How to Milk an Almond (fresh Homemade Almond Milk, Easy)

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Introduction: How to Milk an Almond (fresh Homemade Almond Milk, Easy)

About: Raising and educating several children over a wide range of ages with my husband and learning along with them as a way of life.

Fresh raw almond milk is delicious, healthy, unprocessed, and economical. There is no waste, no unrecyclable plastic-lined tetra-pak boxes or cartons to put in landfills and drink BPA out of, and this tastes much, much better than storebought. The resulting almond meal is a free bonus, useful in cookies, crumb crusts, porridge, granolas, or in lieu of bread crumbs in stuffings and dressings, breaded crusts, etc.

To make a half gallon (or 2 liters) of delicious fresh almond milk, you will need:

about a pound (or roughly half a kilo) of fresh raw almonds out of the shell
A blender or food processor
A large bowl to strain into
A mesh bag or cheesecloth for first straining
A reusable fine wire mesh coffee cone or fine muslin bag for second straining
A half gallon or 2 liter refrigerator jug to keep it in
A few pinches of salt (optional)
Sweetener of your choice, to taste (optional)

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Step 1: Measure and Soak Almonds

You will be using about 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of raw almonds out of the shell. Soak overnight in enough water to cover with a little water more, to provide room for swelling. Another easier way to measure if you want to make 2 quarts or 2 liters at a time, is that 1 lb (or roughly a half kilo) of raw almonds out of the shell, makes a half gallon or 2 quarts or roughly 2 liters of creamy, rich almond milk when sufficient water is added after squeezing, to equal that volume. You can of course halve the water to make an almond cream suitable as coffee creamer, nog base, cream pies, or other uses where milk may be too thin.

Step 2: Puree in Blender or Food Processor

A quick whir in a powerful blender results in a thick, frothy almond puree, ready to be squeezed in a mesh bag or jelly bag, cheesecloth, or something similar. Simply place your cheesecloth or mesh strainer bag over the bowl, pour and scoop your puree into it, draw it closed, and start squeezing until the almond meal is as dry as you can get it. Don't add any more water at this point.

The harder you squeeze, the more creamy and nutritious your milk will be, but not to worry, any you don't get into the milk will still be eaten in the form of the almond meal, so there is nothing wasted. I use a fine plastic mesh drawstring bag that doubles as a shopping bag for small loose items like garlic or peppers.

Step 3: Fine-strain for Perfectly Creamy Results

I then pour the undiluted almond milk (that I just strained through the bag into a bowl) through a reusable gold metal mesh coffee cone filter. When it slows, gentle stirring makes filtering go faster. At the end, I press the bit of almond paste in the bottom to extract the last and creamiest bit. This finer, white almond meal is good to keep and dry separately and use as almond flour.

Step 4: Add Water to Equal Your Total Volume

I make this easier by straining it the second time directly into my glass half-gallon refrigerator pitcher, and then adding more water to fill the pitcher, but if you are making an amount different from a half gallon, proceed accordingly to get an end result of 3 cups of water for every cup of almond. You may thin it to taste by adding water, but better too rich than too thin, because too rich can be solved by adding water, but too thin is too bad.

Step 5: Let "bloom" 24 Hours in the Fridge, Add a Bit of Salt Etc

Let it sit covered in the refrigerator pitcher for 24 hours. You will notice a creamy layer floats on top, but with a few gentle shaking sessions and a day or so in the refrigerator, it will blend nicely and taste superbly creamy. Once that has happened, add sweetener if you choose, and salt a pinch at a time, shaking in between and tasting, until the flavor goes from a little "flat" with no salt, to "better than any milk I ever tasted" (perfect). If not sure, hold back on another pinch of salt because one pinch too many ruins it. If you accidentally do add that one extra pinch past perfect taste, add more sweetener and it will no longer taste salty. Some add vanilla, others add almond extract or other flavors. You can even add dutched cocoa for a creamy sensation.

See how this clings to the glass like the freshest dairy milk? Commercial preparations use thickeners such as guar gum to achieve something similar but their results are inferior. It's hard not to drink it all up the first day, but it's even better the second. Keeps about a week in the refrigerator, but don't leave it out on the counter unless you want to experiment with raw almond yogurt or kefir.

