Go Dairy Free has been around for a long, long time. Consequently, we have multiple recipes for certain things. But when I realized we had SEVEN homemade almond milk recipes posted, I knew it was time to consolidate. I’ve squeezed the list down, so now we have just three: my Instant Nut Milk (so great for single serve and recipe needs!), a Date-Sweetened Version (for Whole30 purists with a sweet tooth), and this classic recipe. In my opinion, it’s the best homemade almond milk, hands down. Why? It’s simple, it’s versatile, it’s healthy, it’s scrumptious, and it doesn’t mess around.
The Best Homemade Almond Milk with 5 Healthy Variations
Once you make your own dairy-free almond milk, you’ll forget about that store-bought stuff. When you craft it at home, there’s no lecithin, carrageenan, gums, or other additives. It’s just pure, delicious, and nutritious almond goodness.
That said, I’ve included all types of options with this homemade almond milk recipe, including sweetened, vanilla, creamier, and calcium-fortified versions! Yes, you can fortify your own dairy-free milk. There really are no rules. But I do have some tips and answers for some FAQs.
Is Homemade Almond Milk Cheaper?
I have to say, yes, it is. Particularly if you’re comparing apples to apples. I’ve estimated that homemade almond milk costs about $1.67 to $3.62 per quart, depending on the cost of your almonds. When I last looked, they ranged from $5.99 to $12.99 per pound. The cheapest I’m able to find almond milk quarts in store is $1.79, and these are brands with more additives and very little almonds. Pressed almond milks without additives, like Elmhurst, cost around $5.99 per quart. And “mylks” from juice bars can cost even more.
Does this Dairy-Free Almond Milk work well in Coffee?
I think it works brilliantly in coffee or tea. It adds a light nutty flavor and submerges nicely when stirred. That said, I do have an Almond Milk Creamer Recipe that I prefer to just using almond milk. It’s similar in preparation, but richer and more flavorful.
Can I Use Homemade Almond Milk in Recipes?
Definitely! As with any dairy-free milk beverage, keep the flavor profile in mind. Natural almond milk has a light nutty flavor and a very mild sweetness, even with no sugar added. It might not suit some savory sauces. But I like it with hot cereal, in baked goods, and of course, smoothies. And it does thicken nicely in sauces.
Is it Necessary to Use Blanched or Peeled Almonds?
Almonds with the skins on will produce a deeper, slightly more astringent, and less nutty flavor, but the skins are said to be high in flavonoids. The skins also cause more of a tan color, often with little flecks. I’m not a fan of the astringency, so I recommend peeled almonds for the cleanest taste. But some people do like skin-on almond milk better.
Are there Other Options for Straining the Almond Milk?
For the smoothest results, I do recommend using a nut milk bag or cheesecloth. Both are inexpensive and well worth the small investment. In a pinch, you can strain the almond milk through a fine mesh sieve, but this will leave more sediment. But, no matter how well you strain homemade almond milk, it will tend to settle as it sits. So be sure to stir, shake, or blend it before each use.
Special Diet Notes: The Best Homemade Almond Milk
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, paleo, Whole30 approved, and keto-friendly.
- 1 cup raw blanched almonds (see Almond Note below)
- 4 cups water, plus additional for soaking
- 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. If your almonds aren't blanched, this is the time to peel them, if desired (see Almond Note below).
- Put the soaked almonds in your blender, and add about 2 cups of the water. Blend until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the remaining 2 cups water and salt. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
- 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.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Stir before each use; it will thicken slightly and separate as it chills.
Nutrition Facts Note: The nutrition amounts are based on about 30% pulp remaining. The actual nutrition might vary.
Sweetened Option: This milk beverage has just a gentle natural sweetness that's fairly neutral. If you prefer a sweeter sip, Return the almond milk to your blender after you strain it. Blend in 2 tablespoons of your favorite sweetener, or to taste. Cane sugar or agave nectar will produce the purest sweetness, but maple syrup, honey, and coconut sugar are also lovely options. This adds about 5 grams of sugar and 20 calories per 1 cup. You can alternatively use a sugar-free sweetener, but adjust the amount to taste.
Creamy Option: If you want a thicker almond milk, closer to whole or half and half, use just 3 cups of water.
Vanilla Option: Blend 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, or to taste, in with the salt.
Calcium-Fortified Option: Return the almond milk to your blender after you strain it. Blend in your desired amount of calcium powder. It does add a touch of chalkiness (it's a mineral!). I like to use calcium citrate or a calcium-magnesium combination for better absorption. For a flavored version, I blend in Bluebonnet Liquid Calcium-Magnesium. 2½ tablespoons of Bluebonnet adds about 333mg of calcium and 167mg of magnesium per cup.