LAB NOTES: Almond Milk Version I

One litre of Almond Milk

Hello, Wayne AKA the Mad Food Scientist here.
Today’s post is a first of its kind. It’s based on a question from a reader. Monica, a  friend, posed a question to me. Monica asked me if  I make almond milk. I told Monica that I hadn’t made almond milk, as of yet, but that I’d be willing to look up some recipes, try them out and let her know what I found out. The reason for her question was that she had some almonds and wondered how much milk she’d get from them. So, I headed to one of my favourite research spots, YouTube and went to Nissa Homey’s Skinny Recipes YouTube channel ( LINK HERE: ).
I’ve watched some of Ms. Homey’s videos before including her almond milk recipe video. The recipe for almond milk is dead simple.

15 Almonds
1 cup of water
Soaking water

Soak 15 almonds overnight
Drain and rinse the almonds.
Peel the almonds
Add to a blender jar with 1 cup of water
Blend for 40 seconds.

LAB NOTES: 10 May, 2023
15 Almonds
237g/1 cup of water
1 pinch of Sea Salt
Soaking water
Setting up for a double micro batch.
I’m putting fifteen almonds each in two pint jars, filling them with water.
Then letting them sit in the refrigerator overnight.
Tomorrow, I’ll peel the almonds, put them in the blender with a pinch of salt and 474g of water.
I like the simplicity of this recipe and the fact that it doesn’t require straining. Why soak the almonds? There’s two reasons. 
1.)  Soaking the almonds makes it easier to peel the skins off of the almonds. Removing the almond skins also helps with nutrient absorption as eating the skins effect that too.
2.)  Soaking the almonds, as it does with legumes,removes phytates that inhibit nutrient absorption.
I also like that I don’t have to strain the milk. I’m doing this test batch to see if I’ll need to add Xanthan gum and baking powder as I do with most of my other plant based milks. If I do though, I’ll need to up the amount to at least 1 litre. Which doesn’t overly bother me because that’s the minimum that I normally make. I’m only doing this micro-batch as a proof of concept.
One of the things that annoyed me when I tried out commercially made almond milk was how watery it was and how dissimilar it’s mouthfeel was to cow’s milk. In the past year, I’ve been spoiled by being able to control the thickness/creaminess of the plant based milks that I’ve made. Often but upping the amount of the ingredient being turned into milk so its ratio to water is higher. 

EXPERIMENT: Almond Milk 01: 11 May, 2023
I did an initial attempt during my lunch.
30 Almonds, 474g of water, and a hefty pinch of sea salt.
In my blender, 40 seconds didn’t cut it.
Two to three minutes did.
Initial impression of the milk. Rather watery, the flavour was ok.
I’ll check for separation and sediment after work.
I may reblitz the almond milk with Xanthan gum and baking powder.
I’m also going to do a microbatch with double the almonds to see if the creaminess increases.
I tried some of the almond milk in a cuppa coffee. It tasted okay, but lacked the creaminess that I expect when I drink my coffee. Hence why, I’ll be conducting further experiments.
When I checked after I finished my shift, there did not appear to be any separation, nor any sediment.

Almond MIlk from experiment 01, side view.
Almond Milk experiment 01 a view from the top.

EXPERIMENT: Almond Milk 02 11 May, 2023
I took the milk produced in Almond Milk 01 and added in 1/2 teaspoon Xanthan gum and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder. Blended it for three and a half minutes.
It appears to be creamier. It was creamier in a cuppa coffee.

Almond Milk experiment 02 from the side
Almond milk experiment 02 Top view.

EXPERIMENT: Almond Milk 03 11 May, 2023
60 Almonds, soaked, drained, and peeled
474g water
1 pinch of Sea Salt
I put everything in the blender and blitzed it for three and a half minutes.
The resulting milk was creamier, but still lacks the mouthfeel that I prefer.
I’ll try adding Xanthan gum and baking powder to this milk for the next experiment.

EXPERIMENT: Almond Milk 04: 11 May, 2023
Milk from previous experiment.
Plus 60 almonds, 474g water, a pinch of sea salt ( Yes, I doubled it ) Blitzed it for three and a half minutes. I added 1 tsp Xanthan gum and 1/4 tsp baking powder.
The mouthfeel was closer to what I expected.

EXPERIMENT: Almond Milk 05: 12 May, 2023
I put the milk from Almond Milk 04 in the blender.
Then I added in 1 TBSP of sunflower seed oil ( unrefined ).
Next, I blitzed the milk for three and a half minutes.
I poured the milk back into the 1 litre milk bottle.
I tried it in an iced coffee. It tasted fine and the mouthfeel was okay. It may be that I’m spoiled by the super creaminess that I get when I make milk from split peas.

CONCLUSIONS: 13 May, 2023
I conducted experiments 02 – 04 after I completed my shift on 11 May, 2023.
My conclusions are that the experiments showed the efficacy of different approaches with different use cases. For me, the milk produced in the fifth experiment was the best of the lot and meets my use case i.e. that of an additive for my daily coffee. For someone that would want to use it for a shake, or smoothie, the milk from the third experiment ( 30 almonds, 1 cup of water ) might serve best. Blitz it up, add the smoothie, or shake ingredients, and blitz it again. I’ll use up the Almond milk that I made, but I probably won’t make it again, unless it’s to try out a vegan ice cream experiment. My final conclusion has borne out what I’ve found with making other plant based milks. The version that I make in the DCL is better than the commercially made versions. The milk I made in the fifth experiment is parsecs better than what I’ve bought at the store previously. One of the biggest PRO’s of this milk is not having to strain the milk. That time savings allowed me to knock out three experiments in short order after work one afternoon. Feel free to try this experiment on your own. If you do, feel free to contact me and let me know your findings.
Please do use the contact and send suggestions if you would like to see me try something out.

Keep Safe!