I have been making my own almond milk for a few years and when I suggest it to people as an alternative to buying it from the supermarket, the response is usually that almonds are too expensive to make your own.
Natural almonds from a supermarket might cost you about $25 per kg (in Australia and this is in the higher range, if you buy in bulk or when they are on special, it’s cheaper, but for comparison I used the higher cost).
So this means that 1 cup of almonds (about 150g) can turn into about 750ml or more of nut milk for about $3.70. This is assuming you already have a blender, a nut bag (about $10 on eBay or from a health food shop) and water (from the tap or filtered).
Long life almond milk from the supermarket shelf will cost around 40% less but may also contain sugar, sunflower oil, tapioca, carrageenan (a thickener) and natural flavour (have you ever stopped to think what is natural flavour?).
Fresh almond milk from a supermarket or shop will generally contain fewer ingredients than the shelf variety and will cost around 50% more that your homemade milk, at between $8-11 for 1 litre from what I have seen in my local shops.
A survey completed by Choice found that the percentage of almonds in the long life varieties was only about 2.5%, compared to about 18% for homemade. So you would need to consume about 7 times more long life almond milk to get the same quantity of almonds as the homemade variety, which equates to about $15 compared to $3.70.
So putting aside the convenience and equipment factor, does making 750ml at home for $3.70 with 16% more almond goodness in the milk, seem like a better option, nutritionally and financially?
Here’s how to make it at home.
Homemade almond milk
- 1 cup natural almonds (not roasted)
- Soak the cup of almonds in about 500ml of water overnight
- Then tip out the water and rinse the almonds
- Place the almonds into a blender with about 750ml of water (you can add more or less depending on how concentrated you want it)
- Blend the mix until the almonds have broken down (not long in a high powered blender)
- Pour the mix into a nut bag over a bowl and squeeze until all the milk is out
- Then transfer the lovely, bright white frothy milk into jars or bottles and store in the fridge
- You can add vanilla flavouring or dates to the blender mix if needed but I just leave it as it is
- You can also dehydrate the almond pulp to use in cakes etc (reducing costs further!)