Homemade Almond Milk {The Cheap Way}

Off dairy – or at least dairy milk? Here’s how to make 1 gallon of homemade almond milk for *less* than buying regular dairy milk!

homemade almond milk

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I have wanted to make my own almond milk for a year or so now – but the first time I tried it, it was….well…terrible. I found a recipe on a Paleo website, and tried that – not realizing until I was nearly finished that this particular recipe not only used tons of steps and was very time-consuming, it only made one measly quart.

A whole cup of almonds and twenty minutes of work for one stinking quart? It hardly seemed worth my time. If I’m going to make something rather than buy it, it better be cheaper and faster – so that I’m *actually* saving something!

Granted, in the eyes of the Paleo recipe-inventor, it was worth the effort and expense just to avoid the potential carcinogen, carageenan, that’s found in most commercial almond milks.

Good for you, pal, but I’ve got kids. I need quick and cheap.

Thankfully, someone in the Trim Healthy Mama Facebook group shared that she was able to make homemade almond milk  - a whole *gallon* – with only one cup of almonds! THAT would mean a significant savings – THAT would be worth my time!

I buy whole, raw almonds at Aldi for something like 3.99 a bag, and each bag contains roughly two cups of almonds. Since the only other ingredient absolutely necessary is water, each gallon of almond milk produced costs roughly 1.50. Not. Too. Shabby.

To make the milk creamier and tastier, I add a few extra little tweaks – but those are optional if you’re on a budget – and even then, the cost of these additional ingredients are scant – so it really only bumps up the price by mere pennies. Also, the strainer I use is actually a paint strainer from the hardware store (which costs less and works better than cheesecloth – just another fabulous tip I got from Trim Healthy Mama- have I mentioned how much I love this book?). 

But enough talk – let’s MILK IT!!!

Homemade Almond Milk:

  • 1 cup whole, raw almonds (soaked overnight, of course!)
  • 1 gallon of water, separated

Optional:

Add almonds to blender and fill with as much of the water as your blender can manage. Blend for several minutes (less if you have a high-powered blender), until there’s a good “milk” going. If you’re using the optional ingredients, add 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum or gluccomannan and 1/4 tsp of vanilla, and as much sweetener as you’d like.

Once it’s all blended up and you’re ready to make your second quart, strain the milk from the almond shrapnel using the (clean) paint strainer (seriously, don’t use it for paint, m’kay? This is a food grade strainer now).

homemade almond milk

Word of advice: pour slowly. Those almond chunks clog up the works.

Once you’ve gotten as much of the milk out as possible, return the ground almond strainings to the blender to whip up another batch. Refill the blender with water, add in more of the optional ingredients if you’re using them, and then repeat the process.

homemade almond milk

I actually got about a quart and a half from the first batch, so I could have used as much as 1/2 tsp of the optional ingredients.

Once you’ve gotten as much of the almond milk out of the almonds as you think you’ll be getting, squeeze as much of the liquid out as you can. Don’t throw the little almond remnants away, though! Save and freeze those – when you have enough, you can dry the ground almonds on a cookie sheet and make almond flour!

homemade almond milk

This is the start of my stash – someday, this will be almond flour!

I was particularly excited to find out that this could become almond flour, since several recipes in my THM book call for almond flour and it’s just not in the budget right now (I’ve priced 1 lb of almond flour locally for almost ten dollars – this way, it’ll be free. YAY FREE!!!) Even better, it’s basically two products (milk and flour) for the price of one product (raw almonds).

I hope you give this a try – and that you *love* the savings!

Jaime W. (410 Posts)

Jaime is a Christian, a wife, a mom, a writer, an illustrator, and an aspiring homesteader. She loves trying to find new ways to save money and resources--but also save her time, so she can spend as much as possible with her family! !


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Comments

  1. Hmm…good to know! I have an almond milk recipe posted on my blog–probably very similar to the one you’re referring to that only makes a quart. Only mine makes only 2 1/2 cups per cup of almonds. I also wasn’t sure what to do with the solids, so I…threw…them…away… I figured I could make almond flour, but wasn’t sure how to go about drying it. :-( I also wasn’t sure how to go about improving the taste, as mine was just almonds and water. About how much sweetener do you use? Also, I soak the almonds before using them. Did you do that?

