I drink chocolate almond milk with my coffee every morning.  It's delicious!

Today, I ran out of almond milk - voila!  I made my own.  And you can too.  Making your own almond milk cuts down on packaging (are those Tetrapak cartons really recyclable?), plus you can make it exactly to your tastes!
You will need:
~ 1 cup almonds
~ 1.5 cup water
~ 2.5 tbsp cocoa powder
~ 1 tbsp agave nectar/honey/sugar
~ blender
~ strainer/cheesecloth
~ half an hour
First, soak the almonds.  I've seen recommendations for anywhere from 4 hours to overnight - I soaked the almonds for 6 hours. The idea is to get them soft so you can blend them easily, and there are probably some health benefits as well.
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Ta da!

Next, remove the skins.  You have a couple options at this point:

1. Rub the skins off by hand.  I chose this option because the combination of tedium and increased finger strength appeals to me.
2. Blanch them - i.e. dip them in rapidly boiling water for several seconds to loosen the skins.

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Then, blend 1 cup of soaked almonds with 1 cup water.  We want the mixture to be thick enough that the almonds blend very finely.  Keep the remaining 1/2 cup of water on hand, you'll use it soon.

Add 2.5 tbsp cocoa powder and 1 tbsp sweetener.  I'll be honest - I don't actually measure when I do it, those are just guesses.  So flavor to taste.
Here's where I add the rest of the water - the almonds should be at their finest by this point, so you can add water until it's to your desired thickness.  Now blend it up
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Finally, set up your straining station
Ideally, lay cheesecloth inside a metal strainer, so once most of the liquid drains through you can pick up the cheesecloth and squeeze out the excess almond milk.
I don't have a cheesecloth anymore (apparently one of my roommates thought it was trash-worthy), so I used a fine mesh strainer and a spoon for pressing.



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Press/squeeze the almond purée (milk those almonds!) to get all the juice to come out - once it stops dripping, there's still a lot left in the mash.  Don't worry if you don't get it all out.  I froze my chocolate almond mash and ate it as a kind of raw vegan ice cream!  

There you go!  You made chocolate almond milk.  Awesome.  You can use it (like I do) in coffee, or on cereal, in baking, with cookies - any way you like!

Have you ever made your own almond milk, or any other nut milk?  Do you do it differently?  What's your favorite way to use almond milk?

You might like:
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- Crunchy Almond Granola
- Vegetarian, Flexitarian, Locavore... Intuitive Eating
- 10 Commandments of Radical DIY

This post shared in Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday alongside many other radical recipes!

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