is making your own almond milk cost effective? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 09-22-2009, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Almonds seem so expensive. Is it cheaper to make your own almond milk than to buy almond/soy/rice milk in the store? (I use lots of non-animal-milk in my house.) Thanks!

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#2 of 7 Old 09-23-2009, 02:57 AM
 
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Depends on the price of almonds and how much you pay for almond milk.

For a quart of almond milk, the lowest price is $2.

I can get almonds for $3 a lb. I buy the big bag at Costco. It has 9 cups in it, I believe. So a lb of almonds is 3 cups-ish.

I use 2cups of almonds, soaked overnight, then skinned, ground in a processor then boiled on the stove for a bit to make a gallon. So homemade is $3 a gallon (rounded up). A gallon is 4 quarts. So yes, it is MUCH cheaper to make it, for me.


Rice milk is even cheaper to make at home. So not worth paying the price for pre-made. Now if only I could find a yummy rice milk recipe.....


Ami

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#3 of 7 Old 09-23-2009, 03:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post
Depends on the price of almonds and how much you pay for almond milk.

For a quart of almond milk, the lowest price is $2.

I can get almonds for $3 a lb. I buy the big bag at Costco. It has 9 cups in it, I believe. So a lb of almonds is 3 cups-ish.

I use 2cups of almonds, soaked overnight, then skinned, ground in a processor then boiled on the stove for a bit to make a gallon. So homemade is $3 a gallon (rounded up). A gallon is 4 quarts. So yes, it is MUCH cheaper to make it, for me.


Rice milk is even cheaper to make at home. So not worth paying the price for pre-made. Now if only I could find a yummy rice milk recipe.....


Ami
I just do 1 cup brown rice (you can use white rice which IMO tastes a bit better and plain, mild or whatever the description would be) boiled in 2 cups water untill VERY soft, like an hour, then add to blender and blend with a little vanilla and syrup or honey, a pinch of salt and enough water to make a good consistency, a total of about 4 cups i think. I have a vitamix and it makes it liquid, but if you need you could strain through a sieve to make sure there are no bits.

lately I've been doing a mixture of barley and white rice and it's very mild and sweet
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#4 of 7 Old 09-23-2009, 12:47 PM
 
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#5 of 7 Old 01-30-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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Ami, wow, I followed instructions that I was recently sent and my two cups of almonds only yielded 2 1/2 cups of "milk". When you say soaked overnight, about how many hours is that for you? I didn't skin them so there is something I could try. I'm assuming you ground them in the processor with water, is that right? My instructions didn't mention boiling it after, what does that do for it? Did you have to squeeze your finished product through a cheesecloth?

Sorry for all the questions. I made almond milk for the first time tonight and when I saw how little it made I was so disappointed. It tasted great but I have to go with the lowest price right now. I'm hoping if I adjust my technique I'll get a better output, then I can look for a better deal on almonds too. If you have time, I'd love to hear more about your actual process.

I was told soak two cups almonds overnight, (I soaked 8 hours, thinking it wasn't long enough) then process in the food processor with water to the max fill line (the person who wrote the instructions has an 11 cup capacity food processor) and some honey and vanilla for three minutes, then squeeze through a cheese cloth. The instructor uses her almond meal in her oatmeal. I ended up with so much though, I'm thinking it didn't get processed enough.

Any advice? We can go through a box of almond milk every two days, I'd love a better deal, plus now I know how good home made tastes!!

Thanks, Krista

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTA Mom View Post
Depends on the price of almonds and how much you pay for almond milk.

For a quart of almond milk, the lowest price is $2.

I can get almonds for $3 a lb. I buy the big bag at Costco. It has 9 cups in it, I believe. So a lb of almonds is 3 cups-ish.

I use 2cups of almonds, soaked overnight, then skinned, ground in a processor then boiled on the stove for a bit to make a gallon. So homemade is $3 a gallon (rounded up). A gallon is 4 quarts. So yes, it is MUCH cheaper to make it, for me.


Rice milk is even cheaper to make at home. So not worth paying the price for pre-made. Now if only I could find a yummy rice milk recipe.....


