My Favourite Homemade Almond Milk + Step By Step Photos

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I first tried making homemade almond milk a couple years ago, after many of you told me so many amazing things about it. It’s so creamy! It’s better than store bought! It’s a cinch to make! Homemade almond milk is the best!

And you know what? My first couple tries didn’t exactly knock it out of the park. Two words come to mind: hot mess! I used a cheesecloth and things didn’t go very smoothly, if you catch my drift. I’m sure some of you have a lot more finesse with a cheesecloth, but I did not seem to be one of those people.

This time, I finally took the plunge and purchased a nut milk bag (feel free to giggle). Also called sprouting bags, these mesh straining bags make homemade nut and seed milks (among other things) a total breeze. I cannot wait to explore its many uses.

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This time around, my almond milk making process was indeed a breeze.

Here are some step by step photos to show you my process. You should also know that every time I type “step by step” NKOTB starts playing in my head. I don’t even mind it.

We are going to soak a cup of raw almonds overnight or for 8 hours or longer. Sometimes if I’m in a time crunch I just soak them for 1 hour or so and it still turns out fine. Rinse and drain the almonds and pop them into your blender along with 3-4 cups of filtered water (I like 3.5 cups water in this recipe).

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Which nuts do you think your body would rather digest – the dry, hard as a rock nuts or the plump, juicy nuts?

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Sorry, that sounded all weird and awkward.

My favourite flavour combo is a whole vanilla bean, a couple Medjool dates, cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt. Oh my lanta. It’s intensely vanilla flavoured with notes of caramel and cinnamon. The secret to an intense vanilla flavour is blending an entire vanilla bean. Just chop it up and toss the whole bean into the blender. You’ll be left with some amazing vanilla almond milk. Of course you can always use vanilla extract or liquid sweeteners too. If using the dates and/or vanilla bean, add them along with the almonds and water. If you simply want to add a liquid sweetener or vanilla extract, you can add them now or at the end. Your call.

Blend for 1 minute on the highest speed. Let’s go TURBO mode!!!!

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Turbo mode scares me.

Place your bag over a large bowl and slowly pour in the milk. Thank you Eric for moonlighting as a hand model once again.

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A lot of the milk will filter right through the bag without any effort.

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But to get all of the milk out, you’ll need to do some gentle squeezing to encourage the milk through. This process took me a few minutes. As you can see in the photo on the right, I was left with about 1 cup of almond pulp.

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I rinsed the blender out quickly and poured the milk back into the blender. I do this because I find it easier to pour the milk from the blender into the jar rather than from a large bowl into the jar. If you have a wide mouth funnel feel free to use that.

Check out those tiny specks of vanilla! I blended in a bit of cinnamon and a pinch of fine grain sea salt for even more flavour enhancing. Tell me, what’s better than Vanilla Cinnamon Caramel flavour?

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Nothing.

You can use the almond pulp for all kinds of things like oatmeal, hummus, homemade granola, smoothies, cookie or muffin batter, crackers, or you can even dehydrate it and then blend it up to make almond meal. Oh, and you can freeze it too.

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Man oh man, it tasted so lovely straight from the blender. I can assure you, it gets even better as it chills in the fridge.

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I’ve never been a big milk drinker, but this almond milk had me going back to the fridge again and again and again for little sips. I can’t promise I’m organized enough to make this on a regular basis, but it’s a fun option to have up my sleeve when I’m feeling motivated or just want a special treat.

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Homemade Vanilla Cinnamon Almond Milk

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, oil-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

5 from 3 reviews
print icon   My Favourite Homemade Almond Milk + Step By Step Photos

Creamy, lightly sweet, and so satisfying - homemade almond milk is a true luxury! My favourite flavour combo is a whole vanilla bean, a couple Medjool dates, cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt. Oh my lanta. It’s intensely vanilla flavoured with notes of caramel and cinnamon. The secret to an intense vanilla flavour is blending an entire vanilla bean. Just chop it up and toss the whole bean into the blender. Not to worry if you don't have one on hand though; a half a teaspoon of vanilla extract will work just fine. I recommend this nut milk bag for straining.

