Almond milk is one of my favourite vegan milks and is a complete staple in my diet and day-to-day life. Being plant-based, milk is one of those things you have to find a replacement for. Matcha lattes, bowls of granola and trays of brownies just aren’t the same without it.
When I first started eating this way, I used brands of almond milk that were full of extra ingredients I couldn’t even pronounce – I knew these ones weren’t the best and I wanted to choose a milk that was 100% good for me; I didn’t want to compromise.
I have since discovered brands which are 100% natural and pure. My favourite brand I do buy almond milk from is Rude Health – they don’t use additives or emulsifiers and are so tasty!
Last week I finally decided to make my own almond milk. I had quite a few bags of organic almonds sitting in my cupboard which I didn’t know what to do with (I’m not a big almond fan!) until I thought about making almond milk. I’ve seen so many people make their own, but I didn’t know if I could ever achieve the creaminess of shop bought and thought it might be more hassle than it was worth.
First I bought a jelly bag online (this one) to strain the almond milk to separate the pulp from the milk. I wanted something to be able to properly squeeze all the water out of the pulp and this one is perfect.
Annoyingly, my first batch was pretty poor. I only used almonds and water, and it tasted really watery and not something I’d want to drink. Sure, I could disguise it in smoothies, but I wanted to create the ultimate almond milk; something which could be warmed up in the winter, used in milkshakes, matcha lattes, and most importantly tasted good on it’s own.
For the second batch I added a few dates and some vanilla and WOW! The difference this made was incredible; it was no longer the watery, bland tasting milk from before, and instead was creamy, sweet but not too sweet and delicious! It’s also the perfect drink for sipping whilst reading and writing as it’s so comforting! It can also be used in recipes to make other drinks, hot or cold (like my recipe for a vegan matcha latte or hazelnut cacao shake – just sub the hazelnut milk for almond milk, it works just as well and is just as yummy.)
In creating this recipe, I made a discovery that was pretty exciting. I hate wasting things so thought I’d give the pulp a go at being a body scrub – I’ve been on the look out for a natural body scrub for a while and when this came to mind I thought why not give it ago. It turned out even better than I thought it would. The almond/date/vanilla pulp combination makes the most incredible natural body scrub ever! It’s so gentle and leaves your skin feeling sooo smooth. Also, it makes the bath smell like almond milk which is pretty amazing! You get two products out of one recipe too, which is always good.
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do – I’ll be referring back to this recipe in future recipes too, so I’m sure this won’t be the last you see of it.
- 1 cup almonds (about 150g)
- 3 cups filtered water
- 10 dates
- A few drops of vanilla extract OR 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
- Soak the almonds in boiling water for about 6 hours.
- If you're using almonds with their skins on, you'll need to peel the skins off once they've soaked - they're really easy to peel but it does take time! You can use blanched almonds here instead if you don't want to peel them.
- Drain the almonds and put them into a blender* with all the other ingredients.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour the liquid through a jelly bag (I use this one) or muslin cloth into a jug to separate the milk from the pulp**. You'll need to squeeze all of the liquid out of the pulp to make sure you get all the almond milk!
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge and consume within 5 days.
- * you really don't need a fancy blender for this at all - I use a cheap one from a supermarket and it works perfectly!
- ** don't throw away the pulp - it makes the BEST natural body scrub for in the bath or shower! Just store it in a tub in the fridge and take it out when you want to use it.