Crying (And Cursing) Over Spilled Milk

Have you ever saved your money for what felt like forever and a day and bought something that struck you as exquisite and extraordinary? I’m not talking about gigantic purchases, either– like houses or yachts or Ferraris– I just mean basic, everyday things like a laptop, new glasses, or (in my case) a kick ass blender. Yes? No?

Vitamix Blenders: Sweet dreams are made of these!

When I still worked at the Office Job, I had an automatic savings plan set up specifically for this fantasy blender of mine. Every paycheque, a small amount of money would be skimmed off the top and squirreled away into the “Vitamix” savings account. It took a long time to accumulate enough dinero for this blender, because they definitely aren’t cheap, but I did it and the Vitamix was finally mine! Come to mommy, little blender! The problem was, by the time I finally got my blender, I was too afraid to even use it, lest I blow the motor or otherwise ruin my Expensive Purchase right away. Totally. Defeating. The purpose.

I confess: Up until very recently, I had only used my Vitamix to make what amounted to two very expensive batches of Peach Bellinis. (So much for all those healthy Green Smoothies I had originally envisioned! :)) I am a somewhat rational being, however, so I buckled down the other day and resolved to learn more about this Magical Blending Machine. I know that a Vitamix can perform virtual wizardry in the kitchen– nut butters! soups! bread dough! freshly milled flour! regular ol’ smoothies! delicious frozen cocktails!– and I figured that my reluctance to dabble in this black magic stemmed solely from my lack of practice in pushing the ‘On’ button. (Really, could it get any easier than ‘On’?) Time to break in my Vitamix, baby.

The first task I assigned for myself was to make almond milk for our tea lattés. (I know, I know– what a hippy-dippy mission for a bunch of boho punks!! Bear with me.) Marty normally takes rice milk in his morning coffee, and I drink my herbal teas straight– like the tough-as-nails badass I truly am– but both of us enjoy some vanilla almond milk in the occasional tea latté. (Speaking of which: if you have a Teopia store near you, totally get some Coco Caramel Rooibos tea and make an almond milk latté with it. Or order that tea online. It is to die for.) I figured homemade almond milk was worth a try, and I even found an encouraging recipe that said making almond milk from scratch was “easy”. What was there to lose?

It started out simply enough. I procured a cup of raw (not roasted) almonds and soaked them in a bowl of filtered water for about 8 hours.

The almonds softened and swelled up to nearly double their original size.

The almond on the top was soaked

After they had soaked for a nice, long time (8 hours or overnight– whatever works for you), I rinsed them thoroughly and plopped them into my Vitamix with 3 cups of water. (The recipe calls for 3-6 cups of water, but I decided to go with the thickest option for my first go-round.)

A quick flick of the ‘On’ switch and about 20 seconds of high-speed whirring later, I had a frothy blend of… um… almonds and water.

The next step was to strain this mixture through a cheesecloth into a new container, so I could separate the curds from the whey, so to speak.

Enter my first error. If you ever decide to make your own almond milk in the future, do not pull your cheesecloth taut over the opening of a pitcher and hold it into place with an elastic band (like I did in the very top photo). This will leave your cheesecloth flush with the brim of your container, and the almond mixture will spill over the sides of the pitcher in about .001 seconds, leaving you with a goopy mess of runny almond paste to clean up. Don’t do it!

Boo! Hiss!

Attempt #2 at straining almond milk: I rescued as much of my almond mixture as I could and cut a new piece of cheesecloth. Thinking I had outsmarted those sneaky, dripping almonds, I lined the inside of a large plastic funnel with the cheesecloth and placed the funnel at the top of my pitcher. Then I poured in my blended almonds.

You can barely see it, but my funnel is propped inside the pitcher. You CAN see the thinnest-of-thin stream of almond milk dripping down from the funnel.

Enter my second error. Trying to strain a bunch of blended almonds through a cheesecloth and a funnel requires patience. Lots of it. Filtered almond milk dripped from the bottom of my funnel at a painfully slow rate, which I guess makes sense when you think about it: Lots of almonds + Cheesecloth + A funnel with a small hole = Not a lot can get through all at once. I win basic physics! Or not.