Yield
3.5 cups
Prep Time
Cook time
0 Minutes
Total Time

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water
  • 3.5 cups filtered water
  • 2-4 pitted Medjool dates*, to taste (I used 2 large)
  • 1 whole vanilla bean*, chopped (or 1/2-1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • small pinch of fine grain sea salt, to enhance the flavour

Directions:

  1. Place almonds in a bowl and cover with water. It’s preferred to soak them overnight (for 8-12 hours) in the water, but you can get away with soaking for 1-2 hours in a pinch.
  2. Rinse and drain the almonds and place into a blender along with filtered water, pitted dates, and chopped vanilla bean.
  3. Blend on highest speed for 1 minute or so.
  4. Place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and slowly pour the almond milk mixture into the bag. Gently squeeze the bottom of the bag to release the milk. This took me about 3-5 minutes to get all the milk out.
  5. Rinse out blender and pour the milk back in. Add the cinnamon and pinch of sea salt and blend on low to combine.
  6. Pour into a glass jar to store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Shake jar very well before using as the mixture separates when sitting. Enjoy with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies for a real treat. This milk is also lovely with cereal.

Notes: If your dates or vanilla bean are dry/stiff, soak in water to soften before use. You can also use another sweetener of your choice like maple syrup. Same goes for vanilla – feel free to use vanilla extract for a more subtle vanilla flavour.

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You might be wondering – If I don’t have a nut milk bag can I use a fine mesh sieve? Yes you can. I did a trial using my sieve. I didn’t find the milk got as smooth compared to using a nut milk bag, but if you strain it several times, it comes out decent. Also, feel free to try a cheesecloth, but I’m definitely not the person to give you advice using that method.

What about the cost?

Homemade almond milk can be cheaper than store bought or it can be more expensive; it really depends on your ingredients. When I see bulk almonds on sale, I like to stock up and buy a big bag. Pop a bag in the freezer to ensure they stay fresh.

To avoid almonds sprayed with the chemical propylene oxide, please see this article and this handy guide to common brands that do and do not use the chemical. If you are concerned about propylene oxide on your almonds be sure to check with your almond retailer to see what sterilization method is used.

Have you ever made homemade almond milk before?

Where do you buy almonds? Any good deals out there in store or online?

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{ 471 comments… read them below or add one }

Kris January 24, 2013

I made homemade almond milk for the first time last weekend, using Gena’s recipe from Choosing Raw. It was pretty good, but too sweet for me. If I remember correctly, her recipe called for 6 dates – I used 5 and it was still way too sweet so next time I’m going to try two. Nut milk bags are available from an number of online retailers for those who can’t find them in store. I think Meghan Telpner sells them on her site, and Gena links to a site called One Lucky Duck.

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Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite January 24, 2013

Excellent tutorial! Now I know how to make the almond milk that I drink everyday, I actually had very little clue how it was made….ha!

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Maria Tadic January 24, 2013

This was such an informative post. I had all these questions in my head when I started reading and got every one of them answered! I’m definitely going to try this out! My husband is a vegan and has been looking to sample some substitute milk products! If you didn’t add the flavorings to this recipe…would it be good to cook with???

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Britta January 24, 2013

I recently tried my hand at homemade almond milk for the first time; I’m looking forward to trying your recipe! The leftover almond pulp is the perfect texture for lasagna or enchiladas. I mixed it with some nutritional yeast and spices for lasagna.

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jo @ including cake January 24, 2013

Yum…I’ve been meaning to make some nut milk fior a while now, are nut bags quite cheap to buy? also you mentioned that nut bags are also called sprouting bags- so that impies they are also used for sprouting? that’s something else I want to investigate!!

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Twin Fitness January 24, 2013

Wow, the thought never crossed my mind that I could make my own almond milk. The process seems pretty darn easy too! Will be trying this recipe for sure.

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Alissa N January 24, 2013

Ha!! You beat me to the punch, my recipe for almond milk is going up tomorrow!! You are on my wavelength lately bigtime!! Yours looks amazing, dates is such a genius addition!!

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Miche January 24, 2013

Thank you so much for posting this recipe, I can’t wait to try it! I have never made any homemade non-dairy milks before, but I just got a Vitamix so I will be trying your recipes out soon!

I’m glad that you took the plunge and made the nut milk bag joke ;)

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Abby @ The Frosted Vegan January 24, 2013

Oh that picture with the freshly blending milk all bubbled up looks amazing!

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Jodye @ Chocolate and Chou Fleur January 24, 2013

As an avid almond milk drinker, I’m going to have to give this a try! I love that you used dates as the sweetener, as I have just a slight date addiction (they’re pretty much candy, right?) The visuals you provided are wonderful. All that leftover almond pulp! There are so many fun things to do with it!

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Will January 24, 2013

Great recipe!

Just a tip, you can easily make your own nut milk bag/strainer by purchasing nylon mesh by the yard at your local fabric store (JoAnn). Also called “wedding veil” nylon. It is frequently on sale for 99 cents a yard. Then either sew it up or use it to line strainers. You can even make it as fine as you want by folding it over a few times.

