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)

Raising and educating several children over a wide range of ages with my husband and learning alo...

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)

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.

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202 Discussions

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.

1 reply

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!

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.

4 replies

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.

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.

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

Though both dairy farming and tree farming are water-intensive, almonds are important enough to California's economy, that it will probably remain the world's principal almond producer until and unless that stops being feasible. Here's hoping that one of the benefits of trade, is having the means to solve problems, better than would be possible with a collapsed economy.

What make my almond milk goes bad? after 3 days it goes soar for some reason. Some times it last for 6-7 days and sometimes not. Do you know why?

I was recommended to remove the skins (after you soak the almonds) in order to minimize any toxic elements. Also, fresh almond milk has vital oils and other enzymes that will be damaged if you boil it - raw/fresh is best. Adding sugar counteracts the health benefits, perhaps a bit of honey? ; )

1 reply

Variations are always welcome. However, my recipe is raw; boiling isn't part of it. Substitute honey for sugar if you like, but do be aware that honey is primarily composed of glucose and fructose, two simple sugars found abundantly in fruits.

Cane sugar, beet sugar, date sugar, maple sugar, and sorghum are composed of primarily sucrose, another sugar found abundantly in fruits. Other fruits containing more sucrose, than either fructose or glucose, include apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mangoes (particularly high levels of sucrose, in mangoes), nectarines, and peaches, to name a few. Most people don't realize how abundant sucrose is in nature, and assume it is some man-made refined product, never guessing that their maple syrup and date sugar are comprised mostly of sucrose as well.

Sucrose is a compound sugar, made up of a combination of both fructose and glucose. If refinement and removal of trace minerals is the chief objection to sucrose, whole, unrefined evaporated cane juice, molasses, maple sugar, and date sugar are forms of sucrose that are not refined.

Honey, in the US, can contain a certain amount of high-fructose corn syrup legally, so in order to avoid that, you must purchase raw honey from a trusted source. Usually small-scale local beekeepers who sell through farmer's markets and health food stores are my choice.

So do choose your honeys according to your principles, with full awareness of its sugar content and degree of purity.

Perception of a source of sugar as healthy or unhealthy, may not bear up to scrutiny once the composition of different sweeteners is revealed. For instance, most people who consume agave syrup have no idea that it is very similar in composition, to high-fructose corn syrup, so the perception of some sugars as innately healthier choices due to being less processed or more natural somehow, bears scrutiny in order to make truly informed choices.

But how and whether you choose to sweeten your almond milk, is entirely a personal decision, and feel free to tailor it to your taste and health preferences, of course. :)

What kind of cheese do vegans use in their mac and cheese? Great how to though, going to try it this weekend.

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 ?

1 reply

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.

I saw some people getting confused further down, so I wanted to leave this note on "bitter almonds:"

The Bitter almonds that are a source of cyanide are NOT almonds that taste bitter. The Bitter almond is a different tree from the Almond tree, and Bitter almonds are not the same as Almonds. You cannot find Bitter almonds for sale at the grocery store, not even if you wanted to.

Any ideas on unshelled almonds? I'd assume they're safer (more raw) due to them being unshelled and honestly I cannot afford organic almonds right now but I'd like to minimize the pasteurization/chemical contamination as much as possible. I wish I could grow them as you do in Spain (goatherdtoo) :)

Hi Many thanks for your excellent recipe for almond Milk..... we really enjoyed, but we have the luxury that my wife and I are Almond farmers in the Alpujarra in Spain and produce totally natural organic almonds. It is very interesting to read how almonds are being treated in the US. Should be a law against it....:-)

I didn't actually measure, and I have a hunch it would vary slightly by how long you soaked the almonds, how finely you ground them, and how well you pressed them, but that said, since the almonds don't contribute a whole lot of moisture by volume, and 3 cups of water goes in, I think it's safe to say that 3 cups plus whatever the almonds contribute, comes out. Less than 4 cups total most likely, but more than 3. That's the best I can do. Let us know how much you get?

1 reply

I'd make it again and measure just to answer this, except that I now have a kid allergic to nuts, and can't make it anymore. Sorry!

At one point you mention using 3 cups of water to 1 cup of almonds. If this is the ratio I am using to follow this instructable, what is the amount of milk I will have at the end? I can taste test to get the right consistency, but I would rather know what end amount I should end up with. Any help would be most appreciated. Thanks for posting.