How Not to Make Almond Milk (Learn From My 6 Mistakes)

 "Where are the nipples for milking, Greg?"

"Where are the nipples for milking, Greg?"

Being a new vegan means learning TONS about a whole new personal food menu.  Substitutions, new ingredients, alternatives, experiments, and definitely mistakes are all some things to get used to in the first year of eating a vegan diet.

 I've never experimented more with vegetables, fruits, and nuts than I do now

I've never experimented more with vegetables, fruits, and nuts than I do now

Part of learning how to embrace a new lifestyle is doing things wrong and slipping up.  I've made a few mistakes in my first year of being vegan like accidentally eating a cherry pepper stuffed with feta cheese thinking it was hummus or not reading the ingredients of a bag of salt & vinegar chips that included dairy products (WHY DO THEY NEED TO HAVE MILK IN THEM!?!?!?!). 

My favorite mistake thus far is how we made our first batch of almond milk...

 Switching to a nut-based milk over dairy milk can improve your health tremendously  (source)

Switching to a nut-based milk over dairy milk can improve your health tremendously (source)

I've always wondered how to make your own almond milk, so Nick (my boyfriend) and I decided to give it a go.

We stuck a cup of almonds and two cups of water in a bowl to soak for a while.  The first source we checked said to soak the almonds for 24-48 hours, so we left them in water for a good two days chillin' out on the counter top.

 It started off well...

It started off well...

On day two of almond-soaking, the water started to look a little murky, but we weren't really sure if it was normal or not.

 ...then things got a little cloudy.

...then things got a little cloudy.

So, we carried on anyways and blended up the almonds and water to see what would happen.

 I started feeling giddy about the almonds blending -- finally my first home-made almond milk!

I started feeling giddy about the almonds blending -- finally my first home-made almond milk!

The almond/water combination quickly turned into a paste looking nothing like milk at all.  Nick and I made the judgment call to add more water and blend again.  After we added another cup or so, the almond paste turned into a more liquid concoction.

 However, it wasn't as smooth as we thought...

However, it wasn't as smooth as we thought...

Knowing we'd need to do some sort of filtering to get the bits of almond meal out, we cut a piece of cheese cloth and started pouring the blender's contents through.

 Sorry this isn't the most professional photo!

Sorry this isn't the most professional photo!

As we squeezed out that sought-after almond juice, we realized we were getting it almost everywhere but our milk jug. So, we had to squeeze over a bowl...it made for less mess/wastage.

Almond Milk-4.jpg

We extracted as much milk as possible from the blended almonds, but weren't left with nearly as much as we thought we would.

 I've never milked a cow, but milking almonds was actually really satisfying despite our outcome

I've never milked a cow, but milking almonds was actually really satisfying despite our outcome

We were left with loads of almond meal after all the squeezing was done.  Almond meal can actually be used for baking, turned into vegan cheeses, made into dairy free spreads, AND used for vegan snickers bars!!!  We're definitely adding that to our "to cook" list.

 In the end, it didn't taste all that bad!

In the end, it didn't taste all that bad!

We poured the bowl full of almond milk into the glass jug and realized we had only made about a cup and a half of actual milk.  I don't think it tasted that that bad, but my housemates (non-vegans) politely told me they hated it by means of spitting it into the sink!  It was hilarious!

I suppose next time we could add a bit of sweetener and some vanilla extract to round it out.

 What a sad jug of milk! Haaa!

What a sad jug of milk! Haaa!

Once the milk had been photographed somewhat pathetically (not my best work here), Nick made a custom aluminum foil top to store it in the fridge for the next day's use.

 Nick says it's a classic silver top milk now like in the U.K.

Nick says it's a classic silver top milk now like in the U.K.

We definitely learned a lot from this first almond milking experience and I hope our next batch is more successful.

To summarize, here are the SIX mistakes we made and lessons we learned from this milk-making session.

Lesson #1:

Use more than 1 cup of almonds if you want to make more than a cup and a half of actual milk.

Lesson #2:

You need more water than you think (1 cup almonds to 3-4 cups water - we only used 2 cups of water).

Lesson #3:

Don't leave them soaking in water for longer than 24 hours.

Lesson #4:

Use a big bowl to squeeze the milk into, not a jug with a very small mouth.

Lesson #5:

Add natural sweetener and/or vanilla extract for some flavor oomph. 

Lesson #6:

Store the almond milk in a sealable container, not one that needs a home-made customized tin foil top.

 The more almonds we milk, the less we need to use cows for their milk!

The more almonds we milk, the less we need to use cows for their milk!

We're going to give almond milking another try soon.  We'll be sure to post our results! 

Let us know if you've ever made your own nut milk below and how it turned out.

Happy milking!

Kelsey PowellComment