Homemade Almond Milk

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1/2 cup raw whole almonds, preferably organic
water for soaking
2 1/2 cups water
1-2 dates, preferably Medjool, optional
1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, optional

Make the almond milk:
        In a medium-sized covered container, add the almonds and enough water to cover at least an inch above the nuts. Let the nuts soak overnight in the fridge, or for at least 8 hours.
        Drain the nuts, and add them with the dates and vanilla, if using, into a blender, preferably high-speed. If you’re using a regular blender or a something like a bullet, only blend one half of the nuts and water at a time, and then combine in the nut bag.
        Blend for 2-3 minutes. Place a nut bag, or a few sheets of cheesecloth into a medium-size bowl. Pour the blended nuts into the bag, and squeeze all of the liquid into the bowl. Pour into a container and chill. Immediately rinse out the nut bag to keep it unclogged.
        The milk will last for up to 3 days in the fridge. You can easily double the recipe. But, it’s best to make less more often.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.      YUM!

LESSONS Learned:
1. Buy whole raw almonds (with the skins on), organic if you can. Not anything roasted or salted.
2. If you have a regular blender, blend smaller amounts and combine. Even in the high speed blender, I like to blend all of the nuts with 1/2 of the water first before adding the rest.
3. This will only last about 3 days in the fridge, so I make this smaller amount, but if you can use it all up, feel free to double the recipe.
4. If using a nut bag to strain the liquid, make sure to clean it right after you use it to keep it unclogged.