Homemade Almond Milk

Homemade Almond Milk is a deliciously creamy alternative to dairy milk. Contrary to popular belief it is quick and easy to make, but do build in that day’s worth of soaking time.

A jug of Homemade Almond Milk next to some almonds

I am not reinventing the wheel with this recipe. In fact I too have posted all about Homemade Almond Milk before, about five years ago, and I was late to the party then. However, I find it necessary to publish this recipe a second time as my first post of 2019 since I rediscovered it when completing my Whole30 back in October and it has become such an important part of my kitchen that I want to remind you about it. I don’t drink dairy milk in my tea and I hadn’t realised how accustomed I had become to the piss poor almond milk you can buy in the supermarket; watery, bland, expensive and full of rubbish ingredients. It has become quite clear to me recently that I am quite intolerant to all the gums added to various supermarket products and I wanted an almond milk that eschewed all those extra nasties. Now, you will not be saving any money here as almonds are expensive, but the joy you will be getting out of this Homemade Almond Milk is a million worlds away to the cartoned stuff you have been putting up with for far too long. It is completely and utterly delicious. Although I talk about using it in my tea a lot here I also use it in my baking and cooking to fantastic effect when I want to mimic single cream.

overview of a jug of Homemade Almond Milk next to some almonds

When I was in my mid-twenties I was unwell a lot, I was missing a lot of time of work and since I had a very busy job as a TV Producer I was really feeling the strain. The days I did go into work I usually felt awful, constantly sick and exhausted with pounding headaches. The doctors tested me for everything but in their eyes I was fit and well. So under the advice of my personal trainer I went to a local kinesiologist to seek a more holistic approach, which was a fun if slightly batty experience. Kinesiology is the study of human movement and a series of simple tests on muscles is believed to determine any imbalances in the body. Since by this time I was fed up of going to the doctors for them merely to shrug and give me further blood tests the holistic approach seemed a welcome relief.

The kinesiologist put various food samples in my hands and tested my muscle response to see if any particular food group was causing an imbalance in my body and by eliminating the incriminating substances from my diet she hoped to determine the cause of my lack of energy and why I was frequently plagued by nausea and headaches. Now the results were not a short list; it turned out I was intolerant to mushrooms (yay, I hate them anyway), beer (ditto), soy (meh), marmite (hmm, I always quite liked marmite), wheat (well, we’ve talked about this a lot) and dairy (noooooo). At the time I was obsessed with crème fraiche, putting it in everything, and I did so love my cups of tea; I couldn’t bear having to give these up.

However, if I thought about it, the dairy thing kind of made sense. As a child I was never able to eat cereal as the milk made my ears pop, like I had lost my centre of gravity, and since taking up the tea habit in my late teens I was never able to drink more than a couple of mugs before getting my patented ‘tea tummy’.

A nut milk bag full of soaked almond meal

The inability to tolerate lactose is more prevalent in human beings than we realise. Most mammals cease to produce lactase after being weaned which means they become intolerant to lactose and although many human beings have developed lactase persistence into adulthood, meaning that they can digest lactose normally, Wikipedia says (so it must be bible) that in 75% of adults lactase activity is decreasing, leading to the intolerance of lactose.

Although I have been able to cut the rest of my intolerances out of my diet very successfully the dairy thing has plagued me off and on for years. However, I have found a happy medium in that in the everyday I avoid as much dairy as I can but in my baking and on special occasions I do allow myself to jump onto the dairy wagon again. This is why you see both dairy and non-dairy recipes on my website.

The one thing I have never really minded about avoiding dairy though is the substitution of almond milk for dairy in my tea. I prefer it. It has a sharper flavour and seems to strengthen the taste of the tea rather than soften it like dairy. Now, the supermarket stuff is fine but Homemade Almond Milk is the real deal; richer, silkier, fresher, more nutty and makes tea (and coffee for you coffee drinkers) feel much more luxurious, exactly as if it had whole dairy milk in it.

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Homemade Almond Milk is so straightforward to make and, although I’m lucky enough to have one, you do not need a Vitamix to make it (although it does make it so much easier) just a decent enough blender. You simply soak the almonds in water for 1-2 days, drain and then blend with fresh water. The milk is produced immediately but you will want to strain it through a nut bag to get rid of all the nitty gritty. Having made homemade nut milks without a nut bag for an awfully long time and then buying a nut bag for under a tenner I have to say that the nut bag is pretty non-negotiable. It makes the process so much easier and less messy.

