Tips & Techniques

A Smarter Way to Make Almond Milk (No Soaking, No Straining)

March 14, 2017

Almond milk is sort of a pain to make and the stuff that comes from the store, no matter how pricey, sort of tastes like mucky water.

Phewf! Felt good to get that off my chest.

But in The First Mess Cookbook, the new book from the wildly popular plant-based blog by the same name, Laura Wright reveals a better, smarter, faster, less pain-in-the-neck method for almond milk that actually tastes like something—and like something good.

Laura's almond milk looks kind of like a café latte.

Her recipe for "Fresh, Instant Almond Milk" is, at its core, almond butter blended with water, founded on the smart observation that the two differ by only one essential ingredient: water. With almond butter as a starting point, you can skip the soaking and the straining.

Shop the Story

All you need to do is blend 3 tablespoons of almond butter with 1 1/2 cups water. Laura also adds 1/8 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons maple syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy, and strain if you like (though not necessary).

I keep a jar of raw almond butter on hand and I never go without fresh almond milk.
Laura Wright, The First Mess Cookbook

The almond milk I made using Laura's method was approximately a million times more flavorful than the fancy milk I had in the fridge. It was richer, frothier, and more deeply almond-y. If I closed my eyes, it tasted almost like butter pecan milkshake (...only, with almonds). I'd gladly drink it by the chilled glass, and I can imagine that it'd make for lusher smoothies, porridges, and overnight oats, too.

Store-bought almond milk (left) versus the almond butter version (right).

Since this almond milk is less neutral-tasting (read: less watery) than store-bought almond milk, however, it might not be the best candidate for adding to coffee or pouring over cereal.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I don't think I would use it for cereal or sauce making or anything that just requires a thin, milk-like liquid that isn't water or broth, but can you just imagine a decadent cup of cocoa or a fancy coffee drink made with this? Signed, the person with the recently-developed dairy allergy.”
— Maggie

Keep it stored in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Since the almond butter particles will settle, you'll want to give it a good shake before using.

Store-bought almond milk (left) versus almond butter almond milk (right).

Almond milk: Do you love it, hate it, or feel totally neutral towards it? Tell us in the comments.

Order now

The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • jimmyw
  • Zoha
  • Katharina Kovacs
    Katharina Kovacs
  • Olivia Sari-Goerlach
    Olivia Sari-Goerlach
  • Bianca Rose
    Bianca Rose
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


jimmyw January 24, 2020
How would this almond milk do for making yogurt? None of the commercial milks works well. What's the purpose of adding salt? Thanks!
Zoha February 9, 2019
I really honestly thought this recipe would not work, but all I did was blend together almond butter and a bit of water and omg! It's sooo creamy and rich and easy to make! Thank you for this recipe
Katharina K. December 13, 2018
I absolutely love this recipe. So much that I made one or two tiny modifications and posted a german version on my blog. You can find it here: thanks a lot for inspiring <3 best wishes from austria
Olivia S. July 19, 2018
Ooooooh. Can't wait to try this!
Bianca R. March 18, 2018
Also consider of all the packaging waste that is thrown away for boxed non-dairy milks. Its a lot in the landfill. we've been making hemp & cashew milk for years (buy the nuts/seeds in bulk from health food store no need to strain) and sometimes do almond milk with the the soak, vitamix nut-milk-bag method. We can try this too with zero packaging waste because we can refill the almond butter jar at the local co-op!
Louise A. April 6, 2017
Been doing this for years! LOVE walnut milk in my coffee, and tahini hot chocolate (just tahini, cacao powder and hot water, you can add honey if you like it sweet). The fat/protein hit also means the caffeine doesn't hit you quite as hard if it's in your morning coffee, so less of an insulin spike, less sugar cravings. For anyone who doesn't mind xanthan gum putting a teeny sprinkle in stops the milk from separating so becomes more like the texture of store - bought if you keep it in the fridge.
Zoha February 9, 2019
I did the same thing with this recipe. I added cocoa powder, vanilla, and a sweetner and made hot chocolate
Maggie March 18, 2017
That's flipping brilliant. I don't think I would use it for cereal or sauce making or anything that just requires a thin, milk-like liquid that isn't water or broth, but can you just imagine a decadent cup of cocoa or a fancy coffee drink made with this? Signed, the person with the recently-developed dairy allergy.
witloof March 24, 2017
What a good idea. I've been using coconut milk powder for the occasional hot chocolate I enjoy in the cold weather but it's too coconutty for my liking in the finished product. I would enjoy the taste of almond in the hot chocolate.
Stephanie G. March 18, 2017
Mother Jones article was very interesting. Thanks for the link witloof.
witloof March 24, 2017
Glad you enjoyed!
Tre'Gay March 18, 2017
Not a great idea. Packaged almond milk is calcium-fortified. Almond butter is not. My brand of almond milk provides 45% of the calcium RDA in one serving. My brand of almond butter has just 8% per two tbsp.
Daniel H. March 18, 2017
What is the source of calcium in your packaged almond milk? Fortified nutrients are not always a healthy addition, especially in packaged processed foods. Raw materials assure you af the actual ingredients and nutritional contents.
Nicole S. January 10, 2018
You can get all your calcium from dark green vegetables, fish, legumes, sesame, chia, soy milk, and tofu (fortified). Or just take a supplement if you're lazy.
Noelle B. February 14, 2019
Paul G. November 27, 2019
Given how poorly the body metabolizes calcium from sources other than dairy, the health differences from consuming store-bought almond milk vs. homemade from almond butter are close to non-existent. According to Wikipedia (