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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health January 24, 2013

You made me laugh when you asked which nuts our digestive system would prefer!

This almond milk looks great. Good job! :)

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Allie January 24, 2013

“Which nuts do you think your body would rather digest – the dry, hard as a rock nuts or the plump, juicy nuts?”

Angela, you make me giggle! Also, your photography for this post is really great! You make MILK look so beautiful (:

Question: I have yet to invest in a VitaMix, all I have is a Cuisinart food processor (it works great, thx for the recommendation!) … do you think I could make this in a food processor? Thank you!

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Dominique January 24, 2013

Thank you for the recipe! I always made my almond milk unsweetened and unflavored but I definitly want to try it with the adition of vanilla, dates and cinnamon, sounds delicious! I’ve always thrown out the almond pulp though and I’m intrigued about the different uses it can have. When you say it can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, granola, hummus and baked goods, how would you use it? Do you just add it in the mix? And how much? I’d love to put my almond pulp to good use.
Thank you :)

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Elizabeth January 24, 2013

I second the request for specific recipes using the pulp.
Thanks

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megan January 24, 2013

I can’t wait to try this! Thanks so much for the recipe and tutorial. Do you know how the homemade version compares nutritionally to store-bought almond milk?

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Kathryn January 24, 2013

More than the recipe I love the nod to the hilarity of the word nut milk bag. My husband and I live in the gutter and we always laugh and we are in our 30′s, going on teens.

I love to pour my green juice through the bag too. It gives the most wonderful green juice and no pulp. OJ can have pulp, green juice cannot!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks January 24, 2013

Love the step by step pics. I love making nut milk with cashews b/c they pulverize smoother, easier, and with less pulp than almonds…so…I don’t even strain it! I mean, I can. But, I don’t. Seeing your pulp actually makes me want to make crackers with it. But really, I just want to chug-a-lug all that glorious nut milk!

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Kathy January 24, 2013

Just curious, I have never tried making my own milks – I just thought they would be too hard. But now I’m anxious to give it a try. I used to buy almond milk, but because of the carageenan, I stopped. I usually buy all unsweetened milks. Would it be okay to leave out the dates and/or sweeteners? Do you think it would have the same taste as the purchased milks? I never liked the sweetness in the non-dairy milks. Thanks for the step by steps. Very helpful.

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Jessica January 24, 2013

Best online store for buying the vanilla beans you use?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 25, 2013

I buy them from Costco :)

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Lauren @ Gourmet Veggie Mama January 24, 2013

Love the step-by-step! Thanks for sharing — I will definitely be giving this a try.

I have to admit, I giggled inappropriately quite a few times while reading this post. Apparently I am a 12-year-old boy at heart. ;)

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Erika January 24, 2013

Angela, this post made me want to go out and buy a nut milk bag right away so I can make this all the time!!! How totally yum-sounding. However, total bummer on the propylene oxide article. I am almost to the end of my giant bag of almonds from Costco and am not sure where to buy a large volume of almonds next! I’ve only ever bought plain almonds (not even sure if they’re raw) from Costco, and nowhere is as cheap. But thanks for the eye-opener on that subject.

And ps. I felt like you were especially funny in this post! I giggled.

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lea January 24, 2013

My past experience with almond milk wasn’t good. Cheesecloth…. never again. I like the wedding veil nylon idea from Will. Hated wasting the leftover pulp. But…because the oat milk was soooo very successful and I have been using the oat pulp for crackers. I will try the same with almonds.

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Elisa Lipton @ Beach Girl Abroad/Elisa Yoga January 24, 2013

I buy my almonds at Trader Joe’s. Do you have TJ’s where you live? Good deal. I love your remark about “which do you think is easier to digest”? etc…soaked, doy! Yet…I’ve never taken the time to soak. Thanks for the inspiration..and Congrats on the success of your blog, been following you for three years now!

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Maegyn January 24, 2013

Do you think I could use the leftover blitzed up almonds to make almond butter?

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Shanda Bezzant January 24, 2013

I have heard of blending 1 T. raw sesame seeds in for added calcium, especially for kids. Any thoughts?

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Christa @ Edible Balance January 24, 2013

Fabulous tutorial Angela! I honestly cannot go back to store bought nut milk ever since I started making my own. It is just too darn easy not to make it from scratch! I LOVE my nut bag, makes it even easier :)

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Kirsty January 24, 2013

Thanks Angela, that’s how I make my almond milk too and love it! Haven’t used a whole vanilla bean, so might try that instead of extract as I really love the vanilla flavour.

