Have you ever considered trying a healthy alternative to dairy milk? Making my own almond milk was the first ‘vegan’ thing I tried, and now it’s all I drink at home. The health benefits immediately won me over: as much calcium as normal milk, but higher in vitamins, especially A, D and E, no saturated fat, can lower cholesterol and has fewer calories than the skimmed variety. What’s not to love about this milky marvel?

You may wonder why you’d make your own when you can buy it so easily from supermarkets; this is purely a personal choice and I prefer homemade because it doesn’t contain any preservatives, artificial sweeteners, or other additives that you’ll find in almost every ready-made version. It’s perfect for dishes like my ginger nut crunch muesli, as the base of a fresh fruit smoothie, homemade ice lollies, or just as an everyday delicious milk substitute.

Almond milk recipe…
Makes approx. 3 pints (half the recipe if you want less)

Get these ready…
• Bowl  • Water for soaking the almonds  • Food processor  • Jam straining bag  • Glass bottle with airtight lid

The milky bit…
– 2 cups of almonds (either blanched or skinned is fine)
– 9 cups cold water

* Money Saving Tip *
Skinned almonds tend to be cheaper than blanched, so use whichever you prefer. I usually use skinned and have never noticed a taste difference between the two.

Let’s start cooking…
Add the almonds to a bowl and fully cover with cold water. Soak overnight or for at least 8 hours; you may need to top the water up the next day if you’re not using them immediately, as they soak it up and expand.

* Time Saving Tip *
In a hurry? Pour boiling water over the almonds, soak for two hours and they will soften quickly.

Drain and rinse until the water runs clear. The nuts will have expanded and you’ll now have almost 3 cups worth, so measure out 1 cup and add to the food processor.

Blitz for 30 seconds until they’re broken into tiny crumb-like pieces, then pour in 3 cups of chilled water and blitz again for another 30 seconds.

Stretch the jam straining bag over the edges of the bowl, and pour the mixture in.

* Top Tip *
If like me, you have a compact food processor that can only handle 2 cups of water at a time, pour the nut/water mixture into the straining bag, and add the last cup of water straight into the bag, so that it drains through at the same time.

After two minutes, gently squeeze the outside of the bag to get as much milk out of the pulp as possible.

* Tidy Tip *
Using disposable gloves helps to make the squeezing process a little less messy!

Set the pulp aside and repeat the steps twice more.

* Time Saving Tip *
If you’re making this regularly, using a jam bag stand makes the process easier, this is mine.

Once you’ve finished, rinse your straining bag and leave to dry naturally. Look after it this way and it can be reused over and over again.

* Top Tip *
You can use the leftover pulp as almond ‘flour’ for other recipes like my ginger nut crunch muesli. Simply spread out on a baking tray and ‘dry out’ for 1 hour in a 125c oven. Once cool, store in an airtight jar.

Pour the milk into glass containers that have airtight lids, I use Kilner bottles. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days; as the milk doesn’t contain emulsifiers, it will naturally separate in the bottle. Simply shake well each time before using and enjoy the goodness!

Almond milk uses