How to Make Almond Milk At Home For a Creamy, Dairy-Free Drink

Dairy-free yet flavorful, our homemade almond milk recipe allows you to customize the sweetness and flavor-boosters.

<p>Roberta Lazar / 500px / Getty Images</p>

Roberta Lazar / 500px / Getty Images

Whether you’re flexitarian, vegan, dairy-free, or simply prefer alternative milks, one of the most popular and eco-friendly options is almond milk. But it can be pricey to pay for carton after carton. Luckily, it’s easy to learn how to make almond milk at home. Once you master this homemade almond milk recipe, you’ll realize that it’s far creamier (especially if you soak the almonds longer), mildly nutty, and surprisingly easy to execute.

Equipment You Need to Make Your Own Almond Milk

Equipment-wise, all you need to follow along with our guide for how to make almond milk is a medium bowl (to hold the almonds as they soak in water), a blender, and some cheesecloth or a nut milk bag to separate the almond pulp from the milk. 

Some homemade almond milk recipes suggest giving the soaked almonds a whirl in a food processor. We prefer the silky results that come from a blender, but a food processor is a good plan B if you don’t own a blender or if you just have a pint-sized portable blender that’s not quite large enough for processing the entire batch.

Related: 12 Popular Dairy-Free and Plant-Based Milk Alternatives, Explained

How to Make Homemade Almond Milk

Flip around a carton of store-bought almond milk, and you’ll notice that some brands (not all!) feature a fairly lengthy ingredient list. Preservatives or additives, such as carrageenan, are often mixed in to help stabilize or extend the shelf-life of almond milk. By learning how to make almond milk at home, you are able to select the ratio of almonds to water (which will help determine the consistency) and can have more control of the ingredients.

In addition to almonds, you’ll just need water, and a few optional flavor-boosters. We love honey, pure vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt, but you can omit or customize the sweetener and extract flavor as desired.

The process of how to make almond milk at home is very similar to how we suggest whipping up Walnut Milk. Soak the nuts in water for 1 hour or up to 2 days; the longer the soak, the richer and creamier the results will be. Then drain, rinse, and grind the soaked almonds with a fresh batch of water. Use the cheesecloth or nut milk bag to separate the pulp from the liquid, and that remaining beverage is your almond milk.

To make homemade almond milk, place 1 cup almonds, rinsed, in a medium bowl. Fill the bowl with enough water to cover the nuts by 1 inch. Cover and allow the almonds to soak at room temperature for at least 1 hour, and up to 48 hours.

Using a colander or strainer, drain the almonds and rinse thoroughly with water. In a blender pitcher, add the soaked almonds, 3 cups water, 1 tablespoon honey (or agave nectar or maple syrup), and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and a pinch of kosher salt. Blend on low until very smooth, or for at least 2 minutes.

Line a fine-mesh strainer with a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, and place this over a liquid measuring cup or pitcher. Pour the almond mixture from the blender into the strainer to separate the pulp from the milk.

Using clean hands, gather the nut milk bag or cheesecloth around the almond pulp, then squeeze and press to draw out as much almond milk as possible.

Related: 12 Dairy-Free Dessert Recipes Everyone Will Love

How to Use Homemade Almond Milk

Of course you can drink almond milk in its pure, creamy, nutty, just-sweet-enough glory. Or you can use almond milk in place of dairy milk in any sweet recipe. For savory uses, omit the honey, maple syrup, or agave.

How to Store Homemade Almond Milk

Enjoy the almond milk immediately, or transfer it to a sealed container (such as a pitcher with a lid or a Mason jar) for up to 5 days and store it in the fridge. You can freeze almond milk, but we don't recommend it. The almond milk will separate when thawed.

What to Do With Leftover Almond Pulp After Making Your Own Almond Milk

Wait, don’t throw away that almond pulp! To thicken, add subtle nutty flavor, and crank up the fiber content, add a spoonful or two to a bowl of oatmeal, a smoothie recipe, or the batter for quick bread or muffins. You can also bake it into these No-Waste Almond Pulp Crackers that are terrific vessels to scoop up hummus—and, when crumbled, can be a delightful crouton replacement atop salads and soups.

If you don’t want to cook or bake with almond pulp, you can add it to your compost.