homemade v long life almond milk

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

Ingredients

  • 1 cup natural almonds (not roasted)
  • Water

Method

  1. Soak the cup of almonds in about 500ml of water overnight
  2. Then tip out the water and rinse the almonds
  3. Place the almonds into a blender with about 750ml of water (you can add more or less depending on how concentrated you want it)
  4. Blend the mix until the almonds have broken down (not long in a high powered blender)
  5. Pour the mix into a nut bag over a bowl and squeeze until all the milk is out
  6. Then transfer the lovely, bright white frothy milk into jars or bottles and store in the fridge
  7. You can add vanilla flavouring or dates to the blender mix if needed but I just leave it as it is
  8. You can also dehydrate the almond pulp to use in cakes etc (reducing costs further!)