A journey through the land of “eating vibrantly” would not be complete without some raw vegan almond milk.
This was one of the first recipes I made when I started experimenting with raw food recipes, and it’s stood the test of time.
It’s so simple, fast and delicious that I wonder now why I ever hesitated to try it.
My recipe comes pretty much straight out of Jennifer Cornbleet’s Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People cookbook.
It’s one heck of a mouthful to say, and it’s also one heck of a raw food cookbook, especially for beginners. Dare I say it, I think it’s my favourite.
It was my first raw food cookbook, everything I made from it was delicious, and it taught me that raw food could be so easy and so tasty that I just wanted to make (and eat) even more of it.
Quite an achievement for a deceptively simple little cookbook.
And making your own raw vegan almond milk is definitely a great place to start.
All you really need is some almonds and water, although I recommend adding dates for sweetness and even some vanilla for extra flavour if you like.
Just blend everything up and strain it through a nut milk bag.
And you have yourself the most amazing alternative to cows’ milk.
It’s nothing like the stuff you can buy in the shops.
They water it down, add vegetable oil, salt, or sweeteners, when it really doesn’t need to be that complicated.
One of the things I especially love about this particular recipe for raw vegan almond milk is that it’s the perfect balance of water to almonds.
Not so thick that it’s too rich to be used as a milk, and not so watery that it tastes bland or weird.
It’s just right. Rich, creamy, and milky. Mmmmmmmm.
I get excited just thinking about it.
Just look at all that rich creamy goodness settling out.
It’s like the layer of cream on top of cows’ milk, and about as rich too, so make sure you mix it in before you use it.
We store ours in our awesome green smoothie bottles, with the easy-pour spouts and fully removable lids for thorough cleaning.
This is one raw food staple that’s definitely worth adding to your collection.
So here’s my version of Jennifer Cornbleet’s raw vegan almond milk recipe.
- 1 cup (160g) almonds
- pinch salt + water to cover
- 1½ cups (375ml) water
- 2 medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ tsp vanilla bean powder (optional)
- ½ cup (125ml) water
- ⅔ cup (125g) ice
- Add salt to almonds and cover with water.
- Soak 8-12 hours or overnight at room temperature.
- Drain almonds and rinse.
- Add almonds to blender with 1½ cups water, dates and vanilla bean powder.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add ½ cup of water and ⅔ cup ice and blend again.
- Strain through nut milk bag, squeezing pulp thoroughly to extract as much almond milk as possible.
- Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
During: 15 min
Need: Blender, nut milk bag
- Soaking the almonds is optional, but you get a much better result if you include this step. Not only does soaking help to release extra nutrients from the almonds, but it makes the milk creamier and more delicious, and you get a slightly higher yield as well. The salt helps to make the soaking even more effective.
- You can use fewer almonds if you like, which will make your almonds go further, but the milk will taste a bit watery, and not nearly as nice in my opinion.
- If you leave out the second lot of water, you can make a thicker, richer almond milk, almost like almond cream. Yum.
- You can make raw nut milk with all kinds of nuts, including brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts and more. Raw vegan almond milk is a great place to start, but the principles are pretty much the same for any nut milk – blend and strain – so have a play with it.
- The reason you only add part of the water to begin with, is to help the almonds to blend properly. If you add all of the water at the start, it makes it harder for the blender to break down the almonds, and your milk may not be as smooth and creamy.
- The dates are used to help sweeten the milk. You can use your preferred natural sweetener (e.g. agave nectar, coconut nectar, maple syrup, honey), although the dates add a wonderful depth to the flavour, and are a whole food, which I prefer to use when I can.
- Your tastebuds may change over time, so start with a slightly sweeter milk if need be (add more dates if you prefer), and reduce them as you get used to the nutty flavour of the almond milk.
- The same goes for the vanilla. When we started making this, the vanilla really helped us to adjust to the flavour of the almond milk. But these days, we leave out the vanilla entirely because it was starting to make it taste too sweet for us. Just go with what you like best.
- Vanilla bean powder is just fresh vanilla beans air-dried and ground into a powder using a spice blender or coffee grinder. You can make your own or you can buy it from your local health food shop. If you can’t get your hands on any of this, just use 1 tsp of vanilla extract instead.
- We use some ice in the second amount of water to keep the milk cool as it blends. Because you are blending your milk for a while, to make it extra smooth, you may find your milk heating up, especially if you’re using a high-speed blender like the Vitamix that we use. The last thing you want is your raw vegan almond milk over-heating and not being raw any more, so use some ice if you can.
- You don’t have to strain your nut milk, but I highly recommend it. Not straining it would mean you don’t have leftover almond pulp to find uses for, but it does leave a grainy texture in the milk, which I don’t really enjoy. Straining it definitely helps your nut milk to resemble dairy milks more closely, which can make it easier to accept for some people.
- You can buy nut milk bags online, at your local health food store, or you can make your own, using a square of muslin or swiss voile. You’ll find all kinds of uses for your nut milk bag, so it’s worth getting your hands on one. And frankly, it’s worth it just to be able to make almond milk.
- We store our raw almond milk in the door of our fridge and find that it starts to turn on day 5, so make sure it doesn’t last that long.
When I decided to start exploring this whole “raw food thing”, I did my homework online (as I do), and found the two highest rated raw food cookbooks on Amazon, and bought them for myself for Christmas.
They were Jennifer Cornbleet’s Raw Food Made Easy for 1 or 2 People and Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Essentials, and I quickly discovered that Jennifer’s recipes were simple and delicious, but I felt overwhelmed by Ani’s recipes to begin with.
So this raw vegan almond milk recipe is basically my version of Jennifer’s raw nut milk recipe that I’ve been making every few days since then. It’s definitely a keeper.
And if you’re just starting out with raw food, I’d highly recommend Jennifer’s cookbook as a great place to start.
Want a raw food cookbook that’s perfect for beginners?
You can order Jennifer's cookbooks online today at Amazon, the Book Depository, or your favourite book supplier, and start making her easy and delicious raw food dishes for yourself.
So, take the plunge, have a go at making your own raw vegan almond milk, and have an awesome day!