Let’s talk about Milk.
Almonds, Dates, Vanilla + Water. That’s all you need for this delicious vanilla almond milk recipe. That and some not-so-fancy equipment, but we’ll get to that later.
This vanilla almond milk recipe is so easy to make! It’s not only ready in 15 minutes (with a cheeky overnight hack) but it is quite possibly the silkiest, smoothest thing I have ever drank.
This drink begins with raw almonds (see the recipe notes for other nut suggestions) soaked overnight in cold water. You will not be surprised to hear that I have done some research into what happens to almonds when you soak them. As it happens, soaking almonds actually increases their nutritional benefits:
- Ever wondered what’s in the almond skin? Me neither. But now that I have raised the question in your mind, you will be glad to hear that the skin of the almond contains an enzyme inhibitor called tannin. This molecule prevents us from absorbing the nutrients present in almonds. However, when you soak almonds, their nutrients release more easily.
- It makes them softer. And that means it is not only easier to digest, but to blend soaked almonds. Great for making a certain vanilla almond milk recipe 😉
- Enzymes release. One of which is lipase, involved in breaking down lipids i.e fats
- Phytic acid breaks down. This means you can absorb the phytic acid better, and it doesn’t get trapped in the gut causing mineral deficiencies.
The nutritionally superior soaked almonds are now added to a blender with fresh water, dates and vanilla extract. The latter two ingredients are optional, however I like the extra sweetness that dates bring, and I am obsessed with anything vanilla-flavoured so it just makes sense here. But think, you could add anything to this recipe really! Here’s just a few ideas:
- Add a few strawberries to the blender and blend well, then strain.
- Same as above, but with blueberries. There’s just something about blueberries and almonds that works so well.
- Add a few teaspoons cacao powder to the blender for a chocolate milk. y.u.m.
- Keep it plain and simple, with just almonds, water + a pinch of salt.
In terms of equipment, you really don’t need anything fancy. You will need a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix, to break up the almonds and combine them with the water, making this vanilla almond milk recipe extra creamy. I have not tried making this with a low-speed blender, but I suspect with a little perseverance you can get similar results. And don’t forget, we are straining all the lumps out so it doesn’t have to be blended to a silky-smooth consistency.
I was always convinced you needed a nut milk bag to make almond milk. However, all you really need is a large square of semi-permeable fabric. I use an old napkin which works perfectly.
When squeezing the vanilla almond milk from the bag, it is vital to squeeze every last drop from the bag to prevent wastage. Seriously, you won’t want to waste a single drop of this almond milk! Remaining in the bag you will have the almond ‘pulp’. This is great for adding to smoothies and energy ball recipes such as these:
- Blueberry Smoothie Bowl
- Date + Cocoa Energy Balls
- Vegan Peanut Butter Thickshake
- Oatmeal Raisin Energy Balls
Once you strain your vanilla almond milk, it is ready to drink and use in delicious recipes! May I suggest adding your (very own homemade!) almond milk to:
- Iced Lattes aka liquid GOLD
- Smoothies and Thickshakes
- Homemade Stovetop Granola. How to win at breakfast: you make this granola, a friend makes this vanilla almond milk recipe. BOOM.
- Use it in your vegan pancakes and french toast. If you follow me on Instagram you know I love pancakes, and any excuse to eat pancakes is a very good excuse in my mind.
- With oreos. I’m sorry, I couldn’t leave that off the list 😉
I do hope you try this recipe! If you do, be sure to tag me on Instagram @shivanilf – I love seeing your creations! You can also keep updated with me on Pinterest and Facebook – I hope to see you there!
Vanilla Almond Milk Recipe
- 70 grams Raw Almonds
- 3 Deglet Nour Dates pitted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 400 millilitres Water
- Add the almonds to a medium bowl, submerge in water and cover the bowl. Leave to soak for 8-24 hours. The longer you soak the almonds, the creamier your almond milk will be. If you are soaking for a particularly long time, you may wish to change the water.
- Drain the almonds and add to your high-speed blender along with the dates, vanilla extract and water.
- Blend until the almonds have broken and the milk is creamy and frothy. Don’t worry about it being completely smooth, as we are going to strain it.
- Pour the almond milk into a nut milk bag/large napkin over a jug. Squeeze out the almond milk from the bag.
- Serve the almond milk chilled. You can use it in smoothies, lattes, on cereal, or even on it’s own. And don’t forget to reserve the leftover pulp to use in energy balls, smoothies and snacks!
- A good idea would be to soak your almonds overnight and blend them in the morning so you can have fresh almond milk with your breakfast.
- You could also use other nuts! I haven’t tried this yet, but am looking forward to doing so. I would expect hazelnuts, cashews and walnuts to work particularly well.