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Ever since I made pistachio milk a few weeks back, I've become obsessed with nut-based milks, whipping up a different batch each week week. These beverages are so easy to make—all you do is soak nuts overnight, then blend them with water and strain—and the payoff is huge, yielding smooth, delicate, creamy milks that are fantastic on their own and excellent poured over cereal. There's just no reason to buy the cartoned stuff on sale at your local supermarket; these are so much tastier.
An added bonus of going homemade: it's super-easy to flavor your nut milk with whatever strikes your fancy. When it comes to flavors, you're limited only by your imagination. There are two ways to add extra flavor to your homemade dairy free milk. First, you can season the finished product with flavorings like vanilla extract or ground spices. The other option is to add aromatics to the nuts as they soak, and then blend the mixture all together the next day.
For this recipe, I chose the latter method and used roasty, intensely chocolaty cacao nibs from Twenty-Four Blackbirds. You can find the nibs at your local specialty foods or baking supply store, or order them online. A little dose of cacao nibs goes a long way: just two tablespoons of nibs added to the almonds produces a lovely, nutty milk with a powerful hit of chocolate. Sweetened with agave and enhanced with a touch of vanilla extract, this is an excellent chocolate milk that's great served frothy and chilled or heated up for an extra-special hot chocolate.
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