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Homemade vanilla almond milk is my new vice.  From the moment I nailed down my version of this oh-so-simple recipe, I COULD NOT stop drinking it. Whether straight out of the fridge or in my afternoon coffee, I can’t get enough. It’s creamy, slightly sweet, smooth, and wickedly addictive!

You want to know the best part???  This Vanilla Almond Milk is “no-sugar-added”.  That’s right, I don’t add a lick of white sugar, honey, brown sugar, or even agave nectar. I use dates (you know, the fruit that can double as candy) to add a hint of sweetness.  Not that the milk needs it, honestly. It’s delicious with the simple addition of vanilla extract, but my kids love the added sweetness so I oblige and put it in.  (After all, it’s all about the kids!)

(NOTE: this post contains affiliate links.)

Do I Need a Nut Milk Bag to Make Almond Milk?

When I first made the milk, I didn’t have my nut milk bag.  I’d ordered it but didn’t want to wait to make the milk so I tried to make due with a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth. Boy was that inconvenient! I didn’t get all the fine bites of almond strained out, which left the milk slightly separated (with the heavy nut bits settling to the bottom). Plus, the flavor wasn’t as smooth and subtle. It’s definitely worth the little money to invest in a nut milk bag because it makes the job go so much quicker! 

Creamy, naturally sweetened homemade vanilla almond milk is simple to make and tastes great! Learn how to make homemade almond milk in this step by step article and recipe. This almond milk is sweetened with dates so you can feel good about drinking it, whether you have it alone, mixed with your morning coffee or in a smoothie or milkshake.

What Can I Do With the Strained Almonds?

One quick note about the finely ground nuts you will strain out of the milk – save this! I use it to make other things because otherwise I would feel so wasteful making the milk. You can add it to things like muffins, pancakes, breads, cookies, etc. Here are two recipes I love making with the leftover almonds:

One ingredient I occasionally add to my almond milk, which is completely optional, is xanthan gum. Say what??? I know, this sounds like something you’d add to franken-food, but it does wonders to the milk by thickening it into a rich velvety consistency, and helping to prevent separation in the milk. (The milk can separate into two subtle layers after sitting a day or two but by adding the xanthan gum, this doesn’t happen).

Xanthan gum is a plant-based fine white powder that has the ability to thicken and stabilize liquids. It is often used in gluten-free baking because it can mimic some of the properties of gluten, even though it is gluten-free.

The beauty of xanthan gum, unlike some other thickeners, is that it does not require heat to thicken a liquid, which makes it a perfect addition to make ultra-creamy almond milk. You can find xanthan gum in many supermarkets – look in the health food section or gluten-free baking section.

Creamy, naturally sweetened homemade vanilla almond milk is simple to make and tastes great! Learn how to make homemade almond milk in this step by step article and recipe. This almond milk is sweetened with dates so you can feel good about drinking it, whether you have it alone, mixed with your morning coffee or in a smoothie or milkshake.

Is Almond Milk Dairy Free?

YES! Because almond milk is made from almonds, which are a tree nut, almond milk is dairy free. Almond milk contains no lactose, which makes it easy to digest for people who are intolerant to dairy or lactose!

Adding this Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk to Coffee

Speaking of cappuccinos, one thing I have learned is that for some strange reason, it’s important to put the milk in the cup first, and then add coffee. Going the other route, of putting the coffee in first, and topping it off with the almond milk makes the milk curdle – it doesn’t look or taste good!

So, take my word for it, and add the milk first.  You can heat the milk very slightly over low heat (or on a very low power in the microwave) before adding the coffee, but don’t go overboard or the xanthan gum will gel into lumpsI

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk is easy to make once you know the basic steps! This recipe shows you how to make almond milk that is naturally sweetened using dates and it has just enough added vanilla to make it taste really great. Your whole family will love this DIY almond milk!

