Instant Pot Almond Milk

Rich & Creamy Instant Pot Almond Milk (in 20 Minutes!)

In the early 2000s, most people had never heard of almond milk and sales of the product were virtually non-existent. But as more people became aware of food allergies and intolerances and began seeking “plant-based” alternatives to traditional dairy products, sales took off.

By 2016, the market for almond milk reached $1 billion. And its popularity continues to grow. Sales are expected to surpass $2.7 billion in the next four years.

But despite surging popularity, commercial almond milk is not all it’s cracked up to be. Considering the amount of almonds in each carton, the product is rather expensive. And many brands contain questionable ingredients that could harm your health.

So, let’s have a look at some of those ingredients – and why you might want to leave most commercial brands of almond milk on the shelf.

Then, I’ll show you the easiest way to enjoy almond milk without the questionable ingredients and with greater nutritional value… all while keeping more money in your pocket!

Synthetic Nutrients: You Can’t Mimic Mother Nature

If you’ve read the back of an almond milk carton, you might have noticed a list of ingredients on the nutrition panel that aren’t “foods” – they are synthetic vitamins. The most common include Vitamin A Palmitate and Vitamin D2.

At first glance, this might appear to be a good thing. But synthetic nutrients are not in the form your body needs for optimal absorption. Even worse, these copycat versions can cause genetic damage and promote cancer. (ref, ref, ref)

  • Vitamin A Palmitate (Retinol Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate): The FDA has classified this synthetic form of vitamin A as a “known human reproductive toxicant.” Animal studies show reproductive effects and tumor formation even at very low doses. Conversely, natural food sources of vitamin A (from animal foods like liver, egg yolks, and bone marrow) are well-absorbed and tolerated even in high doses.
  • Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol): While vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is vital and backed by reams of research, vitamin D2 is an entirely different (and potentially toxic) form that should be avoided. In fact, veterinarians no longer use vitamin D2 on animals for this reason. What’s more, studies show that taking vitamin D2 can actually reduce your vitamin D status. (ref, ref, ref)
  • Zinc Oxide – This is the same white substance used in mineral sunscreens. It is added to almond milk to create an “opaque” look (as only 2% of almond milk is actually almonds – a fact that prompted a lawsuit against Blue Diamond for false advertising). (ref)

And adding synthetic vitamins and “whitening” their product isn’t the only way that manufacturers deceive (and potentially harm) their customers…

The Sneaky Ingredients Manufacturers Use to “Thicken” Almond Milk

The “creamy” mouthfeel you might experience when drinking almond milk isn’t from the small amount of almonds contained in the product. Rather, it is the result of vegetable gums.

Gums are a class of substances known as hydrocolloids. These compounds absorb up to 20 times their weight in water. They help to thicken liquids and provide a creamy mouthfeel. And while this might be good for the bottom line, it may not be so good for you.

Many manufacturers use the ingredient carrageenan, derived from seaweed, to thicken their products. Carrageenan is so inflammatory and potentially toxic that the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies it as a potential human carcinogen. (ref) This additive has also been found to promote leaky gut and damage the cells that line the intestines.(ref)

Other gums, including gellan, guar and locust bean gum, are also commonly used in commercial almond milks. These ingredients can alter healthy levels of intestinal bacteria and cause changes in the mucous layer that lines the gut. They contribute to low-level inflammation that promotes changes in cells of the digestive tract, including in the colon. (ref)

In addition, people with SIBO or IBS often experience digestive distress from consuming gums. If commercial almond milk doesn’t seem to “agree” with your belly – it is likely the result of gums added to the product.

Until now, the alternative to purchasing commercial almond milk has been to make your own. But this takes planning and a good bit of waiting, because most recipes call for the almonds to soak for 18 to 24 hours. But there is another way that is MUCH faster and easier…

Thick & Creamy Homemade Instant Pot Almond Milk in 20 Minutes

In a recent experiment with my beloved Instant Pot electronic pressure cooker (which turns out mouthwatering meals like Fork-Tender Whole Pressure Cooker Chicken and Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pot Roast in a fraction of the time of traditional methods), I discovered a very simple way to produce thick, creamy and highly-bioavailable almond milk – in just 20 minutes!

The process is easy. The results are superior. And if you opt for conventional almonds, the cost will be about $1.50 per quart (25% less than store bought). If you use organic almonds, the cost will be about the same as what you would pay in the store. For what it’s worth, conventional almonds are just fine as almonds are a low-pesticide crop and the nuts are protected in the shell while on the tree.

And these are not the only benefits, because the almond milk you make using the Instant Pot will provide more nutrients, fewer anti-nutrients… and you won’t have to be concerned with the added “ingredients” in commercial brands.

You see, soaking almonds doesn’t just prepare the nuts for “milking.” It is also very helpful for reducing anti-nutrients, like phytic acid and lectins. According to Weston A. Price Foundation, soaking nuts for 18 hours can eliminate most of the phytates. (ref) And that’s a good thing, considering that we absorb approximately 20 percent more zinc and 60 percent more magnesium from our food when phytic acid is absent. (ref)

But when you soak the nuts under pressure, you can achieve even better results in minutes.

Pressure cooking is well known to significantly reduce anti-nutrients in everything from beans and peas to grains and seeds. (ref)  And while the pressure cooker reduces anti-nutrients, studies show it actually increases antioxidant concentration. (ref, ref) Pressure cooking has also been found to reduce the allergenicity of foods like soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, cashews and pistachios by binding to IgE compounds. (ref, ref, ref, ref, ref)

Now that you know the benefits of making almond milk in your pressure cooker, here’s how you do it…

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Instant Pot Almond Milk: The Simple (and Fast!) Step by Step

To make this recipe, you will need:

If you wish to add a bit of flavor or sweetness to your almond milk, you may also want to include organic vanilla extract, sea salt and a sweetener (like stevia extract).

