Homemade Almond Milk Recipe for Smoothies and Shakes
Preparation Time: 15 minutes | Soaking Time: 8 hours (or just leave overnight) | Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Almond milk is a delicious and nutritious dairy-free alternative to regular milk, making it an excellent base for smoothies and shakes. Not only is it vegan-friendly, but it also provides a creamy texture and a subtle nutty flavor that complements various fruits and ingredients. Making almond milk at home allows you to customize the taste and thickness according to your preferences. This recipe will guide you through the process of preparing homemade almond milk that you can use as the base for your favorite smoothies and shakes.
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 4 cups filtered water (plus more for soaking)
- Optional sweeteners: 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar
- Optional flavorings: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg
- Optional thickener: 1-2 dates, pitted (for creamier texture)
- High-speed blender
- Nut milk bag or cheesecloth
- Large bowl
- Airtight container for storage
1. Soak the Almonds
- Place the raw almonds in a large bowl and add enough filtered water to cover them completely. The almonds will absorb water during soaking, so ensure there’s enough water to keep them submerged.
- Allow the almonds to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. This soaking process softens the almonds, making them easier to blend and digest. You can leave them in the refrigerator during soaking, especially in warmer climates.
2. Drain and Rinse the Almonds
- After the soaking time is up, drain the almonds in a colander and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water. This step removes any phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors released during soaking.
3. Blend the Almonds with Water
- Transfer the soaked and rinsed almonds into a high-speed blender.
- Add 4 cups of filtered water to the blender. You can adjust the water quantity depending on how thick or thin you prefer your almond milk.
- If you want a sweeter almond milk, add your preferred sweetener at this stage. Maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar are excellent options.
- Optionally, enhance the flavor by adding vanilla extract or a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg.
- For a creamier consistency, consider adding 1-2 pitted dates to the blender.
4. Blend Until Smooth
- Start blending the mixture on low speed and gradually increase the speed to high. Blend for about 2 minutes or until the almonds are thoroughly broken down, and the mixture appears smooth and creamy.
5. Strain the Almond Milk
- Place a nut milk bag or cheesecloth over a large bowl or jug.
- Slowly pour the blended almond mixture into the nut milk bag or cheesecloth.
- Gather the corners of the bag or cloth and carefully squeeze it to extract as much liquid as possible. This process separates the almond milk from the almond pulp.
6. Transfer and Store
- Pour the strained almond milk into an airtight container, preferably a glass bottle or jar, and seal it tightly.
- Store the almond milk in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for about 3-4 days, but make sure to shake it before each use as natural separation may occur.
7. Use the Almond Milk in Smoothies and Shakes
- Your homemade almond milk is now ready to be used as a base for delicious smoothies and shakes. Combine it with your favorite fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.
- Get creative with your smoothie and shake recipes. You can add bananas, berries, spinach, kale, cocoa powder, protein powder, or any other ingredients you love.
- Pour the smoothie or shake into a glass, and if desired, garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a few crushed almonds.
Homemade almond milk is not only a healthy and dairy-free alternative to traditional milk, but it also provides a creamy base for your favorite smoothies and shakes. By following this simple recipe, you can prepare a delicious almond milk that you can use as a canvas for your culinary creativity. Enjoy your nutrient-rich almond milk smoothies and shakes, and take pleasure in the knowledge that you’ve made them from scratch!