Two important things to know prior to embarking upon this endeavor. Almonds need to be soaked overnight AND you'll need a nut bag - most Health Food Shops now sell these or you can get one online. Also, if you're only making almond milk for smoothies (not drinking on its own or using in cereals etc.) you don't need to strain the milk unless you're really not into the texture.... scroll to the bottom if simply using in smoothies.
Making homemade almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk) is actually very easy AND because you're making it at home, you get to skip all the crappy ingredients like stabilizers, gums, additives and preservatives!! But, without those things, it doesn't have a terribly long shelf life and by that I mean it lasts about 3 days. If everyone in your house is drinking it - it's totally worth it. If you're the only one and you skip a day - you may end up throwing it out on more occasions than you'd like to, which is so sad.
That said, it's very easy to freeze and if you're only using it in your morning coffee or in a smoothie (for example) you could just freeze it in ice cube trays for perfect little individual portions!!! Then you could make larger batches and always have it on hand. In fact, freezing is really the way to go - even if you just use it for your night-time Golden Mylk, you can still just pop a cube or two into your mug and cover with boiling water prior to adding the remaining ingredients,
So - how do you make almond milk?
1 Cup Raw Almonds
3 Cups Water (plus more for soaking)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla (optional)
1 Grind Sea Salt (optional)
1 Whole, Pitted Date (optional)
Before you go to bed - put the almonds into a jar or bowl at least 3 times the size of the almonds (I use one large pyrex 4 or 8 cup measuring cup for everything so that I don't have 4 different receptacles to clean!), cover with water and let soak overnight (approx 8 hours).
In the morning, toss the water, rinse the almonds and drop them into your high speed blender. Add all remaining ingredients. Blend fully - about a minute or so. Open the nut bag over your pyrex measuring cup (or whatever your using - the wider the mouth the better) and pour the nut mixture in. Carefully hold up the bag and allow the liquid to funnel through. A good amount will travel through on its own but eventually you need to step in and start squeezing. DON'T SQUEEZE TOO HARD or it will spoodge (technical term) out the top - which is not fun and you'll basically have to start the straining process over. Keep squeezing until all the liquid is out and you're left with just damp almond pulp in the bag.
* Side Note: if you're only making almond milk for smoothies - you could technically skip this step and actually leave all of the almond pulp in there. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just more natural state and grainy. But if your smoothie has tons of ingredients in it anyway you're never going to notice it. Keep it simple!
What to do with that left over almond pulp? Good question! Most people toss it, sadly. It can be added to smoothies, or used in a ton of recipes - check out a few of my favorites: