As a non-dairy milk drinker, looking at the ingredients on the cartons of almond, coconut, and rice milk at the store makes me cringe (although there are some exceptions like OMilk in Brooklyn). There are just so many ingredients, many of which I can't even pronounce or spell properly. I know they're in there to preserve the milk and occasionally I find the boxes of non-dairy milks very helpful - like on road trips or for camping. However, on a typical week at home, we easily finish a full carton of non-dairy milk between coffee, tea, and baking - so we don't really need all those preservatives.
Making my own non-dairy milk has always been appealing to me, so I put it on my life list and I'm happy to say that I now regularly make my own almond milk instead of buying it. It has way fewer ingredients and tastes so much better than the stuff that comes in the carton. My version of almond milk is unsweetened, unflavored, rich, and creamy. It makes a good substitute for half and half and the almond flavor really shines.
Place the almonds in a medium bowl and fill with water to cover the almonds by at least 2 inches.
Cover and let soak for at least 24 hours.
Drain the water and dump the almonds into a blender with 32 ounces of fresh water.
Blend for about 1 minute or until the almonds have been completely pureed.
Place a cheese cloth (folded at least in half) over a large bowl and pour half the mixture into it. Wind the top around and squeeze the liquid through the cloth. Scrape out the pulp and repeat with the remaining almond milk.
Pour into a container and refrigerate for up to one week.
Makes a little over 1 quart of almond milk.
Have you ever made your own non-dairy milk?