homemade almond milk paleo recipe dairy-free

Almond Milk

I started making homemade almond milk in the late 1990’s. It’s creamy and delicious and so much better than store bought. Almond milk is wonderful because it’s a natural, dairy-free alternative to cow’s milk. The boys drink my homemade almond milk by the glassful, while I enjoy it in my Dandelion Coffee. It’s also great in smoothies. If you’ve been wondering how to make almond milk you’ll love my easy almond milk recipe, as well as all the amazing uses I have for the leftover almond pulp.

The hands-on time for this almond milk recipe is around 10 minutes. First though, you’ll need to soak the almonds overnight to soften them. Soaking the almonds makes the milk super creamy. Soaking also makes the almonds easier to digest because their phytic acid is released into the soaking water. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that impairs digestion and steals minerals from the body. That’s why we throw away the soaking water and blend the almonds up with fresh water to make the almond milk.

After blending the almonds with fresh water, you’ll separate the liquid, i.e., the milk from the pulp. That will be a cinch if you use a nut milk bag. I’ve linked to it in the recipe for you. In the old days I used cheese cloth and that was a bit messy because the almond pulp squirted out of it. You won’t have that problem if you use a nut milk bag. If you have children don’t say the words “nut milk bag” in front of them, or they’ll laugh at you!

Almond Milk
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Soak almonds and vanilla bean overnight in several cups water
  2. Discard soaking water and rinse almonds in a deep bowl of water, repeat until water is clear
  3. Place soaked almonds, vanilla bean, and 4 cups water in vitamix
  4. Blend on high speed for 90 seconds
  5. Strain milk through a nut milk bag, save pulp to make Wheat Thins
  6. Serve

This almond milk recipe has an incredibly sweet flavor when you use vanilla bean. You can make this recipe with vanilla extract instead. If you do that, add the vanilla extract to the strained milk after you soak, blend, and separate it from the pulp. You can also add honey or maple syrup to it if you want a sweeter milk. Store your homemade almond milk in a glass mason jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Don’t worry about wasting the leftover pulp from your homemade almond milk. I’ve created healthy recipes for you that use leftover almond pulp, so that you don’t have to throw it away. These almond pulp recipes do not require you to dehydrate the almond pulp prior to using it, and each of them are made with only 5 ingredients. Yes, they’re that simple!

Comments

  1. Lincoln says

    Got into smoothies this Christmas when I was given a blender that has enough power to make smoothies. Had seen a lot of recipes that use almond milk but had never tried them. Living as I do in a little village in the mountains in Spain, almond milk is not considered a necessity in the small local shop!

    Funnily enough I am surrounded by almond trees, I even have my own! Your recipe therefore was just what I was looking for. Can’t thank you enough for sharing. I now have a use for all my almonds…..oh and it tastes good too!

      • kaye grill says

        Dear Elana, can I use the “super fine Almond flour to make almond milk. Please send me receipe because I am cutting down on carbs and other forms of milk and have a huge bag of the flour that I would like to use up. Thank you, Kaye

  2. says

    I simply used almond flour from Honeyville that you recommended. I have 25lbs so needed to use it!! It’s so much :-) Just using Almond flour worked great. You can bypass the soaking etc. I put some maple syrup and vanilla in there and it was an awesome milk shake.

  3. says

    Elana,

    It is my understanding that almond skins contain phytic acid, which is an enzyme inhibitor making it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients. Once you soak the almonds overnight and go to re-use the pulp, do you know if the pulp still contains phytic acid?

    • nat says

      I know Megan Heaton’s comment was a while ago, but maybe others were wondering as well. From what I gather, the phytic acid remains in the soaking water, so as long as you drain and rinse after soaking, your whole almonds, the milk and the pulp should be fine. Thanks for all the great recipes Elana!

  4. Kim says

    I had no idea how easy this was to create in my own kitchen! I made hazelnut milk and used a clean sock to strain it though. The pulp was used to make crackers with some cocao nibs and coconut flakes. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Vee says

    Wow! 20 Hrs. @ 135F. I didn’t know I was dehydrating the crackers. My oven’s lowest temp is 170F. I will try that for 12 hrs and see. For those of you that don’t like squeezing the pulp in your hands, try a strainer bag in your cone colander with a wood tamp stick. I haven’t tried it yet, but it my favorite, quickest way to get the pulp dry in apples and tomatoes.

    • Elana says

      Thanks for your comment Vee! The crackers made with almond milk pulp will likely work even if your oven’s lowest temp is 170F. You will need to adjust the baking time a bit to compensate for the higher temperature :-)

  6. says

    This was really good. I added a little honey because somehow I thought I saw agave in this recipe? My problem was with the almond milk making process itself. It took FOREVERRRRR to strain!? First time making it. I finally got so impatient after hours, that I wrung it out with my hands. Any advice? I think I double or triple-upped the cheese cloth because that’s what I do when I make homemade bone broth.

    Both the almond milk and crackers were REALLY delicious and I didn’t notice the sweetness or vanilla in the crackers at all.

    • Elana says

      Thanks for your comment Lindsay! Yes, using your hands to squeeze the pulp through the bag is a good way to go. Great to hear that the almond milk and crackers were really delicious :-)

  7. Stacy says

    Hi Elana:)
    I am just wondering how long your almond milk lasts in the fridge once made?
    As well as your cashew milk..
    Thanks!

  8. Alex says

    Hi,
    just made almond milk for the 1st time yesterday – yummy – thanks for the recipe. Wanted to share what we did with the pulp: mix with a little coconut milk, add fruit (mango and lime in my case), and a bit of honey and cinnamon. Makes a delicious breakfast! :)
    Love your website and recipes!

  9. DBurke says

    I do not have a Vitamix and wanted to make your Almond Milk (as well as other recipes). Can I use a food processor or blender instead?

  10. says

    This was delicious — but next time I’ll make a few amendments.

    1. A whole vanilla bean made my batch WAY too vanilla-y. Next time I’ll use half a bean per batch.

    2. I was planning to make the almond pulp crackers after… then realized that pulp with vanilla in it probably wouldn’t make the tastiest savory crackers. :( Next time I’ll add the vanilla bean in somehow after straining out the pulp.

    3. I added a bit of agave. Perfect accompaniment to chocolate chip cookies!

  11. Batya Wittenberg says

    Hi Elana! I have just made a batch of this almond milk, and I wanted to ask you: how long does it keep, refrigerated?

    Have a good Passover!

  12. Marjorie says

    Dear Elana,

    Love your website! I’m new to grain-free cooking and very new to some of your ingredients. But I’m desperate for some good foods. I drastically changed my diet in January in an attempt to heal some digestive issues. I do feel better but nine months with no meats, no grains, no milk is getting to feel very restrictive. I want to try some of your recipes to give me variety.

    Right now I’m stumped by the vanilla bean. I looked on the internet. The u-tube tutorial said you split the bean and take out the seeds. However, since you are asking us to soak it overnight with the almonds I’m assuming you want me to use the whole bean, pod and all?

    Thanks for your help!

  13. Jericho says

    Have you ever had trouble with your almond milk smelling like sourdough starter? The first time I tried this recipe I didn’t rinse the almonds before soaking and before too long, there were bubbles on the surface of the soaking water and the whole thing smelled like yeasty sourdough starter. Next time, I rinsed the almonds really well both before and after soaking and kept the bowl in the refrigerator while they were soaking. This seemed to help since I didn’t really notice the smell when I put the almonds in the blender, but when I opened up my jar of milk the next day it smelled just like sourdough again!
    Is it possible that my almonds just happen to be harboring a lot of yeast or something? Would blanching the almonds before soaking help to kill any yeasts that are there?
    Thanks so much for the recipe and for any advice you might have!
    Jericho

    • Tatjana says

      @ Jericho..I came here looking for ideas on what to do with yeasty smelling almond “cheese” that has been in my fridge for a week or so. I was thinking that instead of throwing it out, maybe I could make sourdough bread using it as starter. I am hoping for ideas for this. Thanks

      • Elana says

        Jericho, thanks for your comment. The key to eliminating this problem is to rinse your almonds (as outlined in step 2 of the instructions) until the water runs clear :-)

  14. Amy Fladeland says

    I am looking for a dry milk that is dairy & corn free so that I can bake breads & goodies for my son…any ideas?

  15. Kara says

    If I wanted to make a large batch of this (or the cashew or coconut milk) how long would it last in the fridge?

  16. Melanie Davis says

    Hi Elana! You have an incredible website that I love and I have tried many of your recipes and all have been out of this world good!! I was wondering if you could share your favorite place to get almonds from? Thank you!