Now you can enjoy lowcarb (depending on type and amount of sweetener if any) delicious vegan milk useful in vegan nogs, cream soups, mac-n-cheese, cream pies, alfredo, and so forth, whilst saving money over wasteful inferior pasteurized storebought concoctions, and keep your almond meal for the same price!

As for the almond meal, that may be another Instructable, but briefly, you spread it out on a half-sheet in a 300 degree F oven stirring a few times here and there until toasty and dry. Store in a jar, use as breadcrumbs, crumb crusts, breading, stuffing, cookies, cakes, and bars, or make into low glycemic granola.

1 Person Made This Project!

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208 Discussions

Mentioned here is the fact there are no "BPA's" and it reduces landfills. Here's the problem with using almonds for milk. Are you aware every single almond takes 1.1 gallons of water to grow. This equates to approximately 330 gallons of water for every pound of almonds. Read here: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/02/wheres-californias-water-going

The problem is this isn't environmentally friendly at all, especially considering 80% of the world's almond harvest comes from California. http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2014/07/your-almond-habit-sucking-califoirnia-dry

Also consider that 10% of California's ENTIRE water supply is used in farming almonds.

Until California's water supply is solved, almond milk is very UNenviromentally friendly. What's also scary is the fact 21% of America's dairy comes from California as well, which will be very difficult to produce with little water in the state.

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malexander
malexander

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Then again, have you compared water footprints between almond farming and dairy farming?

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ihavegotnewsocks
ihavegotnewsocks

Reply 2 months ago

Yes, milk from soy, rice, and oats all take less water, considering California's delicate water issues these would be better suited than almonds. Again, like I said- almonds are UNenvironmentally friendly!

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Billlyk7919
Billlyk7919

Reply 4 years ago

Hi, I noticed you didnt give % amount on the water intake of dairy cows. Is that because you don't know or because you chose not to show them against the almond figures? You might want to check out how much water a dairy cow needs per day & then compare the numbers on a grand total. I know you'll change your view or at the least be more thoughtful when expressing your opinion. Cheers.

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TylerC82
TylerC82

Reply 3 years ago

1 gallon of cow milk takes about 1000 gallons of water to produce, 3 times as much as almond milk.

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ihavegotnewsocks
ihavegotnewsocks

Reply 2 months ago

Not compared to cows milk, pick a point I made if you want to debate the point.

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ihavegotnewsocks
ihavegotnewsocks

Reply 2 months ago

Nowhere did I compare to cow's milk. It's a logical fallacy to claim my argument is for something other than what it is for, and other than trying to pin my argument to a this versus that (one vs one) thing, there would be no point in only bringing up cow's milk. There is oat milk, soy milk, and rice milk, all of which would put less strain on California's water supply. When it comes to expressing the desire for one to "be more thoughtful when expressing your opinion", it might be wise to not enlist the aid of a logical fallacy. You might just look very much like the pot calling the kettle black.
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megmaine
megmaine

Reply 3 years ago

Even though it takes far less water and land resources to grow almond trees than it does to grow dairy cattle, (and that is even without concerns over the humane treatment of animals) you are right to point out that we need to diversify our sources of almonds and everything else, such that a calamity in one growing area will not result in worldwide shortage. Keeping all our eggs in one basket is foolishness. You would also be right to point out that the habit and desire to drink a white creamy beverage that is either dairy or an imitation of dairy, is better to discourage than to encourage, but my purpose with this instructable was simply to help those who wanted to make their own almond milk, do so, not to discuss whether the consumption of creamy white beverages makes sense in a given area or situation beyond that of pre-weaned nursing.

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markbaker.gm
markbaker.gm

Question 3 months ago on Introduction

How many cups of Almonds/Water would be needed to make a litre of Almond Milk?

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sabaan
sabaan

10 years ago on Introduction

Is there any way to use roasted, salted almonds instead of raw almonds?  I thought about rinsing them in water before putting them to soak.  Kind of like how you shower before you go in the hot tub.  Also, I really wanted to reserve the water for vegetable stock.  I'm willing to take the squirrel's risk.  But, outside of earlier arguments, would there be any additional reason for not using almonds that have been heavily processed like the ones I'm planning on using?  And I was hoping to use my slow cooker instead of the oven (less electricity).  The only advice I've found on curing or drying in a slow cooker has come from cannabis-related sites.  I guess it's reliable, though.  I'm asking all of this because of this asinine scheme I've been literally cooking up all week.  If you want to read about it, feel free.  But also feel free not to.  I just typed it to get it out of my system.