I tried to expedite the process by giving my cheesecloth a little squeeze. This was not a fabulous idea and was actually my third error. I didn’t really secure any loose corners of the cheesecloth when I did this, so almond mixture oozed out over the sides of my cheesecloth and down into my funnel. Globs of almond grits then fell into the filtered almond milk before I could prevent it from happening, meaning that I had to start the process all over again. (Again.)

Ahem. Attempt #3 at straining my stupid almond milk: I lined the inside of a wire-mesh sieve with a new piece of cheesecloth. My sieve didn’t fit into the mouth of my pitcher (at all), so I had to play a little balancing game with it using one hand and pour my almond mixture into the sieve with my other hand.

Nice fit FAIL. The rubber handle on the sieve is relatively heavy, so it kept slipping down to the right hand side and causing general straining mayhem.

Using the sieve would have been the winning strategy if I had chosen a container with a wider mouth to rest beneath it. As it stood, straining the milk was STILL awkward because I insisted on catching the filtered milk with my cheap-ass, narrow-mouthed plastic pitcher. Heh. If you decide to make almond milk in the future, line a sieve with a cheesecloth and then just use a mixing bowl to catch your filtered milk! You can always put the milk into a pitcher afterward. (*She says, completely after the fact.*)

Things got easier after I squeezed the last few drops of almond milk out of the cheesecloth (and managed to avoid simultaneously squeezing almond meal into the precious filtered liquid). I rinsed my Vitamix container, poured the filtered almond milk into it, and added 1/4 cup of pitted dates, 1 Tbsp coconut butter, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. (The recipe also called for 1 Tbsp of lecithin granules, but honestly: who has lecithin just lying around? Not even I do, and I believe that says something. I left the lecithin out.) Whir went my Vitamix at high speed, and voila! I had a pitcher half-filled with homemade almond milk.

This morning was the true test. I checked on my almond milk in the fridge while I was making breakfast, and I was disappointed (but not surprised) to see that it had separated out into three distinct layers. (That is where the lecithin would have come in handy.) Not to worry. I just shook it up and added it to my Honey Chai Tea anyway after breakfast. Some stray almond grits instantly floated to the top of my cup, making it look like I had added curdled cream to my tea, but the milk actually tasted really good. I enjoyed the thicker consistency of the milk and felt proud of myself for making this “easy” recipe from scratch!

The saddest/grossest looking cup of chai you'll ever see. I sprinkled some cinnamon on top, and then the mystery almond meal floating at the surface looked more deliberate. Heh. Despite its sketchy appearance, the tea and milk tasted really great. I swear!

I’ll most likely attempt this almond milk recipe again, and when I do– I’ll be sure to use a mixing bowl underneath my sieve for straining purposes. I’ll also add a tiny bit less vanilla, because (as much as I love me some bourbon vanilla extract), I practically got drunk off of it when I had a few tablespoons of almond milk in my chai latté. Even 1tsp was a lot of vanilla!

My next Vitamix task will be to tackle some sort of flour: oat, rye, or maybe buckwheat flour for pancakes. I bought both a ‘wet’ and a ‘dry’ container for my Vitamix, so I’m really curious to see what this baby can do with some ordinary rye kernels!

164 responses

  1. I was laughing out loud throughout this post — until the end. Then I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw the picture with the creepy floating almond goo.

    😉

    Thanks for allowing us to live vicariously through your “experience.” I feel better for it! 🙂

    • I know… my husband was flipping through the photos on our camera before we uploaded them, and he thought I had taken a picture of the inside of a toilet!!! The good news is that the almond milk seems to have stabilized a bit more now. No more nasty floaties at the top of my chai lattes! 🙂

    • Hooray for the dollar store! I normally use some pretty cool Russian doll measuring cups, but the low-tech dollar store one seemed to do the simple almonds more justice. Thank you for stopping by!