    Melanie

    • Elana says

      Thanks Melanie! If you click the green text that says “almonds” in the ingredients portion of the recipe you will be given that info :-)

  17. Kris Ashpaugh says

    In reading about the Almond Milk: I don’t dicard the almond pulp. I dehydrate and break up and we call it “cereal”.

  18. says

    I have a question though, if I am using blanched almonds, do I have to pre-soak them? What is the purpose of soaking them? And is the almond milk really tastier if made with whole almonds (with the skin?)? Thank you!

  19. says

    I used a regular blender and it worked fine! I added one cup of water at a time and blended thoroughly each time, and I think that helped get all the little pieces of almonds. The almond milk is DELICIOUS!! I didn’t have a cheesecloth so I used a towel with little tiny hole in it…it worked perfectly! Yippee!! Thank you Elana!

  20. JK says

    Hi Elana, would like to check if almonds are highly sprayed? Is it better to get organic or is that not really necessary?
    Tks

    • Katrina Love says

      Don’t know about your part of the world, but in Perth, Australia, regular almonds are about $8 to $11 per kg. Organic almonds are around $45 per kg… prohibitive price difference. I don’t believe many nuts are highly sprayed, as the main pests are birds, but the soil in which the trees grow would be a greater concern. I certainly don’t think there is $35 worth of difference.

      • bumpkin says

        In many parts of the world, a big concern for nut growers are worms (or larvae) and I am not sure of the larvae’s genus and species, but some nuts are sprayed to prevent infestation. (I have wild hazelnuts here and they are all wormy.) Furthermore, the trees are susceptible to fungi, and are sprayed for the same. Here is a link:

        http://www.thealmonddoctor.com/2010/02/bloom-sprays-what-and-when-to-use-to.html As with anything else that grows, if at all possible opt for organic, if not, contact growers- google it- and ask if they spray or not, as some places will not spray but may not have an “organic” designation, and these “naturally-grown” almonds would be far superior to sprayed tree fruits. Either way, if you are purchasing or ingesting ANY “non-organic” foods, it likely will not make much difference to your health to use either. Indeed, some so-called “organic” growers are simply, NOT! Homework is a boor, but may be a healthy alternative- ask the natural foods store who their supplier is (on their boxes, likely,) and google it.

  21. colleen says

    I am interested in trying this and the cashew milk recipe, however, I do not own a vita-mix. I know they are pretty powerful, but would a regular blender still do the job? Or would a juicer work? Any insight would be awesome! Thanks

  22. Carrol Dugan says

    Elana – I just tried your almond milk recipe and it’s great! I added a smidge each of honey and vanilla extract and it’s so tasty. I am not gluten free but I stumbled upon your website when I was searching for an almond milk recipe and I’m on here all the time now. My husband was buying cartons of almond milk and I just thought it would be easier and cheaper to make our own. It taste so much better, too, there’s no comparison. Thanks for sharing your talent!

  23. Phred says

    MMM interesting recipe. I do 1 cup almonds to 3 cups water, 1/8 tsp sea salt, 2 tsp agave and 1/2 tsp vanilla.

    I also used blanched almonds. I’m going to let them sit overnight in water see if that makes a difference.

  24. says

    Hi Elana,
    So glad to have found your website. I look forward to getting your recipes via emial.

    Thanks to everyone too who shared what they did with the leftover almond pulp – that’s the google search I did that brought me to this site.

    Gina

  25. says

    Just wanted to let you and everyone else know that I just made this recipe, but since I don’t have a VItamix, I used my magic Bullet instead! I first tried it with the regular cups, but also didn’t have any cheese cloths or anything like it. So I decided to use the juicer that comes with the Magic Bullet. The mesh sieve it comes with is perfect and the way the juicer is made (the juicer strainer fits into the blender attachement) so it works really well. That said, once there’s too much pulp, it doesn’t grind the almonds anymore, so being that it’s a small appliance, it needs to be done in smaller batches.

    It also ground the pulp to such a fine texture that with some drying time in the oven it becomes almond meal! Next time I’ll try it in my dehydrator to keep it from actually cooking the almond meal.

    EXCELLENT recipe! THe milk itself is delish! And final note, I didn’t have a vanilla bean (they are 12$ here!) but used organic pure vanilla extract and it tastes perfect :)

    Andrée

  26. kelli says

    Elana-
    I am excited to use this recipe we have been making almond milk for a long time but never flavored. We really just make it as a novelty. My 3 year old son was just diagnosed with autism so i have a feeling he will be more likely to give up milk happily with this recipe.
    I do use the nut pulp for crusts to make pie and lemon bars. I just toast it slightly in the oven first to dry it out. it turns out very yummy and a good substitute for graham cracker crust.