I have a question though … sorry if anyone else has asked this … but where did you get that great milk bottle to store it in? I have been looking everywhere for something like that. : )

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Bulut January 24, 2013

Wow I got that exact glass bottle for homemade nut milks like 2 days ago! (and i live in Istanbul, it’s quite a coincidence i found the same thing over here)

Anyhow, thanks for the great recipe. I’ll make certain to give your variation a try. By the way, have you ever tried making nut milks with a centrifugal juicer? I do it all the time and it works wonders!

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Sound in Wind and Limb January 24, 2013

Hi Angela! I loved your post! I’ve been wanting to make Alond Milk. Do you know where I can find cheap almonds and vanilla beans? Almonds can be a bit pricey. I order from this website for a lot of my natural products. http://iherb.com/p/40180?rcode=vuf145 A 16 oz bag of raw almonds is $7.88. Not sure if that’s a good price. Thanks for your advice!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 25, 2013

I tend to buy them from Ontario natural food coop or Bulk Barn. I think they are around $1.69 for 100 grams at Bulk barn.

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Nic@diningwithastud January 24, 2013

Im now off to get a nut milk bag :) what a great tutorial!

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Michele January 24, 2013

Looks amazing! (and I enjoyed your NKOTB reference :D)

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Linda January 24, 2013

Good recipe! Yummm. By way of information (I know I wasn’t asked) the reason for soaking the dates (all nuts and seeds) over-night is to remove the phytates. Our bodies cannot digest phytates. They actually bind to the magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron in our intestines and take them OUT of our bodies without being absorbed. Grains and legumes should also be soaked for the same reasons.
Before WWII most societies knew to soak. Then along came food in boxes (fast food) and the knowledge was lost. It is one of the reasons we are not as healthy as we should be with all our variety of food. :)

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JenniferF January 25, 2013

Interesting! Thank you for that!

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Jaime January 24, 2013

I have made my own a few times now. It is so good! But disappears very quickly when I use it for smoothies. Has anyone had success with freezing their milk? I wanted to post an easy recipe for crackers using the almond pulp. So tasty and I love that I know exactly what is in them :)

Almond Pulp Crackers
1 cup firmly packed almond pulp
2 tablespoons golden flaxmeal
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon thyme or rosemary, finely chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
2. Roll dough into a ball, press between 2 sheets of parchment paper and roll to ¼ inch thickness
3. Remove top piece of parchment paper
4. Transfer the bottom piece with rolled out dough onto baking sheet
5. Cut dough into 2-inch squares with a knife or pizza cutter
6. Bake at 350 for 20-25 mins (mine took longer…maybe they were not thin enough)
7. Let crackers come to room temperature on baking sheet, then serve

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Brittney@Sound in Wind and Limb January 24, 2013

Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’m going to try it!

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Sydney January 24, 2013

I just made chocolate almond milk for the first time! And now that I know how easy it is I cannot wait to try your recipe :)

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ilona January 24, 2013

Wowza. This one little recipe combines some of my top beloved flavours! Vanilla. Dates. Almonds. Cinnamon.
Will definitely try as up until now I’ve only had boxed almond milk.
Thanks!!

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sheila January 24, 2013

i know others have already told you this, but your photos in this post are awesome! did you use a lightbox??

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 24, 2013

Oh my gosh, I totally have to do this! I haven’t bought a nut milk bag yet but you’ve convinced me that I need one. And vanilla cinnamon? Lady, you are speakin’ my language!!! ;)

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Dora January 24, 2013

i just blend 2 tbsp of almond butter (I make my own) with 2.5 cups of water and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, then strain it through my tea strainer. Way easier and more economical, and it tastes fantastic! I bet if I used blanched almonds when making the almond butter that I wouldn’t even have to strain it.

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Sherree January 24, 2013

I absolutely love almond milk and I make it about 1-2 times per week. I sweeten it with agave nectar and usually add some vanilla extract. I like the idea of using a vanilla bean and dates! I’m definitely going to try that. With the leftover pulp, I make your almond thumbprint cookies rather than using almond paste. It works out wonderfully.

As for my experience in making almond milk, I started off using a cheesecloth to strain it; it really was a disaster and the milk wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked. I recently purchased a nut milk bag at a Whole Foods in Austin, TX and it has totally changed everything. The milk is easier to strain and is significantly smoother. The clean up is quick and easy. If I remember correctly, it cost under $10. Just as an FYI, it did take some time to find it at Whole Foods, as most of the employees I talked to didn’t know what a nut milk bag was and some locations did not carry them. Eventually I found it hanging up in the bulk food section.

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