It’s also worth mentioning though that at the end of the milk making process you will be left with some soaked almond meal in the muslin after straining, I would heartily recommend you turn to my helpful booklet on How to Use Leftover Almond Pulp which has some exclusive recipes and ideas on how you can best use this very useful by-product. The below image is of the simply wonderful Almond Pulp Raw Chocolate Truffles, the recipe for which is included in the booklet.

Almond Pulp Raw Chocolate Truffles

I was thrilled that the Whole30 made me embrace Homemade Almond Milk again and so far three months down the line I still can’t get enough of it. It’s worth noting at this point that Homemade Almond Milk lasts for 3 days in your refrigerator so I make it in smaller batches of 500ml at a time to avoid any wastage.

If you make Homemade Almond Milk then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own nut milk creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

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A jug of Homemade Almond Milk next to some almonds

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Homemade Almond Milk

Homemade Almond Milk is a deliciously creamy alternative to dairy milk. Contrary to popular belief it is quick and easy to make, but do build in that day’s worth of soaking time.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American, British
Keyword: almond milk recipe, homemade almond milk, how to make almond milk
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 431kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley

Ingredients

  • 150 g whole unblanched almonds
  • 500 ml of water plus extra for soaking

Instructions

  • Place your almonds in a medium bowl then pour over enough water so it covers the almonds by an inch.
  • Cover the bowl and leave for 1-2 days for the almonds to soften.
  • Drain and rinse the almonds then place in a blender with 500ml of fresh water. Blend for a minute or two (depending on the strength of your blender) until it’s as smooth as you can get it.
  • Place your nut bag in a large bowl, opening it up as wide as possible.
  • Pour the milk into the nut bag then gather up the ties and close
  • Lift up the nut bag and watch all the clean almond milk drip into your bowl. Squeeze the nut bag to extract as much milk as you can.
  • That’s it. Pour the milk into a sterilised jar and keep in the fridge. Don’t discard the almond pulp but reserve for other recipes*.
  • The almond milk lasts for a 3-4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 528mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 20.6% | Iron: 15.5%

SHOP THE RECIPE

You certainly don’t need a Vitamix blender to make Homemade Almond Milk but oh my goodness did my life change when Luke bought me one for my birthday last year. My Vitamix® Pro750 Food Blender, Copper UK Model is one of my most favourite kitchen appliances and I use it almost daily. This blender is amazing! I loved the Kitchenaid blender I had before but my Vitamix produces the smoothest smoothies, most cohesive sauces and fantastic soups. I have been using it most frequently at the moment for making my nut milks but also my iced matcha lattes and I now could not be without it. Okay, it isn’t cheap but if you have the budget for it and you are looking to be really spoilt then I really recommend it. Plus I love the colour!!

However, as I said above, a nut milk bag is non-negotiable if you really want to get on board the Homemade Almond Milk train. I used to make it in just a muslin cloth with some string and it was a messy affair. My nut milk bag has so much use and it’s not that expensive. I use this Lovetree Products Nut Milk Bag, Professional Filter for Almond, Coconut, Greek Yogurt, Soy Milk, Fruit & Veg Cheesecloth Replacement Reusable Strainer, Strong Nylon Mesh, Inc FREE Recipe E-Book and it does its job perfectly.

Now you may be thinking where you might like to store your Homemade Almond Milk once it’s made. Well, might I recommend this Arc International Luminarc Quadro Fridge Jug with Lid 110cl, 1 Jar. I love it so much and it’s so well priced. It fits in my fridge door and stores then pours the milk perfectly. So useful for so many things but especially Homemade Almond Milk.

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

If you like this recipe then you may like these other dairy-free recipes:

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Sweet Potato Chocolate Truffle Torte

Everything But The.. Bircher Museli

Everything But The... Bircher Museli

Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins

Banana Peanut Butter Streusel Muffins {vegan, gluten-free}

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Banana and Almond Cake with Toffee Whipped Buttercream

Banana and Almond Cake with Toffee Whipped Buttercream

This recipe is not yet gluten-free

Cake Friday, woo!