    • VegMeister says:

      When I make almond milk, I keep the grinds and use them in home-made veggie-burgers. They add fibre and taste delicious too.

  2. oooh! I am going to have to try this. I get so frustrated by the price of almond milk and have not wanted to waste my precious almonds in experimenting

  3. FABULOUS instructions! Thanks for linking these up to Trim Healthy Tuesday! :-)

  4. Thanks for the tip! Have you noticed any difference in the consistency of the almond milk when you add so much more water? I’m all for stretching as long as the quality doesn’t disappear.

  5. We make our own coconut milk too! It is SO much cheaper and much more healthier than the store bought stuff. Although, I will admit to buying canned coconut milk for my coffee. Mmmm. Thanks for sharing your awesome recipe!

    • How do you make your cococnut milk? Same way as this? Can you make cocconut flour as well? What anout coconut oil?

      • I’ve only ever had fresh coconut milk, but I imagine you could use this process (maybe slightly modified) t make coconut milk. As for coconut flour, I don’t know how to do that – my grinding attempts either do nothing or turn it into paste!

  6. I pinned this. :-D I’ll definitely give it a go. They actually do sell almond milk here where we live in the boondocks, but it costs an arm and a leg (when there’s only one grocer in town, oy, do they take advantage of the locals). I also like the saving the bits for almond flour–very clever! <3

  7. How long is the milk good for? How do you know when it’s done? I ask because I send it to daycare and they don’t go through it as quickly as we do at home.

  8. What does the Xanthum Gum do to the recipe? I have some, but have never used it. I have heard that it gives some people tummy problems.

    • Xanthan gum is a thickener, not sure why the recipe would call for it, except to make the milk seem like store-bought which is thickened with two or three different agents by almost every manufacturer. This is done to ‘bulk’ up the milk– real almond milk it thin, just like cow milk but instead of giving us the beautiful health gift of a natural product, MONey matters…! A fake replica is cheaper and lasts longer (homemade lasts only 2-3 days).
      Make homemade– your belly, your brain, your Soul will dance happy dances every time you do!

  9. This is awesome! I always thought it was a waste that I only got a quart of milk from a cup of almonds. Do you think guar gum would work in place of xantham gum? Just wondering. :)

  10. Thank you for this recipe! I made a 1/2 gal today (by just using 1/2 the measurements) and I think next time I will not add the “extras” til after the almond grounds have been removed and I rinse my blender. The xanthum gum is a thickener and it made it hard to strain the liquid out.next time, I’ll add the milk back to the blender and add in the rest.
    Great result either way :)

  11. Blessed Mama says:

    Thank you!! I have a DF kid & I loosely follow the THM plan… This is going to save me some serious money!! :D

  12. Thank you for the almond milk recipe. I am with you that it’s not worth making it unless it’s inexpensive and easy.
    One note on carageenan: the food grade substance is not a known carcinogen. The other non food poligeenan is the one that has caused cancer in lab animals. Here is an article on the difference.
    http://chriskresser.com/harmful-or-harmless-carrageenan

  13. I just tried this recipe but I used a half gallon of water. Even still, my almond “milk” was more like almond water with vanilla notes. I would love to stretch my almonds further but the drink we have is unpalatable. Am I missing something here?!

    • I was wondering the same thing, Katie! I was going to try 1/2 and see. The most I’ve ever done is 5.5 cups of water and I have a hard time imagining a gallon having any taste??!!

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  15. Hi. I am going to try this recipe because the price of almond milk for 6 people is killing me! But, I was wondering about the soaking part. Do you use the gallon of water to soak the almonds in overnight and then use that soak water for blending? If not, what purpose does soaking have?

  16. So does a gallon worth really have that much flavor? Like Katie said above, wouldn’t it just be super watery? I’m all about saving money and making it worth my while, so i would love for this to work for me!

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