Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk

Shortly after my daughter, Reese, was born, we found out that she had an issue with dairy (to clarify: I was nursing her, not vegan yet, so still eating dairy and passing it on to her). We knew we’d want to get acquainted with nondairy options to fill the void, but what we didn’t know at the time is that the options are pretty endless. Almond, cashew, walnut, coconut, hazelnut, rice, soy, oat, hemp…you get the point. We weren’t going to have any trouble finding an alternative. To be honest, dairy has also been an issue for me most of my life (and as I’ve come to learn, it’s less because I’m ‘lactose intolerant’ and more because I’m just not a baby cow, but more on that another day ;)), so we boarded the nondairy train as a family and never looked back.
Fast forward to today, I have sampled many nondairy milk options, and I certainly have my grocery store favorites (this, this, and this – to name a few). But there’s just something about DIY-ing it that you can’t buy in a carton.
Let’s get right to it, because you need this creamy, delicious homemade almond milk in your life, yesterday.
Soak the almonds at least 8 hours, or overnight (I know, I know…no instant gratification on this one. But it’s worth the wait. Trust me.)

After soaked, drain the water and rinse well. Add the rinsed almonds to a high-powered blender.
Add dates, vanilla, sea salt, and water to the blender as well. Blend on high for 1 minute.
Strain blender mixture through a nut milk bag (you can purchase here, or a cheesecloth will work in a pinch). Make sure you have something to catch the milk in underneath the bag (seems obvious, until you find yourself straining your hard-earned almond milk into the sink and down the drain. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.)

Squeeze the bag as the liquid is straining through. After all the liquid has been strained, you’ll end up with the dry-ish remains of your blended almond mixture in the bag. Some people keep this and use it in baking recipes or something. Those same people probably also organize their pantries by color. Some of us just have our lives together more than others.

Pour yourself a big bowl of granola (or crumble up like, 4 chocolate chip cookies – let’s be real here), and top with homemade almond milk to enjoy the yummy fruits of your labor.

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