Okay.  I'm hoping this doesn't sound stupid.  I've challenged myself to make a week's menu plan using a soy-free, gluten-free version of eco-Atkins.  I want to spend less than $100 and feed my family of four with three daily meals and an additional snack.  (Eco-Atkins is a high protein diet that relies on plant protein instead of animal protein.  It differs from Atkins in that you are allowed up to 130 net carbs per day-- closer to the "Maintenance" or final phase of Atkins, whereas the initial phase of Atkins keeps net carbs at 20 or less.)  I eat seitan, but just wanted to create a bigger challenge for myself.  I normally keep soy-free because I developed soy sensitivities most likely from overconsumption.  My fault.  I ate soy in every over processed form at every meal.  If I'd done the same with Stevia, I'd probably have gotten cancer, too.  (Somewhat kidding.  Just referencing earlier comments about supposedly cancer-causing Stevia.  But only somewhat kidding because who knows how much Stevia I could inhale if left to my own devices.  Any gluttonous consumption can lead to consequences.  And my soya love was gluttonous.)  Anyhow, eco-Atkins has gotton a lot of criticism from vegans just for reminding them of the Atkins diet (where you can eat an all-you-care-to-eat buffet's worth of bacon, but need to refrain from the forbidden fruits of carb-ridden apples).  Atkins' loyalists have given the plan criticism because it's not Atkins-y enough (too many carbs), people might think it implies that this version is healthier than their version, and it relies too much on soy and gluten.  And, of course, the usual criticisms about any plan that cuts out an entire food group like dairy, how veganism is too restrictive for people to follow, and any implementation would be too costly.  This is so long because I'm just so excited!  It was really just a study conducted by David Jenkins, who helped develop the Glycaemic Index.  He was just exploring if vegans could follow the Atkins diet.  He also wanted to see if there were any benefits to relying on plant-based protein as opposed to animal-based protein.  I'm just doing this to prove something to myself.  I have no idea why.  But I'm having fun, and that's all that matters.  And my six-year old daughter acted like the spaghetti squash was magic when we de-seeded and de-pulped "the plant that grows noodles inside of it."  I avoided calling it a squash, but did say it was in the pumpkin family.  She said "that pumpkin's cousin is really creative."
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Blaise_Gauba
Blaise_Gauba

Reply 7 months ago

I would get the impression that using roasted (salted) almonds might turn out not so well. I say that because when you roast nuts, you basically cook the oils contained in the nut, so they essentially become sort of rancid. When you roast anything, you usually turn whatever you have roasted into a prion source. Prions are free-radicals which are most certainly associated with all sorts of inflammation-causing illnesses, including various types of cancers. I tend to steer clear of cooking too many foods, and when I do, depending on WHAT I am cooking, I usually always try to do Low-Temperature Cooking.

You can Google Low-Temperature Cooking or find a few YouTube channels on how it works, and how to do it, and what sorts of foods are capable or better off being cooked at low temperatures. I actually cook salmon at low temperature to protect the essential fatty acids in the fish. Granted, salmon is also considered a predator fish that lives almost its entire life in the ocean, so salmon are also contaminated with mercury and other heavy metals. So we don't eat a LOT of salmon.

I spoke with an ocean biologist who is a friend of a friend of mine, and she told me (at my/her friend's dinner party) that ALL sea creatures that they have studied are ALL contaminated with mercury and other contaminants. Most of this due to human-caused industries, even though there IS some amount of naturally occurring heavy metal toxicity in the oceans which comes mostly from freshwater sources, rivers, etc. draining into large bodies of water.

That being said, everything in moderation as they say. Living the healthiest lifestyle one can live, if possible, and/or if desired. Everything you do is based on a choice. You cannot choose to not choose. :-)

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megmaine
megmaine

Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

Very interesting. I think the question you were asking was whether roasted almonds can be used. If someone has done it, please let us know, but I am otherwise quite certain that you will not get almond milk from roasted almonds.
However, if you would like to try, and post your results here, it would be an interesting read. Thanks for posting!

