How to Make and Store Almond Milk
A recipe that's irresistible, ready in under 10 minutes, and lasts for weeks? This nut is sold.
Most of the almond milk recipes I've seen involve soaking the nuts overnight, having a food processor or blender with "Will It Blend" strength, and then a warning that the big bottle of milk you've just produced must be consumed within 2-3 days. The process and shelf life left me somewhat disinterested. I'm not a lazy cook, I simply didn't care much about nut milk. That is, until I went to the Santa Monica Farmers Market and discussed almond milk with the fine folks at Fat Uncle Farms. Fat Uncle Farms is an almond grower in California that has been "goin' nuts since 1963."
It turns out that using almond meal (instead of whole nuts) doesn't require soaking and eliminates the task of cleaning a food processor or blender. Just toss some water, meal, and any desired sweeteners into a bowl, whip it up with an easy-to-clean immersion stick, then strain and boom you're done. The short shelf life was still an issue so I asked The Google for some help on that. The answer? Freeze it! Almond milk freezes perfectly without any negative effect on flavor or texture. I don't see this storage method mentioned very often and can't figure out why. Perhaps I didn't Google hard enough.
In addition to transforming steel cut oats into a creamy indulgence, homemade almond milk doesn't have any ingredients that you can't pronounce and puts the store-bought stuff to shame. It's definitely worth the minimal effort. The ingredients also happen to be 100% farm to table which always makes me happy.
"How to Make and Store Almond Milk" is the third entry in my Recipe Card series. Posts are shorter in nature and will only feature the recipe, instructions, and tips. The series is an opportunity to feature simpler dishes that I plan to reference down the road. The ingredient proportions are inspired by Jessica Koslow's almond milk recipe in Everything I Want to Eat.
Farmers | Artisans
I make an effort to source my food from local California artisans with a special focus on the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Below is a list of the talented folks who contributed to this dish.
Meal vs. Flour
Almond flour and almond meal aren't the same thing. Make sure what you're buying is course in texture and that the package clearly states the product is meal. Some brands sell "flour/meal" which seems to have a finer texture than what I am suggesting in this recipe.
To Blanch or Not to Blanch
Almond meal is made with either whole almonds (there are bits of skin throughout) or blanched almonds. I've only used blanched meal so I can't speak to how the skins might change the flavor. Numerous recipes use whole almonds so I suspect it's fine either way.
Silicon freezer trays are great if you just want a few ounces here and there for oatmeal or some other dish.
Where to Purchase Almond Meal
Here are a few options:
- Trader Joe's "Just Almond Meal" (or a 2 Pack)
- Hoosier Hill Farm Natural Almond Meal
- Food to Live Blanched Almond Meal
- Sincerely Nuts Organic Almond Meal
- Cuisinart Immersion Blender
- Mesh Strainer (or here)
- Nut Milk Bag or Ultra Fine Cheesecloth (I use cheesecloth.)
- 2-ounce Freezer Tray
Almonds at Fat Uncle Farms - Santa Monica Farmer's Market
Ingredients (Adapted from Everything I Want to Eat)
- 235 grams or 8 1/4 ounces (about 2 cups) blanched almond meal Note: Regular almond meal is fine if that's what you can find.
- 3 1/3 cups of warm filtered water
- Pinch of flake-style salt
- 3 pitted dates, quartered (optional)
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
Instructions (Makes 2 1/4-2 1/2 Cups)
- Line a fine-mesh strainer with two layers of ultra fine cheesecloth and set over a bowl.
- In a second large bowl, combine all of the ingredients.
- Puree the ingredients with an immersion blender for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Note: If you don't have an immersion blender, a food processor will work fine.
- Taste and adjust for sweetness if adding dates and/or honey.
- Slowly pour the blended almond meal into the lined mesh strainer. Using a rubber spatula, move the mixture around so that it drains efficiently. Gently twist the top so that the last bits of milk are squeezed out (see photos). It's not essential, but I set aside the used almond mash and then strain the milk one more time. Note: You can also use an almond milk bag which I have read works very well. That being said, I'm happy with the product I get after straining the milk through the ultra fine cheesecloth.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or freeze in individual servings.