  27. michelle says

    hi elana,

    i went onto the organic vanilla bean website that you posted and i was wondering if you use the tahitian vanilla beans or the bourbon? do you find much of a difference in using them to make almond milk? thanks so much.

    michelle

  28. Alexandra Nel says

    dear Elana, I am a novice- for making almond milk, would I use almonds with skin or peeled almonds [after soaking]? I do not have a blender, but a Braun fruit and vegetable mixer. Must I buy a blender to do this or could I put the Braun mixer in the bowl of almonds, vanilla bean and water?
    It is for my son who has a sensitive stomach and digestion- Apart from gluten-free could almond flour suit a child with sensitive digestion or might it be too rich?
    Sincerely,
    Alexandra

    • Elana says

      Alexandra, I use regular almonds in this recipe, I haven’t tried making this recipe in a vegetable mixer so not sure if that would work. I’ve been cooking with almond flour since my boys were aged 2 and 3 (they’re now 16 and 18!) and it worked very well for them :-)

  29. CRYSTAL says

    Do you know how many calories and how much fat is in homemade almond milk? I am wondering if it is the same as the stuff from the store. I assume that all that fat from the nut goes into the milk which is a whooping 40 grams at least. Thanks

  30. Bev Kroeker says

    I just made this milk and it is so good. I don’t even use the vanilla bean just some vanilla and a drop of natural almond flavouring. I got the idea from another site to blend with dates to sweeten it and I think that was really good as well.

    I am going to try to work the left over pulp into veggie burgers. If I come up with something that works well I will post it. I also wonder if it would be better to start with blanched almonds so you didn’t have as much pulp to begin with.

  31. Sara says

    Hi Elana and everyone else interested…

    Wanted to share that I too make my own almond milk in a similar fashion but seeing that I hate to see food go to waste, I have learned to turn the strained almond mush into a delicious power bar afterward. I use the mush and mix in whatever I have on hand (this past batch included goji berries, raisins, dried mango, pecans, unsweetened cocoa powder and agave). I do not have real measurements, instead just eye how much of each ingredient I would like to have (taste tasting along the way!). The mixture then gets packed real tightly in a greased 9x5in baking dish and baked at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Let cool and then cut into bars. Sometimes they can be crumbly, which is not a big deal for me, but let me know if you try this and do come up with something. I was thinking mushed banana as a possibility to try on the next batch!

    Enjoy

  32. Julianne says

    I need to come up with a non-dairy “instant” milk powder that my son’s camping group can take on long hiking/camping trips. Will very finely ground almond flour work as an instant nut milk on camping trips?

    • says

      Julianne… (or anyone else) did you ever come up with a powdered Almond Milk for the camping trips. I am interested in this too. Please let me know.

      • Kristin says

        You can make almond milk on a trip this way. Put a good size scoop of almond butter in a quart jar, add vanilla and stevia if you want, and add water. Cap the jar and shake it up well. At home I do this in the blender when I am in a pinch for almond milk. You can get powdered coconut milk for trips too.
        HTH

  33. Sigrid says

    Hi Elana,

    I just discovered and am enjoying your website and all the recipes (especially since I recently started converting my family to SCD).

    I have just made almond milk for the first time using this recipe, and I’m impressed! Being of a frugal nature, I am wondering: have you ever tried to do anything with the almond/vanilla pulp that is left over after you’ve squeezed out the milk? Is it good for, say, baking into almond cookies like you would with almond flour? Or is all the good stuff squeezed out of it?

    Thanks,
    — Sigrid

  34. joey says

    I am doing a 21 day, gluten, sugar, caffeine free cleanse starting Sept 2, 2008.
    I just want to make sure almond milk is gluten free. please advise best wishes, Joey

  35. Ruth says

    Questions:
    Do you throw the vanilla bean in with the almonds when you grind? Or do you re-use the vanilla bean? As vanilla beans seem to run $2.50+ each, do you really use one vanilla bean per 5-6 cups of almond milk?

    Thanks!!

    I’ve been recently diagnosed with severe allergies to soy and dairy. This recipe has been a Godsend. Thank you!!

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