At the moment I’m embarking on the heinous task of cake testing. I know, I know it’s a pretty abrasive chore but I’m knuckling down and getting it done like the true professional I am. All in the name of whittling my recipes down so I can take only my very favourite cakes to the market stall I am launching next month.

My baking to-do list is a little overwhelming at the moment. I have several notebooks full of scribbled down ideas, flavour combinations and inspiration gleamed from the efforts of others. This is not to mention the highly disorganised long yellow stickie that I keep on my desktop which is covering my screen so completely that it hinders any view of the perfectly chosen photograph of our holiday to Vietnam where we are smiling, having never been more happy, clinking our bottles of Saigon beer in front of the idyllic vista of Halong Bay. No, that’s being covered up with a stickie.

Banana and Almond Cake with Toffee Whipped Buttercream  |  Stroud Green Larder

I have to get my obsessive recipe writing and note scribbling under control so that some of these baking ideas actually get to the next level, i.e. I make some of these suckers. So this week I have launched an initiative to start at the top and work my way down each and every list which seems very logical and sensible and not at all unmanageable.

Which is how the world’s best cake came into being. Actually, no it isn’t. No sooner had I launched this brilliant initiative, collated my various lists and put them in some sort of order then I completely cast them aside when I suddenly had the craving to make banana cake.

Banana and Almond Cake with Toffee Whipped Buttercream  |  Stroud Green Larder

I have run several cake stalls in the past and it’s very noticeable the kind of cakes people like, proper grown up adults like the victoria sponge or lemon cake, people in their 20s like the chocolate cake and kids like the cupcakes. I, on the other hand, have a bit of a thing for banana cake. I don’t necessarily mean a dense intense banana bread, which is yumola, don’t get me wrong, but banana cake, light and fluffy with a pinch of icing, is what floats my boat. And that is why I always keep bananas in the house as I don’t know when the mood will take me.

So what I’m saying is that my quest to make some sort of inroads into this baking to-do list wasn’t particularly helped by the fact I had to make a banana cake right here right now. This poor innocent banana cake didn’t even know I had a list, but in it bounced, eager to please, oblivious of all the other recipes seething with jealousy that this precocious young upstart had leapt to the top of my to-do list without putting in any of the grunt work in the early rounds. And then, like a spoilt young prince it then claimed the hallowed crown of the best damn cake I have ever had.

Banana and Almond Cake with Toffee Whipped Buttercream  |  Stroud Green LarderIt all began with some homemade almond and cherry ripple ice cream. Which was on the list and which I ate. Mmm delicious research. However, during the making of the almond ice cream base my recipe required me to soak some ground almonds in milk and cream, then once my recipe had decided enough soaking had been going on I was required to strain the mixture, dispose of the ground almonds and carry on making my ice cream with the infused milk and cream. Now, I don’t like to dispose of anything which would have a better home in my tummy so, although it wasn’t clear what their immediate use would be I covered the almonds with cling film and put them in the fridge.

soaked almonds

They lasted in there about a day which was when my banana cake craving hit and they were soon drafted in to participate in the banana cake of dreams. And that my friends is how I made the best damn cake I have ever had. Plus I learnt a valuable lesion, from now on I am always soaking my almonds before adding them to any cake. The moisture it added was unbelievable. without dampening the sponge. It means a little more preparation has to go into your batter but sometimes you just have to go the extra mile to reap your sugary rewards.

Banana and Almond Cake with Toffee Whipped Buttercream  |  Stroud Green Larder

To prepare the almonds you just need to lay 250g of whole unblanched almonds onto a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes at 180°C. Remove them from the oven and pour into the food processor so you can grind into crumbs. Once the almonds are completely ground then pour some whole milk (or half milk, half cream) over so they are not quite covered. Give a good stir then leave overnight for the nuts to soften and absorb the milk.

The banana and almond sponge is made even more glorious by the cloud-like whipped toffee buttercream adorning each layer, adding the perfect amount of dreaminess to each bite. I adapted Delia Smith’s Sticky Toffee Icing for the job which I then whisked into my favourite whipped vanilla buttercream. This amount of buttercream is perfect to ice about 12-14 cupcakes or 3 thick layers in a layer cake. If you would like to ice the outside of the cake as well it’s doable but you would have to double the buttercream ingredients.