    • If I was a little bit more street-wise and had a teensy bit more foresight, this process wouldn’t have been so difficult! Hopefully my inability to do most things correctly on my first try can save you some PAIN and SUFFERING if you ever decide to make your own almond milk. Thank you for taking the time to comment! 🙂

  2. We live and learn. I wouldn’t even know where to start so you’ve done not too badly for a first attempt. Next time, you’ll know the mistakes you made last time. Can I reserve my carton now? 🙂

    • This is true. I like to FAIL MISERABLY AT STRAINING THINGS so the rest of the almond milk-making world doesn’t have to! 😉 And just so you know: I think my brand of vanilla almond milk will be pretty exclusive, so expect to pay WAY more for your carton than you ever would have to at Whole Foods.

    • Thanks! I don’t mind being a total fool on the internet if it will help even one person make a better batch of almond milk. 😉 Priorities, man– priorities.

  3. I had never heard of this before….and honestly, I wished it had stayed that way. The writing is great, the almond milk muckery – not so much.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed (pressed just like a cup of almonds and water)

    Blessings,

    Ava
    xox

    • You have to be a certified granola-lover to appreciate the inherent greatness of almond milk, methinks. It’s OK, though– we can’t *all* enjoy floating almond grits in our chai lattes, now can we? 😉

  4. I don’t cook and I think my family thanks me for it. If I tried this I would have had almond milk on the ceiling and in my hair. Oddly, I love all the latest appliances and I could see myself buying this blender just to look at it. It would sit there on my counter as I pulled out a frozen pizza for my family’s dinner. 🙂 Loved the step by step you gave on your journey through almond milk making. I especially liked the “boo – hiss” comment. Made me laugh…and its not even 830am yet.

    • The actual blending part wasn’t so bad, and the Vitamix is high-tech enough not to spew the blender contents everywhere. It was the straining part that nearly killed me! How could an A-student such as myself have SUCH a hard time winning at basic concepts in real life? 🙂 Thank you for reading and for your comment– I appreciate you stopping by my humble blog!

    • It’s pretty delish, that’s for sure. Next time around, I might double up the cheesecloth to filter out more of the grits, or I might just be more careful squeezing out the last bits! Practice makes perfect, right?

  5. I’d kill for a blender like this! Get a job – no, kill – yes. I’ve been making smoothies for my daughter and I for breakfast (generally organic milk, spinach and strawberries) and even tho I have a pretty nice KitchenAid blender it takes me forever to get it mixed (I make them pretty thick). So I envy you! Hmm, not for the almond gunk, tho…. eywww. But, I’ve made some pretty tasty stuff that looks pretty gross, so I believe you when you say it tasted good!

    • I’ve tried just about every other blender there is: KitchenAid, Magic Bullet, Hamilton Beach, etc. NONE OF THEM perform like the magical Vitamix does. I actually read somewhere that the Vitamix blends foods in such a way that ‘unlocks’ their full nutritional value (whereas other blenders just pulverize the hell out of them), but it could just be a ploy to justify charging trillions of dollars for a small kitchen appliance. In any case, killing for a Vitamix is probably easier than getting a job and saving up for one. Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

  6. my daughter and i went raw for a month and had an almond milk adventure of our own. final result: about a cup of it. yummy, but seriously labor intensive and not worth it – except that it distracted us from the fact that we were eating nothing but raw food for a month. thanks for the post!

    • It’s definitely a lot of work for not a lot of milk, but I think I’ll try doubling (or even tripling) the recipe next time. Maybe my series of epic failures will lead me to become an almond milk-making pro? Only time will tell!

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting– I appreciate it! 🙂

  7. I use my Vita-Mix for EVERYTHING! My husband surprised me with it for my birthday a year and a half ago. It has been used multiple times every day ever since. Feel free to check my blog to see many recipes using it. I also made all of my baby food for my two boys with it. I have not yet made almond milk, but have said I was going to do it forever. I guess I better get on it.

    • Thanks! I’ll definitely have to check out some of your recipes– it’s going to take a lot more food to make this purchase worth it. I’ll get there eventually!

  8. I think that any recipe is improved with a little bit of liquor mixed in with it! I’m glad that you are getting to using your blender especially since it took awhile to get it with saving up the money for it. As long as it tastes good that is all that matters, I hope next time you make the almond milk it’ll go easier!

