How can I make such a bold claim? Because, it’s true. Homemade almond milk creamer is more versatile, delicious (IMO), and seamless than store-bought varieties. It’s also healthier, “cleaner,” and truly plant-based. And did I mention, you can make it straight from your pantry with ingredients that you probably have on hand right now? There’s no need to go out for an unnecessary trip to the store when you have this dairy-free almond creamer recipe at your fingertips!
Homemade Almond Milk Creamer that’s Way Better than Store-Bought
This recipe is from my flagship book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, which is available in print and instantly as an ebook. I’ve filled that book with dozens of dairy substitute recipes and shortcuts for every need that I could think of. This dairy-free almond milk creamer recipe can be found in the “Cream of the Crop” recipe chapter, and below! As always, I have some alternatives and tips to help this recipe work perfectly for you.
If you don’t have time to soak the nuts, I have a shortcut for you. Blend the nuts in your spice grinder, blender, or food processor until they are finely ground and close to powdered. (If using almonds, I recommend using blanched nuts since you won’t be able to peel them.) Add the powdered / ground nuts to your blender with half of the water. Blend until smooth and creamy. Blend in the remaining water and ingredients.
This method usually produces a thicker finish and less sediment, so I often need to add a little more water. In theory, this sounds like a better method, but we prefer the cleaner taste that you get with the soaked method over this instant option. If you have time, soak first.
Other Types of Nut Creamers
Yes, you can use this recipe with other nuts! Most work well, but check out my post on How to Make the Best Dairy-Free Creamer for a ranked list of the nuts that work best. That post also includes more tips and suggestions that you might find helpful.
Hazelnuts and cashews are the two alternate nuts I recommend most for this recipe, but you might like some of the other nutty options. You can always whip up just a half batch, and use the substitute suggestions that follow if it doesn’t work out.
Homemade Almond Creamer is a Good Substitute for Half & Half or Carnation Almond Cooking Milk
If you need a light cream or half & half for a recipe, and the light nuttiness of almond fits the flavor profile, you can use this almond milk creamer as a substitute! Simply omit the sweetener and flavoring. If you’ve already sweetened or flavored the recipe, it will still work well in smoothies, pancakes, baked goods, and over cereal. Just thin it with a little more water if you need more of a milk beverage.
Special Diet Notes: Almond Milk Creamer
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo-friendly, and optionally keto-friendly.
- 1 cup almonds, preferably blanched* (see post above for other options)
- 2½ cups water, plus additional for soaking
- 1 to 3 tablespoons sweetener, to taste (optional)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon vanilla, almond, or hazelnut extract, to taste (optional)
- Pinch salt
- Put the almonds in a container and cover with a few inches of water. Cover and place in the refrigerator to soak for 12 to 24 hours.
- Drain and rinse the almonds.
- Put the soaked almonds and 2½ cups water in your blender. Blend until relatively smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- For a smoother finish, pour the milky mixture through a nut milk bag or a few layers of cheesecloth lining a sieve to strain. Squeeze the pulp to extract as much milky goodness as possible.
- Return the nut creamer to your blender and blend in the sweetener (if using), extract (if using), and salt.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Stir before each use; it will thicken and separate as it chills.
Nutrition Facts: These are based on 1 tablespoon of sugar. Each tablespoon of sweetener added, will add about .3g sugar and 1 calorie per serving.
This recipe is from my flagship book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, which is available in print and instantly, via eBook.
I would be interested in the calories per tablespoon at your convenience. I made this, with only 2 cups water, did not remove the skins, and ABSOLUTELY love it. Rich, thick, nutty flavor. Thank you, for I have been looking for the trick to almond creamer for sometime. Who knew, it was soak for 36 hours, and strain through cheese cloth.
Hi Laura, I’ve added that information, and included a nutrition facts note. Also, the calorie count and some of the nutrition facts will be lower if you strain the creamer. It’s difficult to know how many calories, carbs, and fiber grams are removed with the pulp.
So how is this different than making homemade almond “milk”?
The technique is the same. This recipe is thicker, and has sweetener and flavor added, as desired. That’s what creamer is! Thicker milk or “milk” optionally with sweetener and/or flavoring. I wouldn’t recommend drinking this version by the glass, like almond “milk” as it is richer and thicker. This is intended as a creamer.
Do you have any recommendations for increasing shelf life? Such as the Freezer or vacuum seal bags of some sort? Thanks!
Hmm, it has the same shelf life as opened dairy-free creamer without preservatives (which is many of them), technically. I just err on the side of freshness with my recommendations. You can freeze it into cubes and store them in a ziploc in the freezer.
I really like this recipe, but I can’t get it sweet enough for my liking. I used 6 pitted dates. What types of sweeteners do you suggest?
Update to my question: I tried my coffee with half coffee and half of the almond creamer and it tastes great! Sweet enough for me. Kind of like a cafe au lait 😉
That’s great! And that sounds delicious 🙂
For the sweetness, I do find that dates are tricky – they really don’t provide overt sweetness the way traditional sweeteners do. I personally like honey or maple syrup. The provide more well-rounded flavor while adding plenty of sweetness, in my opinion. My husband likes just regular sugar – which you can usually use less of, if that helps 🙂
great ideas! I will try maple syrup on my next batch! Thank you!
Just made this and it tastes delish! It looks like hell in my coffee though-it separates and gets kinda glumpy (new word?) Maybe because there’s no stabalizers or smoothing additives? Thoughts?
Interesting, I never have issues with it separating. Usually the ones with additives (like gums) separate more. But yes, emulsifiers, like lecithin, are often used for a smoother finish. So you used blanched almonds, filtered it thoroughly through a nut milk bag, and stirred it before use? Clumps would usually mean it isn’t properly filtered, and that you still have too much nut pulp. Also, what sweetener did you use?
Can you use store bought almond milk instead of making your own?
I’m not sure what you mean. You want to buy almond milk to use as creamer? You could certainly do that if you want. This is a homemade recipe for creamer, which is thicker than almond milk.