I’ve never been a fan of commercial non-dairy milks. They taste processed to me, and I don’t like all the additives and wasteful packaging. For a long time I made cashew milk, but the impossibility of finding raw cashews in Guatemala had me looking for alternatives. I make coconut milk, but it doesn’t work well for non-dairy cheeses. Then I found this Super Rich and Simple Almond Milk. It’s the most versatile non-dairy milk I make.
I had tried making almond milk before, but I didn’t like the result. Why? I was too impatient to remove the skins from the almonds. When you make milk from almonds with the skins on, even when you thoroughly strain the milk, the flavor of the skins comes through. It wasn’t until I realized how simple it is to remove the skins that homemade almond milk became a staple in my kitchen.
If you can buy almonds already blanched (skins removed), go for it. I buy raw almonds in bulk from the local market and invest a bit of extra time in removing the skins. I’m blessed to have a husband who does this for me.
This recipe gives you a very rich milk–I use it as a creamer in my coffee–which is why it works so well for cheeses. You can always add more water if you don’t want the milk to be so rich.
What You Need
Besides almonds and water, you’ll need are a blender (high power, such as the Vitamix or Blendtec, works best) and something to strain the milk after it’s blended. I love these hemp nut milk bags, but you can always layer a strainer with cheesecloth.
Remove the Almond Skins
Put 1 cup of almonds in a heat-proof bowl. Cover the almonds in boiling water, and allow them to sit until they’re cool enough to handle. Take the almonds, one by one, between your thumb and index finger, and squeeze gently. In most cases the skin will pop right off. If the skin doesn’t pop off, drain the almonds and cover with boiling water again and repeat the process. If the almonds are fresh, a second pass with the boiling water is rarely needed.
Once you get the hang of it, you should be able to pop the skins off a cup of almonds in less than 10 minutes. I do two cups at a time, soak them overnight, then drain the soaking water. I use half the almonds for milk right then and freeze the other half of the almonds so they’re ready to be made into milk later.
Soaking the almonds at least eight hours makes them nice and soft, so you get a verrry creamy almond milk. Of course, having a high-power blender helps with the creaminess too, but it’s not required.
Make the Almond Milk
- Put one cup of almonds (skins removed and soaked at least eight hours) into a blender with four cups of water and a pinch of salt.
- Blend for two minutes.
- Strain the milk (a nut milk bag is easiest)
The milk will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 4–5 days. I use it in my coffee, in sauces, to make cheeses, as a base for creamy soups–in any recipe that calls for milk.