Very nutty with a definite roasted flavor! The vanilla doesn’t stand out but rather marries and melts in the background, and creates a nice, warm flavoring for the palate. Tastes great and it’s so easy to make. Start to finish, maybe an hour and a half. If you’re slow like me. There’s literally 3 ingredients total (not counting the optional ones for added flavor). None of that processed stuff! Good wholesome goodness!
1. In a medium-sized heat safe bowl, add your whole almonds. Skins are totally fine! Bring 2 cups of your filtered water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Pour the hot water over your almonds and cover bowl with plastic wrap (my bowl included a lid, so that’s what I used). Let it sit on the counter for 1 hour.
2. Next, add the soaked almonds, their warm water, your vanilla extract (and honey and cinnamon, if using) to a blender or food processor. Puree on high until frothy, white and creamy. This will take about 2-3 minutes.
3. Pour mixture into a large bowl and add the remaining 5 cups of filtered water. Whisk and stir together, making sure to really break up the almond puree that was created while blending. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
4. While that is resting, get out another large bowl and add a fine mesh sieve over the top of the bowl. This will catch most of your almonds. For a smoother milk, you can line your sieve with cheesecloth.
5. Slowly pour or spoon your mixture through the sieve (and cheesecloth if using) into your large bowl. When all the liquid has been added, press your almonds with a spatula against the sieve, to get out even more liquid. I did this with a rubber spatula, gently but firmly pressing over and over all around the almond paste. You’ll be surprised how much more liquid is in those babies!
6. When you feel you’ve adequately pressed out all of the liquid, get out a clean/dry tea towel and dump your almond solids into it. Remove cheesecloth and discard it (if you used it), and wrap the towel up like a package. Over your bowl of milk, squeeze and twist your towel! Yep, even more liquid will come out!
Do not discard those almond solids! Place them into an airtight container and store in fridge or freezer to use later. How do you use them? Add them to cooked oatmeal or make into oatmeal itself by pouring hot water or (gasp) almond milk over it! Sweeten as desired. You can also use in your granola, puree into smoothies, or add a yummy nutty kick to your pancake or waffle batter with a few tablespoons added!
7. Finally, carefully pour your milk into pitchers and store in the fridge for up to one week! Make sure you shake before using, each time. Yummy!