Milking almonds feels complicated. It seems like a job for teeny-tiny hands. Or, if the long lists of ingredients on the cartons of almond milk at the grocery store are any indicator, a chore that requires a PhD in chemistry and working knowledge of acetates, carrageenans and gellan gum.
In reality, making dairy-free, lactose-free and protein-rich almond milk at home couldn’t be simpler or more rewarding. All it requires is a high-speed blender, something called a “nut-milk bag” (which can easily be swapped out for a thin dish cloth), and two ingredients: almonds and water.
Homemade almond milk is light with a delicately sweet and slightly nutty taste that makes it a great canvas for all sorts of flavors: vanilla, cocoa, nutmeg, maple syrup, dates, honey, and the list goes on.
With so few components going into homemade almond milk, the quality of those components becomes vitally important. The best almond milk requires not just the best almonds — but also the best water.
This is where Mountain Valley Spring Water comes in.
Our purely sourced spring water fell from the sky thousands of years ago. It filtered deep into the earth beneath the Ouachita Mountains of the southern U.S., then made its way back to the surface through layers of granite and quartz. This millennia-long journey adds trace minerals and nutrients to Mountain Valley Spring Water, giving it the crisp, refreshing flavor that’s made Mountain Valley the most award-winning bottled water brand in the country.
Mountain Valley Spring Water isn’t just delicious, it makes everything it’s mixed with delicious, too. That’s why our iconic green-glass bottles are so beloved by chefs and bartenders.
And it’s why there’s no better water for making the best homemade almond milk.
How to make the best almond milk? Let it soak
Almonds aren’t exactly juicy. The “milk” in almond milk is mostly water; water that finds its way into the almonds through a lengthy soak. Most almond-milk recipes start by having you cover the almonds in cool water, then allowing them to soak for 8 to 12 hours or overnight at room temperature. This plumps and softens the almonds, making them easier to blend when it’s milking time.
While many almond-milk recipes call for filtered water, we’ve found soaking almonds in Mountain Valley Spring Water offers an even better balance for the creamy, natural sweetness of the nuts. Again, because this is a recipe with few ingredients, quality matters.
How to make the best almond milk? Blend away
Once the almonds have been properly soaked and rinsed, it’s time to blend. This is where a good high-speed blender will make a big difference, and it’s where more Mountain Valley Spring Water will, too.
Most almond milk recipes call for blending 1 cup of soaked almonds with 4 to 5 cups of water. Since this water is what will make up the bulk of your almond milk, using a first-rate spring water (with award-winning flavor!) such as Mountain Valley is crucial in this step.
Also crucial: blending, blending and blending some more.
Once your soaked almonds and Mountain Valley Spring Water are in the blender, start it at low speed and slowly adjust to high. Set a timer for 90 seconds to 2 minutes and let it whir. You want the liquid to look creamy and smooth. A nice long blend will ensure you’ve gotten all the rich, almondy goodness from your nuts while thoroughly breaking them down.
How to make the best almond milk? No strain, no gain
Remember that “nut-milk bag” we mentioned earlier? Here’s where it comes in handy. While your blended almond milk may look rich and creamy at this stage, it’s still full of almond pulp, which isn’t exactly appetizing. To strain pulp from milk, you need help.
Nut-milk bags are made from fine mesh that lets liquid pass through while holding back solids and grit. They’re easy to find online (this one has 15,000-some reviews and a five-star rating), and they’re even easier to use. Simply pour your creamy, concentrated almond milk from the blender through the bag and into a container, then squeeze until you can’t squeeze any longer.
No nut-milk bag? No worries. A large, clean, thin dish towel will also work. Simply stretch the towel over top of your holding container, pour the almond milk through, then gather up the ends and squeeze to ensure you get every last almondy drop.
You can even save the leftover almond pulp, which can be dried into almond meal, added to smoothies for a boost of fiber, or used in any of these ways as suggested by Minimalist Baker.
How to make the best almond milk? Get creative
Homemade almond milk is the perfect foundation for an array of flavors. Add some fresh vanilla for a rich kick, some cinnamon and/or nutmeg and/or turmeric for warmth, some dates or honey or maple syrup for a hint of natural sweetness.
And you don’t have to stop there. If you love berry milk, you can make berry almond milk. Craving chocolate milk? Chocolate almond milk can be just as richly satisfying without the lactose or dairy. These recipes from fitlivingeats.com take the pure simplicity of homemade almond milk to delicious new levels.
How to use the best homemade almond milk? However you want
So, you’ve made your first batch of delicious and delicately sweet almond milk — what now? The true beauty of this nut milk is in its versatility. Use it as you would traditional milk: over cereal, in coffee, for dunking cookies.
And then … keep using it. Almond milk adds creamy texture to soups. It can be used in baking to keep muffins, pies and pancakes dairy free. It makes for vegan friendly overnight oats and luscious smoothies. You can even churn up some almond-milk ice cream.
Need more recipe ideas for your homemade almond milk? Here are a few dozen from the good folks at Ambitious Kitchen.
How to store almond milk? Use fresh, keep cool
Homemade almond milk is at its best fresh from the blender and strainer, but it can also be stored tightly sealed in the fridge for 4-5 days. When using stored almond milk, be sure to shake the container rigorously, as it tends to separate.
Around day four or five, if you still have unused almond milk, you can freeze it into cubes that will be good for up to three months. Frozen almond milk is great for smoothies and protein shakes.
More than almond milk: Spring water the Mountain Valley way
Mountain Valley’s purely sourced spring water makes everything better. From almond milk to Monday meetings to mocktails on a Sunday afternoon.
Bottled direct from our protected source deep in the heart of the Ouachita Mountains, USA, Mountain Valley Spring Water is American Goodness at its crispest, finest and most refreshing. Taste for yourself. Get started with delivery to your home or office by clicking here.