Begin by adding one cup of water and one cup of almonds to the Instant Pot vessel…

Add almonds to instant pot

Close and lock the lid. Set the pressure to high and the time to 1 minute.

set time to 1 minute for instant pot almond milk

When the time elapses, do a quick release or natural release.

steamy almonds for almond milk

Pour the almonds into the strainer and rinse well.

rinse almonds for almond milk

Discard the cooking liquid. Your pressure-soaked almonds will be plump and soft…

plump almonds for almond milk

Add the pressure soaked almonds to a high-powered blender with 4 cups of water.

making almond milk

Blend on HIGH for 2 minutes. It will look like this…

homemade blended almond milk

Pour almond mixture through the nut milk bag…

nut milk bag

Then squeeze well (with clean hands!) to extract all of the nut milk.

homemade instant pot almond milk

Transfer to your lidded glass storage container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Quick and delicious Instant Pot Almond Milk

For longer term storage, consider freezing in smaller containers or making “almond milk ice cubes” that are at the ready for your favorite smoothie or creamy recipe.

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Instant Pot Almond Milk
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A quick and delicious way to make almond milk at home!
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw organic almonds
  • 5 cups spring or filtered water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional, to taste)
  • ¼ tsp. Himalayan sea salt (optional, to taste)
  • 10 drops stevia extract (optional, to taste)
Instructions
  1. Add 1 cup almonds and 1 cup water to the Instant Pot.
  2. Close and lock the lid. Set pressure to HIGH and time to 1 minute.
  3. When time is up, do a quick or natural release.
  4. Strain almonds and rinse well under cold water.
  5. Transfer rinsed almonds to high-powered blender. Add 4 cups water.
  6. Blend on high for 2 minutes. Add optional ingredients and blend for 20 seconds.
  7. Set nut milk bag over large bowl. Pour almond milk through bag, squeezing to get all liquid extracted.
  8. Transfer to a quart-sized Mason jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
 

Instant Pot Almond Milk - Healing Gourmet

Nutrient Information Per Batch

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.


Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this. Awesome. I don’t particularly care for Almond milk because it is so thin and watery. I prefer other nut milks since they are thicker and would love an instant pot recipe for other nut milks.
    Thanks!

    • Kelley Herring says:

      Hi Mary!
      Thank you for your comment.

      Most almond milks are thin and watery because they are watered down. This almond milk is the creamiest I’ve ever had. You can follow the same recipe to make cashew milk too.

      Hope you enjoy!
      Kelley

  2. Mariana says:

    Great info! Going to try it this weekend. I have issues with lectins, so have been avoiding almond milk. Would love to be able to use it again as it used to be a staple for me after I discovered my dairy allergy. Great to know about non-organic almonds being low pesticide, too…that should make a difference to the wallet!

  3. Thank you for posting this! I had NO idea my almond milk had so much junk in it. I seriously thought it was almonds and water. Btw, the Weston A. Price foundation is a psuedoscience group that disseminates a lot of false information, and anything you grab from them should be taken with a grain of salt or three. Anyway, great article — I need a nutmilk bag but I’m sure they can’t be too hard to find. Thanks again!

    • Kelley Herring says:

      Hi Coral,
      You don’t care enough to read labels on the food you eat… but I’m supposed to take your advice on Weston A. Price?

      Ancestral nutrition is not pseudoscience. Dr. Price was a true pioneer whose work is finally getting some of the credit it deserves. More and more studies are emerging that validate his observations and his 40+ years of primary research.

      What’s more, every article on the Weston A. Price Foundation website is referenced extensively.

      As an investigator, I read reams of research, keep an open mind, and never rely on one source alone. And I encourage my reader to do the same.

      Kelley

  4. donna perry says:

    Hi Kelley,
    Great recipe but is there an Instant Pot recipe to make coconut milk? I have thyroid issues (hypo) and was told to stay away from almonds and almond milk. I’m telling ya, so much info on the internet, one doesn’t know who to believe anymore, but I’ve followed you for a while and do trust your judgement.

    • Kelley Herring says:

      Hi Donna!
      Thanks for your question and kind comments.

      I too have thyroid issues, and am keenly aware of the impact anti-nutrients can have, especially for those of us who are sensitive. I’m betting the process of making coconut milk is pretty much the same. I might try 8 oz. shredded organic coconut (plain, unsweetened) with 8 cups of water. And I would try cooking for longer- maybe 10 minutes – before blending and straining.

      You’ve given me some inspiration to try my own. I will do some experimenting and see what I come up with. Please stay tuned 🙂 And I you give it a go, please let us know!

      Be Well,
      Kelley

  5. I love oat milk and I am wondering if you have any suggestions to make that?
    Going to go try your almond milk now.
    Thank you!

  6. Hi Kelley!
    Since I don’t have an insta pot, is there another way to pre-cook the almonds before blending and straining? I avoid almonds as I have thyroid issues and have a food sensitivity to them, but I love them so much and have small amounts now and then. I presume soaking in hot water for longer will do the trick! 🙂

    • Kelley Herring says:

      Hi Sissy!
      You can certainly use the old-fashioned overnight soaking technique. It just takes more time 🙂

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