Almond Milk

milk and cookies

ready to drink

One post on my blog that gets regular traffic is my no-cook rice milk recipe. I need to update it a bit actually… But in the meantime, I thought I should add a nut milk to my recipe index.

I hadn’t made almond milk for, well, a few years. It’s easy to make, it tastes better than store bought, I can buy the ingredients (simply almonds) in bulk rather than ready-to-drink milk in a wasteful Tetra-Pak, it goes well with homemade granola

But the leftover pulp always stressed me out. When I make almond milk, I also commit to cooking or baking something with all that pulp because how can I possibly waste it, especially during those devastating drought years here in California? I started to dry it out and run it through my food processor to make “flour.” I really like this solution. I either use the flour immediately or store it in the freezer in a glass jar to use later. Now this isn’t the same as almond flour you buy in the store—much of the fatty goodness has been drawn out of it. But the stuff is useful.

To make almond milk, you soak a cup of almonds in water for up to a couple of days. Drain the almonds. Rinse them. Puree them with 2 cups fresh water. Strain the liquid. Drink the milk. That’s it.

I buy organic almonds. Many almond milk recipes call for “raw organic” almonds but raw almonds basically do not exist, at least not here California, producer of 80 percent of the world’s almonds.

almonds soaking
Don’t bother to remove the skins
pureed
Puréed and ready to strain
Tea with almond milk
Tea with almond milk

Almond “flour”

I took some lovely pictures of the pulp straining process (not easy with one hand) but sadly, the photos disappeared…

After you remove as much liquid from the pulp as possible, break up the pulp with your hand and drop it onto an ungreased, unlined cookie sheet. Break it up further with a fork. Deyhdrate the pulp in the oven at about 225ºF for two hours, or until completely dried out. During dehydration, stir the pulp every 30 minutes or so to break up lumps and prevent it from sticking to the cookie sheet. Run the dried pulp through a food processor. Use immediately or store in the freezer.

When you bake with your pulp flour you’ll have to fiddle around with the recipe a bit—as with all freestyle cooking. For this blog post, I made oatmeal cookies. The recipe calls for 3 cups oats and 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour. I substituted 1 cup of my pulp flour for 1 cup of the all-purpose flour. The cookies turn out a tiny bit more crumbly than they do following the standard recipe. But other than that, they taste delicious. I’m all for rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste but my efforts must taste delicious.

crumble pulp
Break up strained almond pulp with your hand
break up pulp fork
Break up further with a fork
dried pulp
Dried pulp after two hours in the oven at a low temperature
Pulp ground to a pulp
Dried pulp ground to a pulp

Snack time

cookies with dried pulp

Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almonds
  • water for soaking
  • 2 cups water for pureeing soaked almonds

Instructions

  1. Place almonds in a jar and cover with water by a couple of inches. Place the lid on the jar and set the jar aside for between 12 to 48 hours.
  2. Strain the almonds and rinse them very well.
  3. Add the almonds and 2 cups of fresh water to a blender or food processor and blend for a couple of minutes.
  4. Over a large bowl, place a sieve or colander lined with a fine-mesh cloth. Pour the almond mixture through. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to strain out most of the liquid.
  5. Gather up the edges of the cloth to form a ball and squeeze out as much almond milk as possible.
  6. If you wish to sweeten your almond milk, stir in sugar, maple syrup, or honey, etc. To sweeten with a pitted date, return the milk to the clean blender, add the date and puree once again.
  7. Store almond milk in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to a few days.

Notes

Nuts contain phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that bonds to minerals. That bond prevents your body from absorbing said minerals. So, don't consume the water you soak your nuts in. Your plants can drink it though.

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10 Comment

  1. Lydia says: Reply

    I like to add a handful of shredded coconut to mine and puree with warm water to draw out all the fat (yum!). Oh, and I do 4 cups water per cup of almonds so they stretch a bit more. The milk is creamy and delicious – I even switched my cow milk drinking husband over with this recipe 🙂

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Lydia, That sounds delicious. I forgot to mention in the post you can add more water if desired. I meant to do that… Thanks for pointing that out. I’m glad you husband likes it so much 🙂 ~ Anne Marie

  2. We are really missing our homemade nut milks around here while we wait for Cuisinart to replace our two recalled chopping blades. Sadly, my blender isn’t powerful enough to make almond milk, although it works just fine with coconut. I love Lydia’s suggestion to puree a handful of shredded coconut with the almonds. Going to give that a try once my new blades arrive.

    Btw, I have freezer jars and bowls full of almond flour I’ve made from almond pulp, but so far, we haven’t liked any of the recipes we’ve tried with it. Your oatmeal cookies look divine. If ever you put up that recipe, do get in touch with me.

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Oh right! I am supposed to get a new blade. Thanks for the reminder! I used (basically) the Quaker Oats oatmeal recipe: http://www.quakeroats.com/cooking-and-recipe/quakers-best-oatmeal-cookies I put in 1/2 cup brown sugar, not 3/4 and they were still very sweet. Also, I used 2 sticks of butter (not 2-1/2) and 1 cup raisins. I replaced 1 cup all-purpose flour with 1 cup dehydrated almond pulp. They turned out well and are all gone. Wish I had one now…

      1. Ooooh. That sounds good. Haven’t made their recipe in years, since I started buying in bulk. As I recall, the recipe was inside the lid. : )

      2. The Zero-Waste Chef says:

        Yeah I used to have that lid too 😉

  3. Greta says: Reply

    Help! I made almond milk but I don’t have an oven to make flour out of the almond meal. How do I use it up?

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Someone on Twitter told me she doesn’t strain at all and just pours the milk with pulp onto her granola. She likes the extra crunch. I thought that sounded like a great idea. My daughter has made energy balls with hers. If you google that, LOTS of recipes will pop up. Here’s one: http://www.sweetfreedomblog.com/2012/06/raw-dough-nots.html I hope that helps 🙂

  4. Hi there! I currently don’t have access to almonds (the store was sold out the day I went!), could I make milk with almond flour/almond meal? What would you guesstimate be on proportions?

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hello! A cup of almonds weighs about 8 ounces so I would use 8 ounces of almond meal. Actually, I would use 4 ounces of almond meal and 4 ounces of water. If you make half and don’t like it, you haven’t lost much. If you do like it, you can double the amounts next time. I haven’t tried this so I’m not sure if it will work but I don’t see why it wouldn’t. If you try it, will you please let me know how it goes? Thanks 🙂

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