Banana and Almond Cake with Toffee Whipped Buttercream  |  Stroud Green Larder

So, fun and cravings now over, I’m returning to my to-do list, whereupon I am now sentencing myself to the completion of a chocolate and whisky bundt cake with chocolate caramel drizzle. As I said, it’s a heinous task.

Banana and Almond Layer Cake with Toffee Whipped Buttercream

175g soft light brown sugar
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
100ml buttermilk
120ml light olive oil
3 large bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g ground almonds soaked in milk
325g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt

For the buttercream:
8 tbsp evaporated milk
325g unsalted butter
6 tbsp dark brown soft sugar
¼ tsp salt
30g plain flour
250ml milk
1 vanilla pod
100g caster sugar

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C and line and grease three 20cm sandwich tins.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat the sugars, eggs, buttermilk and olive oil.
  3. Mash the bananas well then add them to the mixing bowl along with the vanilla.
  4. Drain any loose liquid from the ground almonds then add them in as well, beating everything together until smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  6. Add the flour to the rest of the batter and mix together until just incorporated.
  7. Pour evenly into the three sandwich tins and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until golden and coming away from the sides.
  8. Turn each cake out of the tin onto a cooling rack and leave to cool.
  9. Meanwhile make the buttercream by melting the evaporated milk, 100g of the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Simmer for 4 minutes then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  10. In another saucepan whisk the flour, 100ml of the milk and the vanilla seeds until smooth. Heat on low until the mixture has thickened then gradually add the rest of the milk in a slow stream, whisking all the while to avoid any lumps which would be quick to form. Whisk hard until the mixture just touches a boil and has thickened. Remove from the heat immediately and continue whisking for about 3 minutes. Strain to guarantee no flour lumps then leave to cool.
  11. Whilst the toffee sauce and the flour mixture are cooling, beat the rest of the butter (225g) and the caster sugar for about 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Then add the cooled flour mixture and beat for a further 3-4 minutes until even lighter and fluffier.
  12. Finally pour in the toffee sauce and beat the buttercream for a final 2 minutes to fully whip it all together.
  13. The buttercream can be applied as soon as the cake layers have completely cooled.

Fragrant Cauliflower Rice

Fragrant Cauliflower Rice

I love rice. I could live on it forever. For breakfast, for lunch, for dinner. You can have rice with curries, with stir fries, with stews. It’s my desert island carb. However, I occasionally do have to pull myself back. It’s not that rice is bad for you, but it’s not really giving much back either besides filling a hole.

Recently I have been substituting in cauliflower rice for my beloved carb staple, in particular with my curries or in my salads. Cauliflower loves a bit of spice to pep it up so it marries beautifully with a hot spicy curry and to be honest you just don’t notice the difference. I know that it sounds like cauliflower rice is a bit of a faddy thing but prepared this way it really doesn’t feel like you are eating a vegetable dish and means you can add naughty little knobs of butter at the end without the slightest bit of guilt. Not that I have any guilt when adding butter to things, but then I think my food guilt switch is permanently switched off.

cauliflower rice ingredients
CardamomThe key to achieving the perfect consistency is to keep some bite and texture to the cauliflower so just ensure that it doesn’t touch any water in the process. I will either wash the cauliflower the day before and leave to dry overnight or if it’s not too dirty just brush over with a kitchen bristle brush, the same way you would with mushrooms.
Cauliflower in mixer2
cauliflower rice2

But to treat cauliflower rice as just a couscous or rice substitute is doing it a disservice. This fragrant cauliflower rice recipe is excellent with grilled chicken or lamb or as a meal on its own.

I have also used coconut oil in this recipe which is such a lovely ingredient. It imbues your kitchen with a wonderful fragrance and of course is a natural flavour enhancer to this dish. It’s not a strong taste but just sits in the background.

Fragrant Cauliflower Rice

Fragrant Cauliflower Rice

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 large head of cauliflower
1 tsp cardamom pods, de-shelled
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted
knob of butter

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and cook on a very low heat until the onion has caramelised. This might take about 20 mins.
  2. Meanwhile snap the florets off your head of cauliflower and blitz in a food processor until it is in very fine flakes.
  3. Once the onion is ready, remove from the pan and set aside. Add the cauliflower rice, the cardamom seeds and the cinnamon to the pan and continue to cook on a very low heat until the cauliflower starts to brown, which should take about half an hour.
  4. Stir in the almonds, the onion, a knob of butter and serve.