  9. Dana- you are truly the Queen of the Organic Kitchen- honestly- I didn’t even know there was a such thing as almond milk- they don’t have udders.

    Congratulations on being Fresh Pressed! I’m just so happy for you and your deserving self. Now I missed the Thrift Store Wednesday post so I’m going back now….

    • Aw, shucks! This feels like being sworn in as president or something– A REALLY BIG DEAL!! 🙂

      We seem to be quite the kitchen duo, us two: me with the raw, organic almond milk, and you with your radioactive spinach. We should join forces and take over all corners of the edible world.

  10. Hi Zona, I liked your recipe regarding how to make almond milk. I have not tasted tea lattes as yet. But, since I have a couple of nice blenders, I think I will embark in thiis endeavor and try it. Thanks for your recipe.

  11. Thanks for sharing your experience. I have a blender but have to confess that after using it a few times, I got lazy and stopped even though the results were really tasty. Let us know how your pancakes come out.

    • Sometimes it’s just better/easier/less work to be lazy! Delicious almond milk *can* be purchased in the store, after all (sans grits, even!) I should pick up some buckwheat kernels today and give my dry container a whirl while I still have this momentum…

  12. Congrats on FP! Methinks that blender is a work of art, its extremely photogenic! A wonder, an object of meditation, but not of use. But I’m sure you will persevere and that beauty will earn its keep with all kinds of exciting edible goodies.

  13. I’ve never tried making almond milk from scratch before but you inspired me! I’ll buy almonds asap and blog about it! I love reading blogs about not getting things perfect. I also write these stuff to keep my self on the ground. Visit my blog and you’ll see what I’m talking about! 🙂

  14. I totally sympathize with your first try at the almond milk…ha, ha, ha! Sounds like quite an adventure! I would have been pulling my hair out & crying & cursing too. How funny, but I’m glad the outcome was good. I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it the more you do it, but I like the sound of your cool new blender. I really want something that makes dough…Funny, Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • Thanks for reading! I think I was determined to get through my first almond milk-making ordeal, mostly because the recipe I used said it would be “easy” to make. I sure didn’t want to be the person who failed at making an easy recipe, even if it took me three (or four, or five) attempts to get it right! 🙂 Now that I’ve figured out that tricky “use a container that actually fits your sieve in it” maneuver, I’ll be an almond milk champion in no time.

  15. Haha.. I appreciated this a lot – number one, I’m vegan (and one of those hippy-dippy sorts). Number two, I appreciate alternative milks (soy is cool with me – hemp sucks, found that out this MORNING when I tried my new purchase from the health food store.. cashed, rice and almond cheese rock). Three, you’re writing style is.. pretty much the embodiment of everything I think it cute, funny, creative, intelligent and “awesome.” I really, really liked your post.

    I hope you find success with your highly esteemed Vitamix magical machine! I’m a “health nut” buttttt don’t have the courage to experiment with and possibly break things. 🙂 I’ll find my fulfillment in the knowledge of YOUR achievements, so, carry on!

    Aun Aqui

  16. Oh dear, I’ve been dying to add the Vitamix to my kitchen! I was totally LOLing and AWWing as I read your process, it seems as though these things are harder than they sound, ‘Oh, you just blend almonds and milk, and walah!… not so! I wish you and your Vitamix a wonderful future!

    • I think the process would be much (MUCH!!) easier for a person with even a smidgen of street smarts. Unfortunately, I was gifted with a giant Academic Brain but fail miserably at most situations in real life. At least this keeps my life entertaining!

  17. I love my vitamix–it’s stood the test of time, AND my kids.
    I know what you mean, though…you save and save…and then you don’t want to mess it up or ruin the thing you’ve waited so long for…
    crazy!

    I love the gloppy pics…
    blessings
    jane

    • Initially, when I first got my vitamix shipped, I wanted to make almond BUTTER in it. Then I read the instruction manual that came with the blender, and it said “CAUTION!! Over-processing will cause serious overheating to your machine!” (actual quote from the peanut butter recipe). I didn’t know exactly what constituted “over-processing” of nut butter, but I definitely wasn’t going to risk doing it and ruining my *brand new* blender with the first recipe.

