Sweetly Spiced Homemade Almond Milk
This sweetly spiced homemade almond milk is extremely creamy, delicious, and easy to make. The difference in homemade almond milk versus the kind you buy in the store is truly night and day. You may have heard people say this before and think, "really... is it that different?" the answer is an enthusiastic "YES!". It seems like some magical process but honestly, friends, it really isn't that hard. Is it a few more steps than grabbing almond milk off the grocery store shelf? Yes. Is it worth the fuss? Yes! I put several spices into my version of homemade almond milk to really jazz it up.
I, like many of you, have a dairy sensitivity. I used to love cheeses, milk, and ice cream; for heaven's sake is there anything better than a sweet stacked cone in the summertime?! However, these foods did not love me back. I've unfortunately had to give up most dairy items with the exception of the ones that are worth the repercussions (hi, pizza). It used to really upset me and I would get serious food FOMO. Thankfully, they are coming out with great dairy alternative products and recipe inspiration to accommodate us dairy-free folks. It's also really awesome news for our vegan friends as well. As you can see we aren't missing out on all the deliciousness in life. :)
About six years ago when I found out about my dairy sensitivity, I started looking up recipes that were dairy free and found a lot of great looking food dishes that were vegan. I'm not vegan myself, but I do eat 90% plant-based because of my dairy sensitivity. So I started following a lot of amazing vegan food bloggers on Pinterest. I found several recipes for homemade almond milk that looked wonderful but thought it would take a lot of time and effort. I remember carving out an entire Saturday morning to make almond milk the first time, and then when I had it completely finished within 15 minutes I was shocked!
I've made several variations of almond milk, but this one always consistently gives great results. It's an adaptation from the amazing vegan blog Oh She Glows. I prefer making my almond milk with maple syrup for sweetener, but you could also use agave, a few soaked dates, or event a few drops of stevia for a natural sugar-free version.
It starts out with soaking a cup of raw almonds overnight in filtered water. It's recommended that you let them soak for at least 4-6 hours.
Once they've soaked, drain the almonds and discard the old water they were soaking in. Throw the soaked almonds into a high-speed blender along with 4 fresh cups of filters water.
Blend together on the highest setting for 45 seconds to a minute. Get a large bowl ready and put a fine mesh bag or extra large cheese cloth inside. We're going to pour the milk from the blender into the large bowl through the bag.
Until recently, I was using a fine mesh laundry bag that absolutely served this purpose. Since my old one was worn out, I found where you can actually buy a "nut milk bag". I purchased the one shown in these photos from Sur La Table. I've used it many times and it does a great job.
Now it's time to roll up your sleeves and get ready to feel like a milk maid. Proceed to squeeze all the liquid out of the nut milk into the large bowl so that you're just left with the "almond meal" which you could save for oatmeal or even smoothies.
Almond milk is really only 2 ingredients - almonds and water. If you like sweetened almond milk it becomes 4 ingredients including the maple syrup and salt to bring out the sweetness. So technically this is only a 4-ingredient recipe with optional extra 3 ingredients to take this milk to the next level.
To make my sweetly spiced version, pour the milk from the large bowl back into the blender. measure out the maple syrup (or sweetener of choice), vanilla, cinnamon, & cardamum (if opting for all the spices) and throw in a pinch of salt. Here in Raleigh, NC we have a fantastic store in town called Penzys Spices where I bought my spices for special recipes like this. I love it because they have every herb and spice you could think of and they always have a high quality products. It also doesn't hurt that it is in one of the cutest shopping centers in town with some of my favorite shops in the city.
Blend again with all the ingredients for another 30-45 seconds and then you're ready to serve or pour into the final storing and serving container. That's it! Only 4 main ingredients to sweetened homemade almond milk and 3 more for my sweet vanilla spiced version.
Oh, and one final thing about this almond milk that makes it a home-run is that it doubles as an awesome coffee creamer! I'm not sure if you've heard about the heat in Raleigh before, but whoa baby we've got it. I love a homemade iced coffee with a healthy pour of this sweetly spiced almond milk; it is heaven.
[buymeapie-recipe id='4']I hope you take a wild notion to roll up your sleeves and make some homemade almond milk soon. It really is easier than you think if you haven't tried it. If you're already making your own almond milk - high five! Try throwing my sweet spice combo of maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, & cardamom next time. How does your process compare and are there any other flavors you like to throw in to your version? Comment below and let me know!