Homemade Vanilla, Chocolate + Matcha Almond Milk
Almond milk is a plant milk made from almonds with a creamy texture and subtle nutty flavor. A popular non-dairy milk, that does not contain cholesterol or lactose making it a great go-to option for people with milk allergies, who are lactose-intolerant, vegans, and those who have increasing concern over animal rights and environmental protection. In all honesty, almond milk has become a bit of an obsession for me. Although I have not sworn off cow’s milk completely, non-dairy milk has become a preferred go-to in many of my smoothie recipes.
The almond milk (and other plant-based kinds of milk) trend has been an impressive trend to watch in recent years. Considered a “specialty item” in the early 2000s, almond, and other plant-based milks, are surpassing cow milk, and even soy milk, consumption significantly. In the 1970s, Americans drank over 30 gallons of cow’s milk per person per year. By 2016, that dropped to only 18 gallons per person, and the numbers keep going down.
Meanwhile, the almond milk industry continues to grow. As early 2018, almond milk was raking in $1 billion a year, up from $646 million in 2014, a 14% increase, per Nielsen data. Compare that to the next most popular “milk” alternative, soy, which ranked at $245 million, a 12% decrease compared to just four years ago.
Making homemade almond milk is actually not as hard as one would think. And I say that as someone who had not made homemade almond milk until now. That said, this was a fun project for me to work on. I have had numerous brands of almond milk over the years and I already knew the flavor profile and consistency I was going for in creating vanilla, chocolate, and matcha-flavored almond milk.
Each of these three recipes is similar in regards to the overnight soaking process, but the ingredients change slightly based on the flavor and desired texture. I talk about culinary gadgets often, and my go-to gadget for making homemade almond milk is Elli’s Best Bigger Better Nut Milk Bag. This is a fantastic product. A sizable bag in comparison to others, but what I love most, is how durable it is–this bag lasts! And the fine mesh straining ability allows you to strain out all the pulp which is critical for me in the almond milk-making process.
When making your own homemade almond milk, let my recipes guide you, but don’t feel a need to stick to them exactly as written. Less or more water added will change the constancy if you prefer a thicker or thinner result. I favored my milk more on the mild side, but you may prefer a more pronounced flavor. Almond milk is adaptable and you can make it to your specifications without sacrificing a thing.
Note on Almond Pulp: Save your pulp to make almond flour! Once the almond milk has been extracted, place the pulp on a baking sheet and dehydrate in the oven set to 200 degrees F until completely dry. Cool slightly, place in a food processor such as a Cusinart fitted with a blade attachment, and blend on high until blended until desired consistency.