      So I made a peach bellini instead and put my Vitamix in the cupboard for many moons.

  18. One word: “Winning!” 😉

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed. Your efforts are beyond admirable. You have inspired me to go straight to the Market . . . and buy a box of Almond Milk.

    Oh, and I am totally jealous of your blender.

    • BI-WINNING!!!

      I think almond milk is one of those things: Yes, you *can* make it from scratch (as I’ve so eloquently illustrated), but you can *also* buy it for a few bucks at the store, and it will probably be organic and unsweetened, etc. from the store anyway. I might make it again in the future to impress dinner guests with my mad kitchen skillz, but otherwise I think I’m fine with Almond Breeze. 🙂

  19. Wow! Where did all these people come from? Hi Everybody!
    I LOVE this post. It totally fits in with the posts I do when I enter the kitchen. I’m curious to see how your flour mixes go. What do you start with?!

    • I know– ALL THESE PEOPLE! 🙂 The WordPress platform selects about 10 posts every weekday to feature on their homepage. My post made it to the Freshly Pressed page today– huzzah!

      I think the flour mixes just start with whole kernels of grains– wheat, oat, rye, spelt, kamut– any form of flour you want to try. But watch it be way more complicated than that. Almond milk was supposed to be “easy”, too!

  20. Someone once told me making almond milk was easy, then described something like your experience above. Tasty, sure. Worthwhile, maybe. But easy? At least not the first time! PS You have actually sold me on the Vitamix – I’m still getting over the fact that mine can actually do ice!

    I knew this day would come soon – congrats on the FP!

    • The second go-round will go MUCH MORE SMOOTHLY, at least if I can manage not to eff things up again! Thanks for the FP congrats– I will be sure to thank you in my FP acceptance speech. 😉

  21. This post was very entertaining! I feel for you, having had several similar kitchen mishaps. But life’s a learning experience, right? I applaud you on being so culinarily daring. You rock!

    • Thanks for stopping by! You’re right that life is a learning experience, even if this particular experience taught me that some things are best left bought in a carton! 😉

  22. It was nice to hear the story of this process, simply because every recipe you normally read makes it sound like NOTHING ever goes wrong. Great to hear the full experience!
    Awesome post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
    Cheers,
    Lisa

    • Maybe nothing would have gone wrong if I had spent 4 seconds or so thinking things through BEFOREHAND. Like: Hmmm… does my strainer fit into my container? Also, will the laws of gravity and physics still apply while I make this milk? 😉

  23. Brilliant!
    It was almost like I experienced it – because all but the way you strained your almond milk (from the purchase, to making almond mild to having it in your chai latte) is so me. My ‘purchase’ was the Jack LaLane juicer. And I am in love with it! And no one else is allowed to touch it. It’s more simplistic than your special blender but it gives me I dare to guess as much joy.
    Press on.
    And I love the name – Zona Pellucida – how many people know to what that refers to I wonder?

    • Did you make your almond milk in the Jack LaLane juicer? And did you fail at straining it like I did? Kindred spirit alert!!

      PS: Thanks for the comment about my blog name. It was always my favourite term in Biology. 🙂

  24. Hilarious post! I get ridiculously frustrated when things just DONT work how I expect them too. These blenders are hugely popular so I can believe your frustration! May you find the ONE!

  25. Seriously, girlie, that’s some cooking adventure! So, next time will be much easier, right? Glad you took a step to break that bad boy in finally. Loved the bit about the bourbon vanilla extract. That made me laugh out loud. 🙂 So, forward on with more blending experiences!

    • Thank you! I seem to be prone to many misadventures in the kitchen, but now I am armed with experiential data on what *not* to do the next time I attempt to make almond milk. Tally ho!

