Making almond milk

Me and hubby have been having green smoothies for our weekday breakfast since January of this year and it’s been going great…but for one thing, packaging. We switched to making our green smoothie with almond milk and we go through a lot of it—it takes 4 cups of milk to make enough smoothie to feed the two of us.

When we shopped at Trader Joe’s, that’s 5 cartons of almond milk…and now that we shop at Walmart, that’s 3 cartons of milk. Considering that our area doesn’t have a recycling program, that’s a lot of cartons to be throwing in landfills every year (152 — 208 cartons to be exact).

Now that I think about it, we were still using a lot of packaging with regular milk, but it became much more obvious when we switched to almond. So this last week, I decided to experiment with making my own almond milk.

It’s not a completely foreign concept for me as my mom made our soy milk back in the day and I didn’t remember it being too complicated. Here’s how my little experiment went.

Step 1: I googled how to make almond milk

I found this helpful article from The Kitchn that made me feel confident that I could make my own milk.

I also found this article that helped me see that I could get more out of each cup of nuts by using 4 cups of water instead of 2. This made the economics (more on that next) make more sense.

Step 2: I crunched some numbers

When I choose to make something I can easily buy at the store, my motivations usually center around keeping the food budget in check, but that’s not the case here.

Depending on where you get your raw almonds from, making your own milk can cost more. Raw almonds from the bulk bins at whole foods cost $6.99 – $11.49 per pound depending on whether it’s organic or not. On Friday, I swung by Trader Joe’s and scored some for $4.99 a pound. This means that the milk costs a little bit more than the cost of buying it at the store if I don’t account for the cost of gear that I bought below.

Quick math shows that the milk is about $1 more expensive per jug assuming I can get 4 cups of almonds out of a 1 lb bag…that’s not always the case. And let’s not forget my time.

Again, knowing that I was throwing one less thing in a landfill was good enough for me but it was good to know the economics of it

Step 3: I bought some gear

I got supplies from Amazon:

Step 4: I bought some almonds and got making

The recipe…here’s what I noticed with the recipes I found:

  1. There was not one consistent soaking time. Some recipes called for up to 48 hours while others said no more than 12 hours or even as low as 6 hours. I went with 12 hours because that’s what the nut milk bag I got recommended for almonds.
  2. The only consistent thing was to rinse thoroughly after soaking.
  3. There were some good recommendations for additives, but I stuck with salt and no sweetener.

Step 4: We enjoyed

The final result was so good that my daughter Sofia actually took a sip. This is remarkable because this child turned her nose up at store bought almond milk and would not drink it for crap even when she woke up hungry. So the fact that she took a sip was a vote of confidence. Hubby said it was aiight 😀.

It didn’t take long at all to get it done, so I’m going to be rolling milk-making to my evening activities…plus I’m planning to make something good with the leftover pulp and can’t wait to share that with you.