I have really always hated milk. As a kid I had to put in a special juice request at snack time and in the lunch line because if presented with milk, I would pitch a fit. At home I’d eat the cereal out of my bowl leaving behind exactly how much milk my mom poured in. I don’t care much for milk-based things either unless the milk is disguised. For example, sharp hard cheeses are ok but soft creamy cheese freaks me out. Yogurt buried under mountains of granola is doable but doesn’t stand a chance on its own.
The point of this back story is to illustrate that I’ve been drinking milk alternatives for some time now. First it was soy milk but, after hearing excessive soy is not so excessively great for you, I switched to rice and almond and anything else I could find. Except hemp. Hemp milk is terrible.
I usually buy organic unsweetened milks but am not attached to any one brand. Still, I’m not always happy with what’s in these milk substitutes–too much sugar, weird additives, things I can’t pronounce. I always knew you could make your own milks at home but it seemed like a daunting task.
Today I finally gave it a go.
I made almond milk, oat milk and have an interesting quinoa milk currently soaking in the fridge. So far almond is the clear winner–super easy, two ingredients, bright white and comparable to its store-bought counterpart.
Homemade Almond Milk
1/3 c raw almonds, blanched, skins removed
2 c water (plus another 1.5-2c for blanching almonds; see below)
pinch of salt
To blanch your almonds, simply boil them in about two cups of water for several minutes. Remove from heat and pour onto a towel to cool. Once cool enough to be handled, simply pop the nuts out of the skins. (It’s seriously so much easier than I anticipated and took about 60 seconds to peel.)
Combine peeled almonds, fresh water (not what you used to blanch), salt and any flavorings you’d like (vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa, etc.) in a blender. Blend until well combined. (I used my “liquify” setting.) Once done, line mason jar with a cheesecloth (I didn’t have one so I used a paper towel) and pour in the milk. The leftover almond pulp will remain in the cloth. Squeeze out any excess milk and save your pulp for other adventures. (I mixed mind with 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast and liquid aminos for a “cheese” alternative.)
This recipe made 2 cups of almond milk so I’d definitely double it and make larger batches. In terms of cost, the homemade version is a better option for me.
32 oz of store-bought almond milk: $3, $0.75 per serving
32 oz of homemade almond milk: $2.33, $0.58 per serving
For some people the ease of buying almond milk in the store is worth the extra cost. I found the process to be incredibly simple and I appreciate the control I have over the ingredients. One thing to consider with homemade milks is that they aren’t fortified with calcium, B vitamins, etc. like many of the products in stores so you’ll want to be aware of taking a supplement or compensating with the rest of your diet.