  26. Your writing style is excellent. I’ve never tried almond milk although I should.

    I know a bit about straining liquids through cheesecloth, so when you talked about pulling it taut with a rubber band I nearly yelled (cue Darth Vader voice), “NOOOOOOOO!” You almost had it right at attempt #3. Next time, you should try using a smaller collander lined with cheesecloth over a bowl. Then you can pour the liquid in the bowl back into your blender. 🙂

  27. I love homemade almond milk! I don’t make it often, but I actually like it better than the store-bought stuff. I just add a little bit of honey in mine (it really does taste kind of bland by itself).
    My cheesecloth technique involves something like holding it or tying it with an elastic over the container (but letting it hang loosely), and then squeezing it when I get bored of waiting. There have definitely been many accidents though… it’s pretty funny that something so simple can become so ridiculous and awkward!

    • Honey is a good idea as well– I imagine that it wouldn’t separate out as much from the rest of the milk as the dates did.

      I found myself wanting a super-sized cheesecloth for the straining. Mine was a standard-sized cheesecloth (I think– do they come in various sizes?), but it didn’t feel wide enough to keep all of the almond goop contained. I need a Mega Cheesecloth- stat! 🙂

    • Almond milk really IS yummy, especially when it’s got some vanilla in it. It tastes wonderful in chai, any type of rooibos tea, or the usual “latt” teas (Earl Grey, etc.) Mmm… looks like I’ll have to go and make myself a tea latt RIGHT NOW!

  28. That is just too funny. I have had countless projects turn out like that! I really appreciate your patience in documenting every disheartening step; I just recently started blogging and I haven’t gotten myself to write more than one or two paragraphs at a time.

    Anyway, another thing I just recently did, coincidentally, was get a Vitamix. I’ve had some mishaps with that already; the cover wasn’t on quite right and soapy water shot all over the kitchen when I was attempting to “clean” the thing. So far, I’ve only made smoothies, but that in itself involves some risky business. I live in an apartment building with thin walls and every I turn that turbo-charged Vitamix on at 6:45 AM, I’m sure someone is frantically dialing Security, who’s going to come knocking at my door. I try to make sure I don’t leave it on for more than a minute or two, because they have to catch you “in the act” in order to bust you(!)

    Oh, I did try making the “peach ice cream” and both adults and kids gave it high ratings. I think I’ll put off almond-milk-making for another lifetime… Thanks for sharing; so glad I randomly stumbled on your blog!

    • Thank you for the comment! I’m giggling at the thought of Apartment Security busting in on you and catching you ‘in the act’ of making a smoothie. Danger, Will Robinson– DANGER!! As per cleaning the Vitamix: I know it’s supposed to be convenient to turn it on with some soapy water inside, but I find it easier (and quicker) to just rinse the thing out myself. I avoid any soapy water mishaps that way, too.

  29. I have a Vitamix blender. It’s phenomenal. Verrrry expensive, but I bought it over time and was working a lot when I got it. You go, girl. Never thought of making nut milk with it, but will now give it a try and, based on your trial and error, will be able to avoid some of the pitfalls!

    • As I mentioned earlier, my plan is now to develop the Most Expensive Brand of almond milk– ever! I’ll happily sell it to you and make my fortune that way. Cheers! 🙂

    • Yeah, the time and work involved in making the milk definitely outweighed the results, especially when you consider the time I spent blogging about the process! Whoops! A bigger batch would make it more worth it, plus there’s always the ‘made from scratch’ factor– I know a couple of people I could wow by saying “I MADE THIS MYSELF!”, all proud-like and such.

  30. When I logged into WordPress tonight, at the bottom of the Freshly Pressed, I saw a picture of the Vitamix lid. I love reading blogs of Vitamix owners! And so I clicked on the picture and here I am! Saying that I love my Vitamix would be the understatement of the year. I also have a post about making almond milk. Check it out: http://pocketoffulllife.wordpress.com/2010/10/14/youd-be-nutty-not-to-make-this-almond-milk-in-the-vitamix/
    Also, I highly recommend purchasing a nut milk bag. Makes life so easy! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • Oh my goodness– a nut milk bag is the most perfect thing EVER! Looking at your post, I realized that I have DOZENS of reusable, thin-mesh produce bags at home. Why didn’t I think of this before? So much agony… so pointless! 🙂

      Using one of my mesh produce bags will make my life so much easier. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  31. I feel like you were writing about my first venture making almond milk in my Vitamix! Seriously. So if it makes you feel better, you’re not the only one!
    Now on to the Green Smoothies, you hippie!

