Do you know what one of my favorite parts of my juice cleanse was? It was finally getting to that moment in the day where I was able to enjoy the vanilla almond juice. It was the final juice of the day, and by far, my favorite. Unlike the other juices, this one had more of a smoothie consistency, feeling far more substantial and filling. It also tasted amazing. It was hard to believe there was no sugar in the drink! There were only four ingredients: vanilla bean, almonds, dates, and filtered water.
Even though I didn’t love the last juice cleanse I did, I must admit that I miss drinking that final juice of the day. Of all the juices I’ve ever had, in my life, I have to say it is my favorite.
While I’d love to have that drink every day of my life, I don’t think my paycheck could support that kind of habit! So an alternative will have to do.
Almond milk isn’t exactly the same as the vanilla almond juice that I had in my cleanse, but it’s close, and it definitely satisfies my cravings! This recipe uses the same ingredients as the drink from my cleanse, and it’s a surprisingly easy recipe to follow! Grab your cheesecloth and get started!
Homemade Vanilla Almond Milk
Makes 5-6 cups of almond milk
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
5 + 2 cups filtered water
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract (or real vanilla bean) [I chose to use pure vanilla extract instead of real vanilla bean based on price]
2-4 large Medjool dates, pitted
1. In a large bowl, soak the raw almonds in filtered water. Make sure the filtered water covers the top of the almonds. Cover the bowl and let the almonds soak overnight. They will expand to nearly twice their size! You can soak them up to 24 hours, but don’t let them soak longer or else they might begin to rot!
2. When you’re ready to make the almond milk, drain and rinse the plump almonds. Then, throw the almonds in the blender or food processor (I’m using a Vitamix) along with 5 cups of filtered water, vanilla extract, and dates. Blend until smooth.
3. Now it’s time to strain the almond juice using the cheesecloth. Lay the cheesecloth over a large bowl (for your almond milk). Pour some of the blended almond milk over the cheesecloth to strain out the chunks. Do this little by little so you aren’t overwhelmed! Wring the cheesecloth to get all the moisture possible out of the blended almonds.
The pulp that remains in the cheesecloth is actually almond meal. You can set that aside and freeze to use in recipes (like in macarons!)
4. Continue to strain the almond juice until you have no blended almonds remaining.
That’s it! Shake the juice before drinking, as separation WILL occur. Keep refrigerated, and drinking within 5 days.
*Tip* for a thicker almond milk, add less filtered water. For a sweeter almond milk, add more dates.