Although almond milk is becoming widely available in supermarkets across the country (especially now that Silk sells its own variety), nothing beats the taste of a homemade batch.
Almond milk recipes have been around for decades and can be found in a variety of books and websites. By no means is this an original concept of mine.
That said, the version below is the one I have found to be ideal for me in terms of taste and texture after much experimentation.
1.5 cups soaked raw almonds (see note about soaking after recipe)
4 cups cold water
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine almonds, water, and salt in blender. Process for at least one minute.
Place a cheesecloth, fine sieve, or nutmilk bag over a large container. Pour “milk” into cheesecloth, sieve, or nutmilk bag. For smoothest results, repeat this step one more time.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTES:
You can make this with any nut or seed. I have made pecan milk (delicious!), cashew milk, hazelnut milk, and hempseed milk.
The ratio of nuts/seeds to water determines the texture and consistency of the final product. For a creamier milk, decrease the ratio. For a thinner liquid, increase it. Experiment!
Try different flavorings! One of my favorites for this recipe is to add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and half a teaspoon of cinnamon before blending. For chocolate nutmilk, add 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder. Strawberry milk? Throw in a small handful of strawberries into the blender after you’ve made the milk. Other sweet suggestions that I have used in the past: half a banana; one or two figs/pitted dates.
The fat and fiber content in this milk is not equal to the amount in the number of almonds used to make it. After you strain the milk, you will have a significant amount of solid almond lump left behind (which, by the way, you can combine with cocoa powder, a tablespoon of the sweetener of your choice, and some shredded coconut in a food processor and then spread over a baking sheet and bake for a delicious granola-like snack).
For easier blending in conventional blenders (and for better flavor), I recommend soaking the almonds in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours first (any container will do, just make sure to completely cover the almonds in water). If you are using soaked almonds, drain the soaked liquid from the container, rinse two or three times, and then go ahead and make your milk.
Almond milk lasts 3 days in the refrigerator. It is super versatile; I have used it in coffee, over cereal, and in smoothies.