Have I mentioned how much I love this Vanilla Almond Milk??? Now, you try it and see what you think. Let me know by leaving a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Almond:

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk is simple and is worth every bit of time it takes to make!
Start with raw almonds – 1 cup for a single batch
Enjoy a cold glass of this sweet and creamy Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk.
Soak the almonds in cold water for at least 8 hours or up to 12 hours (this softens the almonds so they blend easily). If you want your almond milk quicker, you can soak the almonds in boiling or very hot water for 2 to 4 hours.
Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk is a subtly sweet treat your whole family will love.
After soaking the almonds, this is what they look like; the water will look murky.
Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk tastes so clean and fresh.
Drain and rinse the almonds well after soaking them.
No sugar added Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk tastes great on cereal and granola!
Soak whole pitted dates in boiling water for 10 minutes to soften them. I give a big range for the number of dates to use. Like it less sweet?, use 4 dates. Need it sweeter?, go for 8 dates.
Enjoy a cold glass of this Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk when you need a healthy bit of sweet.
Combine the drained almonds, undrained dates, and 3 1/2 cups water in a blender.
Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk is a creamy treat your whole family will love.
Blend the living daylights out of the almonds.  One to two minutes is usually sufficient.
See for yourself how good my Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk tastes!
This is a nut milk bag, in case you’ve never seen one. It’s inexpensive and will make your life so much easier when making almond milk!
Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk is simple to make and tastes delicious!
Pour the blended mixture into the nut milk bag that is setting in a large bowl.
Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk is creamy and slighly sweet for a healthy alternative to store bought almond milk.
Squeeze all the “milk” out of the nuts. The nuts and dates remaining in the bag will look like this when you’re done – save them to use in other recipes!
Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk makes for an amazing addition to your daily coffee.
If adding the xanthan gum, blend that into the milk at this point. Then, stir in the vanilla and refrigerate the milk.
Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk is so much more flavorful and clean tasting than store bought counterparts.
As I mentioned, adding the xanthan gum is optional, but if you DON’T add it, this is what the almond milk will look like after chilling a day or two. Very subtle separation – there’s nothing wrong with it, by the way. Simply give it a stir before drinking to bring it all back together.
Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk is easy to make once you know the basic steps! This recipe shows you how to make almond milk that is naturally sweetened using dates and it has just enough added vanilla to make it taste really great. Your whole family will love this DIY almond milk!

Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk

Creamy, naturally sweetened homemade vanilla almond milk is worth every minute it takes to make.
Prep Time15 mins
Soaking Time2 hrs
Keyword: almond milk, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, No Sugar Added
Author: Laura

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • Cold water
  • 6 to 8 pitted whole dates
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 3 ½ cups cold water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon xanthan gum, such as Bob’s Red Mill (optional)*

Instructions

  • Place almonds in a 2-quart glass measuring bowl. Add enough cold water to cover the almonds by about 2 inches. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 12 hours. (Or, for a quicker soak, add enough boiling or very hot water to cover the almonds by about 2 inches; cover and let stand at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours.)
  • In a small bowl combine the dates and boiling water. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. If not blending right away, place dates in the refrigerator until you are ready to blend the milk.
  • Drain almonds in a colander. Rinse well with cold water. Transfer almonds to a blender. Add 3 ½ cups cold water and the undrained dates. Cover and blend on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until nuts are very finely ground. Watch blender closely as the mixture will expand as it blends.
  • Rinse out the 2-quart glass measuring bowl used to soak the almonds. Place your nut milk bag upright in the bowl and open the top of the bag. Pour the blended mixture into the bag. (make sure your hands are freshly washed for this next step.) Lift and slowly squeeze the bag until all of the liquid is pressed out of the almonds. This takes a bit of time and effort (I’m talking a minute or two) but it’s worth your while to squeeze as much of the liquid out of the nuts as possible. (Dump the strained ground almonds into an airtight container to save for another use. Refrigerate them up to 1 week or freeze for later use).
  • Stir vanilla into the almond milk. If using the xanthan gum, rinse out the blender. Add the milk back to the blender. Add xanthan gum; cover and blend on low speed until well combined. Pour into a pitcher; cover and refrigerate up to 5 days.

Notes

Yield: about 4 cups
Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk is easy to make once you know the basic steps! This recipe shows you how to make almond milk that is naturally sweetened using dates and it has just enough added vanilla to make it taste really great. Your whole family will love this DIY almond milk!