OK so almond milk is one of my guilty pleasures. I love the stuff but at around 6 bucks a half gallon its more than a little expensive and so is a splurge item for me. We aren't vegan or lactose intolerant so its really not a must have item and I feel bad when ever I buy it. I am not the only one who drinks it either, my kids adore the stuff so even under threat of death my precious almond milk won't last 2 days in my house. Despite this, it never occurred to me that I could actually make the stuff. I mean, I've made a lot of crazy stuff at home including deodorant, carpet powder, air freshener, sanitizeblenders. All in the name of saving money and maybe making us a little healthier or more environmentally friendly. But how do you milk an almond? One imagines massive quantities of almonds chopped and pressed for the tiny bit of liquids they provide... Silly huh. Its actually quite easy and really cheap to make at home albeit a little time consuming. So it started with me getting some raw almonds and a blender. Yeah I know a silly review to take without one of those but whatever remember I really love almond milk I just can't afford it. Now another way people generally make nut milk is to use cheesecloth so I got some of that too for comparison.
Zimtal nut milk bag
As you can see there are some major issues with the cheese cloth. Its flimsy, the holes are too big, it seems pretty absorbant, and how would you clean it? You wouldn't right? You buy it, use it and trash it? Seems like that would just add to the cost. Honestly the cheese cloth cost more than the almonds I used by a lot. So even it it worked properly it adds so much to the cost that its really not a viable option. Anyhow after consulting several recipes including the one that is included with these bags I decided that I would use 1\3 of a cup of almonds and soak them in water for 2 days in the fridge (I forgot the salt)
Today I got them out drained them then rinsed them and put them in my blender with 2 cups of water and blended them very thoroughly.
This is very very grainy but kind of milky looking so put the bag on my container (my French press pot)
And poured the mixture right in.
Then I slowly pulled the bag up and squeezed out all the goodness.
Upon trying it I found that this was way thicker than what I was used to from the store bought stuff, very very good but I felt I could get more out of it so I put the nuts from the bag back into the blender with another 2 cups of water and blended it again. There was really no change in the appearance and I strained it right into the previous extraction and again squeezed it all out. I stirred and tasted it and it was just like plain almond milk so good and creamy and fresh and yum! But I decided to play with it a bit more I added a couple of drops of vanilla extract (maybe 1\4 tsp) and 2 tablespoons of sugar and let my son be the guinea pig.
I neglected to photograph the finished product. It was gone that fast. Okay so its really good. This is what is left behind from the nuts
I could probably use it to make marzipan with or something later so I dumped that out onto a paper plate flipped the bag inside out and sprayed off the remaining nut powder. That's easy and I just hung it up to dry. So easy to use, easy to clean, makes a delicious product and is reusable but what about the cost of making your own almond milk ( or hazelnut or cashew or any nut milk for that matter) at home? Well the almonds cost me 8 bucks for a 16oz bag so assuming that that is 2 cups of almonds and I used 1\3 of a cup and made 4 cups of almond milk I could make 24 cups for 8$ 8 cups is what typically comes is the big cartons of almond milk and I can make 3 of those (an 18$ value) for 8 bucks and mind you I bought the expensive 1 pound bag, had I bought more it wouldn't have even cost that much. My only issue, I'll have to do this every day in much larger amounts to keep my family happy but I'm in! Next time I may try with an even lower nut to water ratio! I'm very happy with this nut bag. If you'd like one of your own you can pick one up here!