    • Yeah! I actually can’t wait to try making a Green Smoothie. I am being all Chinese Medicine about it and waiting until the seasons change, though. Don’t want to increase the dampness in my spleen! 🙂 (Spoken like a true hippie.)

  32. Boy, did this post make me laugh! I love the way you described your attempts at homemade almond milk. I went through the same thing, except I didn’t have a kick-ass Vitamix to help! Congrats on your new toy, and here’s to more adventures!

  33. Great post! Good for you for attempting such a challenge!

    I spotted an empty bottle of wine in one of your pictures…did you open that after make a couple errors? 😉

    I’ve recently fallen in love with my blender and seem to eat more blended food than not (I’m addicted to protein shakes/smoothies at the moment).

    Thanks for posting this; I’m going to check out some of your other posts now 🙂

    • Yes, somebody noticed the empty wine bottle in the back! It’s my attempt to lead a “balanced lifestyle”– healthy, organic almond milk plus an empty bottle of red wine. Sounds like balance to me, no?

  34. Almond is very rich in known as the king of nuts, is a highly nutritious food. It is rich in almost all the elements needed by the Body. It is an effective health-building food, both for the body and mind, and a valuable food remedy for several common ailments. And I liked about the experiment of your almond

  35. WE were just having this conversation at work the other day. Ok not THIS VERY conversation but a conversation about Almond Milk. What I want to know is… Is it more expensive (time included) to buy your own almonds and make milk OR is it just cheaper to buy the almond milk in the store?
    Does it taste better?

    Just curious because I have a friend here at work that only drinks almond milk and she is trying to save money. We discussed how she could probably find a recipe for making it herself but we wondered since Nuts are so $$$$ these days.

    What do you think?

    • Hey there– thanks for stopping by! I actually think that buying from the store is cheaper, especially when you factor in the time it takes to soak the nuts and all. (Not like you monitor the nuts for the full 8 hours, but still.) It could be cheaper to make your own if you could find a good price on bulk nuts AND if you made a bigger batch than I did AND if you used a higher water to almonds ratio. (I made mine as thick as possible, but if you make a thinner milk, your yield will be higher for the amount of almonds you use.) Finally, you’d also have to master the delicate art of straining to save some time and frustration. 🙂

      One of the other commenters here recommended buying a nut butter bag to eliminate the mess of using a cheesecloth. I think this is a BRILLIANT idea, especially because I have something similar already at home– a fine-mesh reusable produce bag. But it might be better to just head over to the grocery store and buy a few cartons of already-made almond milk. I hope this helps!

      • Yes thank you! That does help and learning from your mistakes is much easier than learning from my mistakes (although admittedly yours are minor compared to the trouble I have been known to get into)
        I appreciate the response. Especially since now… you’re famous!

        • Glad to be of service! I’m still waiting to hire a personal assistant to take over all of my correspondence (now that I’m famous), but in the meantime I can respond to my fan mail directly. 🙂

  36. Completely related to this! How many times have I spent hours in the kitchen, make a ginormous mess, and only came up with something that looked homicidal? I’ve coveted one of these blenders for years, but have been too intimidated to actually take the plunge. Keep us posted!!

    • Sure will- thank you for stopping by! My goal is to get better with practice– sounds humble and obvious, but you never know with these fancy blenders!

  37. I laughed through the whole post, vitamix are pretty powerful I once had an accident with one of those, and ended up soaking in soy sauce and pumpkin seed oil, my chef jacket was completely messed up!

    Nice post!!!

    • Yuck! Soy sauce and pumpkin seed oil sound WAY WORSE to clean up than some simple almonds and water. Plus it ended up on your clothes instead of on the counter like my mess did– DOUBLE YUCK! Glad you enjoyed the post– thank you for stopping by!

