bought from HomeGoods is it glass or plastic and what is the make?
I actually don’t use that jug anymore, because it was made of plastic. Now, I use a glass jug like this one: http://amzn.to/VMFrCJ (Sometimes they’re available at Home Goods, too, but it’s hit or miss)
I found these at IKEA: http://m.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/art/40227983/
Why does this not stay as fresh as the store bought?
Because we don’t add preservatives like the store-bought versions do.
Thanks for this recipe, it looks really good and more importantly thank you for linking to an online source for the milk bag!
This is great! what do you do with the left over almonds that you strain out?
Hi Megan! I made this almond milk this week and have been enjoying it in my smoothies – I took your tip and added the coconut oil, vanilla, and maple syrup. Only one problem – it seems to have separated in the fridge – into three layers, milky on the bottom, watery in the middle, and a thin milky layer on top. It’s fine if I stir it back together, just wondering if this is normal?
Yes, after it sits in the fridge for a while, it’s natural to separate. I always shake mine up before using!
what I do with my almond pulp is spread it out on a cookie sheet and let it dry out in a low oven like 250-300 for about an hour or until no longer wet. Then I put the dried out pulp in the blender and give it a quick pulse a few times and there is my almond flour.
Holy crap I am excited to make this! Would it be ok do you think to perhaps throw in a tsp of cinnamon maybe? Perhaps along with the coco oil? Def gonna do it with hazelnuts as well. How much does a milk bag or cheese cloth typically cost?
You can add any extras you like! My nut milk bag was about $8 with free shipping: http://amzn.to/YI5BXa