Ami

Mama to 3 year old DS and awaiting #2 in June
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#6 of 7 Old 01-31-2010, 01:27 AM
 
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Ami, wow, I followed instructions that I was recently sent and my two cups of almonds only yielded 2 1/2 cups of "milk". When you say soaked overnight, about how many hours is that for you? About 8-12hrs. Maybe a bit more, I've done it up to 24hrs when I just didn't have the chance to get to them. I pop them in water sometime in the afternoon/night when I have time. Then get to them when I have time the next day. It really depends.

I didn't skin them so there is something I could try. Skinning them removes the large source of anti-nutrients that bind with the good stuff you want in almonds, like calcium. To skin them, I pop the soaked almonds into boiling water for 2 minutes, strain them, rinse under cool water. This blanches them. Then just take an almond between two fingers and squeeze. Careful, the almonds like to shoot across the room! For me, this is the most tedious part. However, ds loves this part.

I'm assuming you ground them in the processor with water, is that right? Yep. I grind them with about 1/3 c of granulated sugar and a teaspoon of salt. I find that it makes a finer grind faster. I do not add water though. Can't get it as fine that way plus it splashes everywhere. I like the almonds to be about the size of couscous when I'm done.

My instructions didn't mention boiling it after, what does that do for it?
I find that boiling it leaches more stuff (aka oils) out of the almonds, lending to a creamier end product. Also, I didn't care for the raw 'beany' taste in uncooked almond milk. I just pop the ground up almonds and a gallon of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Warning: it will froth up a LOT. Make sure you use a tall pot or split it into two batches. I only boil it 3-5 minutes.

Did you have to squeeze your finished product through a cheesecloth?

Yes. It depends on how badly I want to drink it. If I have time I let it cool, then put my fine mesh strainer over another pot, stretch old clean pantyhose over it and pour it through. The pantyhose mesh is nice and small. Squeeze carefully--you want to get the extra water out but you don't want to force out the ground almonds either. If I want it right then, I just drink it by skimming off the top after letting it settle for 5 minutes.

Sorry for all the questions. I made almond milk for the first time tonight and when I saw how little it made I was so disappointed. It tasted great but I have to go with the lowest price right now. I'm hoping if I adjust my technique I'll get a better output, then I can look for a better deal on almonds too. If you have time, I'd love to hear more about your actual process.

I was told soak two cups almonds overnight, (I soaked 8 hours, thinking it wasn't long enough) then process in the food processor with water to the max fill line (the person who wrote the instructions has an 11 cup capacity food processor) and some honey and vanilla for three minutes, then squeeze through a cheese cloth. The instructor uses her almond meal in her oatmeal. I ended up with so much though, I'm thinking it didn't get processed enough.

Any advice? We can go through a box of almond milk every two days, I'd love a better deal, plus now I know how good home made tastes!!

Thanks, Krista
The homemade is a bit "thinner" in mouth feel. The boxed ones have emulsifiers/oils added. A bonus, I found was that the almond 'cream' rises to the top--kinda why it tastes 'thinner'--it's not suspended in the liquid. Similar to how skimming off the cream on unhomogenized whole milk makes the rest of the milk taste 'thinner' than homogenized whole milk--you have the same stuff, but it's not in suspension throughout the entire liquid. Makes the first few cups really nice and creamy though! I'm too lazy to mix it before drinking and no one minds. It does taste tons better though. Mmmmmmmm.

In the end, you should get quite a bit of almond meal. I've made almond clafoutis and almond cookies with it. You can always freeze the leftover almond meal until you have a bunch saved up to make a cake or something with it. Shoot, if you have enough saved up you could make a homemade version of Lara bars!

Let me know if you have any more questions! It took me a while to figure it all out. This tastes as close to Almond breeze as it can be, since I don't really add any emulsifiers or vanilla. If you want to add vanilla, I'd add it during the boiling stage or right after. It will evaporate some of the 'alcoholy' taste of vanilla extract.

Good luck!

Ami

Wife to dh, Mommy to my heavenly angel, J (06), and my earthly angels, S (07) and E (10)

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#7 of 7 Old 01-31-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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Thank you so much, that is all very helpful! I'm definitely going to give it another try.

Mama to 3 year old DS and awaiting #2 in June
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