“Not all the calcium in the diet can be readily absorbed from the gut. The calcium that is most readily absorbed is found in dairy products (72%), vegetables (7%), grains (5%), legumes (4%), fruit (3%), protein (3%). The calcium contained in vegetable matter is often complexed with phytates,[13] oxalates,[14] citrate and other organic acids, such as the long-chained fatty acids (e.g. palmitic acid), with which calcium binds to form insoluble calcium soaps.[15]”
Cat March 18, 2017
Cat March 18, 2017
Roslyn R. March 17, 2017
Daniel H. March 16, 2017
I've been making nut milks from nut butters, walnut milk is really really good! I flavor them with different spices; cinnamon, vanilla bean and sweeten Zylitol! Yummmmmmmm! Play with your food, Organic foods that is.
Marc March 16, 2017
As far as the worry over the calories of this Almond Milk is concerned, I wouldn’t fret too much over it. They’re good calories, good fats, and there are no gums and natural flavorings added if you choose 100% Raw Almond Butter as your base.
Lesley March 16, 2017
This sounds like a good method if you main concerns are convenience and time. But I've been making almond milk for a few years, first with a juicer (and then finishing off in a low-end blender before squeezing in the nut bag). Just last month I splurged on a Vitamix with some American Express points, and there is NO comparison to any other blender for making almond milk. That thing is worth every penny. A bonus is the almond meal byproduct you can dehydrate in a slow oven and use in baked goods, oatmeal, coatings for fish/meat, smoothies, you name it. I give the almond meal away to friends who clamor for it, but I never give away the almond milk, haha. Once you taste slow-method almond milk (soaking the almonds for 24 hours, using a VItamix and nut bag), nothing will ever compare. It's also brought my cholesterol down from 240 to 180 in about a year -- the only change I made was substituting almond milk for cow dairy. I even make ice almond milk.
Natalie March 15, 2017
Yumm I just made this. can't wait to try it as my latte milk in the morning! I added a touch of cinnamon and some leftover canned coconut milk to make it extra creamy. Soo good.
Lorna M. March 15, 2017
Wont you still have to soak the nuts if you were soaking to get rid of the phytic acid in them?
Claire S. March 15, 2017
I'm not sure you can soak nut butter...
Lorna M. March 15, 2017
I meant you would still have to soak the nuts, before making the nut butter.
RHo March 17, 2017
You can buy raw almond butter
Shannon February 2, 2019
The is sprayed almond butter that is now available online. But phylic acid is the reason for soaking/sprouting the almonds to prevent tooth decay and make the nutrients more available for us to digest. Whether whole or flour Aim for soaked and sprouted almonds before eating them.
Fresh T. March 15, 2017
Love it!
LaMar March 14, 2017
On the plus side for vegetarians is this homemade almond milk would have much higher protein than store made, which has only 1 gram/cup. This would have 7 grams/cup (because almond butter is 7 grams/2 T).
Ttrockwood March 14, 2017
That sounds really brilliant! But as already mentioned one of the appeals of almond milk is the low calories - and this would have about 200 cal and 20g fat per cup(!) so i won't be making this regularly...
Kay L. December 13, 2018
Actually, nuts have been found to help you lose weight weirdly! Nuts have amino acids that help burn fat and longitudinal studies show that people lose weight eating more nuts over the longterm. So win win.
Micah E. February 4, 2021
Yikes, really? Hadn't done the math on it. A lot more nutritious though generally and no added weird stuff like the store bought