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URSpider94
URSpider94

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

@megmaine, I made almond milk for the first time today, and I used roasted almonds, not raw. Came out just fine!

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megmaine
megmaine

Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

You could try it (roasted, salted almonds) but I seriously doubt you would get anything resembling almond milk, because the roasting process dries the almonds as well as alters their properties. Imagine trying to get sap from dried maple firewood...

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mikilewinger
mikilewinger

6 years ago on Introduction

Thank you my friend ! I have just finished my first batch and it came out almost as creamy as sour cream.  I added one tablespoon of sugar for every two cups of water and it came out too sweet for my taste.

1) I usually boil homemade soy milk after preparation, should I boil almond milk as well ?
2) Is there a way to get rid of **most** of the cyanide smell so that i becomes "MyKids" friendly ?
3) Any oppinion on adding some pinches of salt ? Would it make it "less fatty" ?
4) I wonder how much fat percentage is in it ?

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Blaise_Gauba
Blaise_Gauba

Reply 7 months ago

For health reasons, you might consider using Stevia instead of sugar. Even raw, unfiltered or minimally processed sugar does a body bad. Yes, sugar is an empty calorie, but Stevia I have found, also is calorie-free, taste very sweet because it's concentrated... so you should start out light when adding it to foods and beverages until you get it to the sweetness that you like. Sugar is connected to diabetes and other unnecessary illnesses which all can be avoided just by avoiding sugar... or just about, depending on what the rest of your eating, exercise, and other personal healthcare habits are. Stevia should also be used sparingly, just to be on the healthy side. But Stevia has been proven not to affect a person's blood-sugar levels.

I found this Instructable informative and helpful.

Best of health to everyone, including the cows.

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megmaine
megmaine

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

You're welcome, and I am sorry for neglecting this site as of recent years, but being a homeschooling mother of 3 with multiple food allergies is demanding. (sadly, I can no longer make the almond milk due to food allergies of the kids, but it's still lovely stuff).
As to your questions,
1) I have never boiled this, and can't imagine it would improve the flavor or texture. But feel free to try it and report back! Life is about experimentation.

2) Cyanide smell? I never experienced that, so I cannot comment. My kids enjoyed my almond milk until one became allergic to this as well (adding to a long list...sigh..). I once bit into an almond that had twin seeds, slim ones, and it filled my mouth with an almost overpowering maraschino cherry scent and flavor. I always wondered if that were by some fluke, a "bitter almond" but as many have posted here, due to their dangerous nature for consumption, they are heavily regulated and should not make it into the food supply. Otherwise, people would be dropping like flies, yes?

3) I LOVE pinches of salt! In fact, it rounds out the flavor of anything sweet, very nicely. Dairy milk has quite a bit of naturally occurring sodium, and any milks made to be creamy and taste similar, benefit from some salt. It's amazing when you add a bit, taste, add a bit more, and then hit the mythic sweet spot, and have a delectable beverage, topping, etc.
4) For fat percentage, I couldn't guess except to expect that almond milk would have an amount of fat similar to the total volume divided by the amount of fat in the amount of almonds that went in. That total would be the asymptote, the possible maximum. The real amount would likely be slightly less, since you can't extract every bit of oil from this simple method. So, calculate the amount of fat in the total amount of almonds used, then divide by number of servings you decide on for your volume of measured output of almond milk, and recognize that as an ideal maximum, and that the reality will fall somewhat short of that.

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cutt37
cutt37

6 years ago on Introduction

First you have to wait until the almonds have matured. Once the almond utters are fully developed, you are able to milk the almonds for all they're worth. 1 almond makes 2 ounces of almond milk. Be sure to use correct form as to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. Almonds can only be milked once every fort night.

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TheRainbow
TheRainbow

Reply 2 years ago

megmaine, thanks for the great instructable.

I came to this site having fun searching how to milk an almond.

cutt37, My fingers are too big so I have to ask my daughter to do it for us. I am concerned with her getting carpal tunnel. Any advice? ;-P

As a side note, I just showed my wife pictures of a spaghetti tree. Did you ever see pics of how productive some them are?

Have a great day!