  38. This is going to sound totally weird, but I’m glad this is the first post of yours I’ve ever read – I’ve been dreaming pie-in-the-sky dreams of expensive Vitamix blenders myself lately, worried about making the investments for exactly the reasons you’ve noted above. I’ve also been toying with making my own almond milk, so there was a strange synchronicity at work here.

    Thanks for the smiles! And don’t worry about the picture of gunk floating in your tea – if it tasted good, who gives a rat’s patoot?!?

    • Coincidence? I think not!

      Thanks for stopping by and reading. If you can afford a Vitamix, I would totally recommend one. The hardest part about making this almond milk definitely wasn’t the bit with the blender– that worked just fine! It was figuring out how to strain the mixture effectively. Here’s to more (mis)adventures with the Vitamix!

  39. Pingback: The Sunday Paper: F Bomb? I dropped it. « The Ramblings

  40. I love my Vitamix. I bought one from our Costco after watching them being used on the Food Networks “Iron Chef.” I make my own spaghetti and chili sauces. I also make healthy smoothies with fruits and vegatables. You have inspired me to write a blog one day with a recipe or two.

    • Excellent! I hear that Costco is the best place to get them (or at least the cheapest!) I’m looking forward to making some Green Smoothies as well as some freshly milled flour with mine. You go! 🙂

  41. your post cracked me up 🙂 i’ve had many a vitamix adventure.

    homemade almond milk is soooo good. don’t give up!

    i’ve never tried it in coffee, i just drink it all fresh and frothy right out of the blender. mmm.

    one thing that made it soooo much easier was to use a nut milk bag. i bought mine from SimplyRaw after doing a raw food detox with them: http://www.simplyraw.ca/community/products/

    • Lo and behold, I had a second go-round with making almond milk the other night. It was WAY EASIER (and not so curd-y looking in my tea)!! I took the suggestion of one commenter and used a fine-mesh reusable produce bag in lieu of cheesecloth, and then I just hung the bag over a big mixing bowl. It was quick, easy, clean– and delicious! I’ll have to drink it straight out of the blender one day, too.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  42. I appreciate your insights into the “curdiness” of the almond milk. I guess that’s why commercial beverages always include ingredients to keep them homogenous.

    I used to put natural soy milk into my coffee. It curdled but tasted fine. My solution – use a travel mug with an opaque lid 🙂

    Jill

    • So true, Jill! It was actually fine after that first cup of tea, too– no curds! I guess there was just something about the first cup that made it separate– since then, it’s been totally fine AND delicious.

  43. You are hilarious! I love your Vitamix Almond Milk adventure. My husband and son bought me the industrial Vitamix for my birthday last summer…$599.00 for a blender…eek! I made them take it back, but now, I’m questioning my decision. There’s so many things I could make where it would come in handy! Thanks for a good giggle. Loved your post. 🙂

    • Thank you! The price tag for the Vitamix IS pretty hefty, but well worth it, methinks. Maybe they’ll try to buy you one again for some birthday in the future? You never know…

  44. You definitely get an “A” for effort as you went above and beyond. And a “B” for presentation (nice save with the cinnamon) Great blog!

  45. Oh – great story! I chuckled through your ordeal… laughing with you, not at you! It certainly brought back memories of some of my failures in the kitchen. (Although most of them were salvageable, as well.)
    Note for straining – try straining twice with varying degrees… once through cheesecloth and once through a strainer. It may be a little extra effort but is easier for those with less patience. Also, let the strainer handle tilt to the side – it usually works just as well.
    Love your post – just wish I had seen it sooner!

    • Thanks very much, Joyce! I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment.

      My latest lesson learned with almond milk is NOT to double the recipe. I tried making almond milk again after this post, and I strained it differently (through a mesh bag hung over a large mixing bowl). I also doubled the recipe, but because it is freshly made and not loaded with preservatives like the store-bought brands can be, it went a little, um, rancid. Both my husband and I TASTED this rancid almond milk accidentally, too. Oh, it was foul!! I thought I was saving myself time by doubling up all of the ingredients, but we weren’t able to drink all that milk in a week and a half. *Lesson learned.* Again. 😉

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