It seems like homemade almond milk has been everywhere on the blogosphere this summer, and I spent almost the whole season holding out – running from its charms – denying that it’s not only crazy simple to make, but cheaper than buying the good stuff – and puts my mind more at ease than buying a carton of milk with added chemicals. Turns out, it’s cheaper even than my beloved coconut milk.
Here’s the cost breakout for home almond milk vs. store almond milk vs. coconut milk in my area (NYC):
“Regular” Storebought Almond Milk
Blue Diamond – the best of the readily commercially available options, IMHO
Cost: $3.29 for 64 ounces
Servings: 32 (2-ounce servings)
Cost Per Serving: $0.10
Fancy Storebought Almond Milk
Califa Farms – a brand with no added crap
Cost: $3.79 for 48 ounces
Servings: 24 (2-ounce servings)
Cost Per Serving: $0.16
Homemade Almond Milk
Made by me with whatever flavorings I want to add and no added crap
Cost: $5.99 for a 16-ounce bag of almonds from Trader Joe’s, which yields just at 5 cups of nuts – with 2.5 cups of water per batch, we’re looking at about 100 ounces of milk.
Servings: 50 (2-ounce servings)
Cost Per Serving: $0.12
Canned Coconut Milk
My favorite is from Trader Joe’s and it has no added crap.
Cost: $0.99 for 14 ounces
Cost Per Serving: $0.14
The cheapest alternative for my morning coffee looks to be “regular” almond milk – but for pennies more, I can make my own and avoid unnecessary added chemicals. I think that’s a good trade-off. Plus, it’s fun to make.
All you need to make almond milk is a high-speed blender (I have a Vitamix), a mesh bag of some sort (I use one I got for free at the botanical garden a few years ago), some water and time.
1 cup almonds
2.5 cups water
Soak 1 cup almonds in water 12 – 24 hours. Drain and rinse.
Add the drained almonds to a blender with 2.5 cups water (I prefer lukewarm to warm). Blend. Add a pinch of salt and blend some more.
Fit a mesh bag over a bowl. Pour the almond milk into the bag. Lift and squeeze until you can’t get any more liquid out.
Funnel the liquid into containers – I’ve found that splitting the batch between 3 small re-sealable pop bottles works the best for clean retrieval + optimal flavor selection.
My Favorite Coffee Creamer Flavorings
Whiskey Cinnamon (1 tsp. Honey Jack + 1 tsp. ground cinnamon in 1/3 of a batch)
Maple Vanilla (1 tsp. maple syrup + 1 tsp. vanilla extract in 1/3 of a batch)
Pumpkin Spice (1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice in 1/3 of a batch)
Keeps about a week in the fridge
What do I do with all that leftover pulp? Make cookies! These are pretty great. I’m also dying to try these crackers.