Updated: Jun 2
Commercially prepared almond milk has come under fire for being thickened with carrageenan rather than actual almonds. Carrageenan is made from red seaweed and can cause inflammation, especially in the digestive tract. It may also slow blood clotting and can decrease the absorption of certain medications if consumed at the same time. Although on the GRAS list (generally regarded as safe) since 1959, it is now suspect for causing many digestive problems, including ulcers and GI cancers.
With a large percentage of the population unable to consume traditional dairy milk, commercial almond milk has become big business. Unfortunately, many of the products contain only 2% almonds with the rest of the ingredients consisting of thickening agents (like carrageenan) and sugar.
Homemade Almond Milk is actually very easy to make – I’ve attached a recipe here, but know that it is all Homemade Almond Milk is open to interpretation – add whatever sweetener you like, or none at all – add cinnamon or vanilla, make it thick and creamy or if watching calories, add a little extra water thinning it up a bit … the choice is yours.
Homemade Almond Milk Ingredients:
1 cup raw almonds
3-4 cups water, plus extra for soaking
Sweeteners like dates, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, stevia, etc. (optional)
Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with about an 1-2 inches of water. Let stand on the counter overnight, covered.
Drain the almonds from their soaking water and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water.
Place the almonds in a blender and cover with 3-4 cups of water – less for thicker milk, more for thinner.
Pulse the blender a few times to break up the almonds, then blend continuously for 2-4 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. The almonds should be completely broken down and the water white and opaque.
Strain the almonds by lining a metal strainer with either cheesecloth or an opened nut milk bag placed over a large bowl. Pour the almond mixture into the strainer.
Squeeze all of the milk from the bag by gathering the nut milk bag or cheese cloth around the almond meal and twisting. Squeeze and press with gloved hands to extract as much of the milk as possible. You should get about 3-4 cups. Ideally, you do not want to use uncovered hands, as this will put bacteria into the milk, causing it to spoil much sooner.
Pour the milk back into the blender and add sweetener to taste – pulse a few times until evenly distributed.
Store the milk in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 3-4 days.
Notes: Rather than waste the almond meal that is left over, dump it onto a cookie sheet, and cook at 200 degrees for several hours or until the meal is very dry. Place back into a clean, dry blender and pulse into a smooth flour that can then be used to make cookies, muffins, pancakes, etc.