How to Make Homemade Almond Milk for Camping

Adventure Camping Food + Drink By Nancy Raven Kirk

Almond milk and other dairy alternatives have risen in popularity in recent years, leading many outdoor enthusiasts to wonder what’s the most efficient way to bring almond milk along for a backpacking or camping trip.

Almond milk is a great food item to pack for your coffee, cereal, and oatmeal, but it’s not necessarily compact. While campers can store their almond milk in a cooler, backpackers don’t have that luxury. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to make your own homemade almond milk and almond milk powder if you have the tools, such as a food processor and food dehydrator.

Benefits of Almond Milk 

Almond milk is a healthy dairy substitute with many benefits:

  • High in Vitamin E
  • Low in sugar
  • Low in calories 
  • Naturally free of lactose 
  • Dairy-free 

Avoiding animal products all together? Read Camping Vegan Style: Ideas for Plant-Based Camp Food

In addition to its naturally occurring benefits, store-bought almond milk is often enriched with added calcium and vitamins.

Packability for Camping

Store-bought almond milk works great for tent or RV camping, or quick, overnight backpacking trips. However, if you’re spending more than a couple of days in the backcountry, a carton of almond milk will be too heavy and too large to fit in your backpack. Learn how to make your own almond milk powder for a lightweight, packable option.

Making Almond Milk at Home

Making almond milk at home is not difficult, but it does require time. Soaking raw almonds takes at least 12 hours. If you’re making almond milk powder, leaving your liquid in a dehydrator takes the same amount of time or more. Plan ahead if you’d like to bring homemade almond milk to a camping or backpacking trip.

Here’s how to make homemade almond milk from scratch, in both liquid and powdered form.

You’ll Need:

  • Unsalted, unroasted, raw almonds 
  • Water
  • Nut milk bag, or cheesecloth and a fine mesh strainer
  • Food processor or blender 
  • Food dehydrator

Steps to Make Almond Milk

  1. Soak several handfuls of raw almonds overnight, or up to 24 hours. 
  2. Drain the almonds. They should feel quite soft. 
  3. Put the almonds in blender. Add a few drops of water and blend. 
  4. Add water very slowly until you’ve reached your desired consistency. 
  5. Use a strainer to get rid of small bits of almond (almond pulp) that didn’t fully blend. It’s best to use a cheesecloth and a fine mesh strainer, or a nut milk bag. 
woman holding white cloth straining almond milk
Use a nut milk bag, cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer, and save the leftover almond pulp. Photo by Amelia Crook.

6. If you want your milk sweet, consider adding vanilla extract, sugar, cinnamon, or cocoa powder to the liquid after straining.

How to Turn Liquid Almond Milk into Powder

  1. Use non-stick paper to line the dehydrator tray. 
  2. Pour a thin layer of almond milk onto the tray, and insert into the dehydrator. 
  3. Turn the dehydrator to 135 degrees F for 16 hours. If you return after 16 hours and the powder is not fully formed, let it sit for another couple of hours. 
  4. When done, the dehydrated milk should feel like brittle. Break it up and grind it to create a powder. If you have a coffee grinder, this will work well. Otherwise, grind manually. 

Can I use store-bought almond milk to make almond milk powder?

You can use store-bound almond milk to create a powder, but it will likely yield less brittle because commercial almond milk typically uses fewer almonds than you would for making homemade almond milk.

If you choose this method, avoid using sweetened almond milk, as many brands use much more water and sweetener than they do almonds. Remember that homemade almond milk tastes far better and fresher than commercially made.

assorted cartoons of almond milk in white store refrigerator
If you’re buying your almond milk in a store, always check the ingredients. Sprouts Farmers Market, Henderson by NeONBRAND.

What to Do With Leftover Almond Pulp 

After you follow the steps in the almond milk recipe and strain the nut milk, don’t throw the pulp away! You can use the pulp as a replacement for oats, nuts or seeds.

There are plenty of treats you can make with raw almond pulp, such as raw, protein-rich energy bites and granolas. (See the bottom of this article for a delicious energy bite recipe!)

One of the most versatile items you can make from the pulp is almond meal, also known as almond flour. You can combine almond meal with other ingredients to make more complex foods such as pancakes, pasta, biscuits, cookies, and meatballs. 

How to Use Almond Pulp to Make Almond Meal

  1. Spread the wet, raw leftover pulp evenly onto a baking sheet. 
  2. Heat oven to 200 degrees F. 
  3. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. Check on the pulp. You may need to bake for up to 2 hours.
  4. Once the pulp is dry as possible, but not toasted, remove it from the oven. 
  5. Let cool completely, or overnight.
  6. Once cooled, add to a food processor or blender for 10 to 20 seconds. It should become powdery flour. Do not over blend. 
  7. Transfer to a jar. Almond meal will last up to a month or longer.

How Long Does Homemade Almond Milk Last? 

Homemade almond milk will typically stay good between three to five days. Taste test your milk to figure out if it’s still good to drink. While almond milk bought in the store typically lasts longer, keep in mind that there are a lot more ingredients in commercial almond milk, including preservatives and thickening ingredients, such as gellan gum. 

Tips for Making Homemade Almond Milk Last Longer 

  • Use filtered water instead of tap water.
  • Blanch the raw almonds before soaking them.
  • Use the back of a clean spoon instead of your hands when straining.
  • Sanitize the storage containers for your almond milk .
  • Make sure your container is airtight.
almond milk in two jars next to almonds
Using filtered water instead of tap water will extend the life of your almond milk. Photo by Kjokkenutstyr Net.

Other Ways to Have Almond Milk While Camping or Backpacking

Perhaps you don’t already own a food dehydrator, or you didn’t allow yourself enough time to make the almond milk powder. There are other methods for bringing almond milk along with you as you venture through nature. 

Buy Powdered Almond Milk 

You can purchase premade powdered almond milk if you do not wish to make your own. It may be more expensive and will likely have processed ingredients. Look for purer brands like JOI and BioFinest. These brands produce organic powdered almond milk with no sweeteners or additives. 

Use Almond Flour

Almond flour can be mixed with water to make almond milk in a quicker and easier way. This works best if you’re using your own almond milk for food like cereal or oatmeal. While it will not be as rich or thick as real homemade almond milk, it still will be tastier than using plain water.

Use super finely ground almond flour to enhance its ability to mix together with water. You may not be able to fully mix the flour and water, and there will likely be some particles floating around. This won’t be too noticeable when paired with your food. 

Use Almond Butter

Similar to the almond flour method, you can mix almond butter with water to make almond milk. If you happen to be at a campsite with power or if your RV has power outlets, this method works best using a high-power blender. If you do not have that option, try making almond milk by mixing small amounts of almond butter into your water using a whisk, slowly adding in more almond butter. This will not mix as thoroughly, but will still yield almond milk that tastes better with cereal than water! 

almond butter in two jars
Almond butter can be used alone or mixed with water to make almond milk. Photo by jules.

Homemade Almond Milk Recipe Ideas 

Homemade Almond Milk Ice Cream

Try this delicious treat after a day filled with outdoor activities. For obvious reasons, ice cream will not work well on a backpacking trip as it will melt, and a cooler is too heavy to carry. However, if you are camping, who wouldn’t love to end the night with some delicious, dairy-free ice cream?

Customize your ice cream by adding other flavors. Just make sure to eat it quickly if you don’t have a freezer, as it will still melt in a cooler after a few days. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups of almond milk 
  • ½ cup of almond butter 
  • ¼ cup sweetener 
  • ½ tsp of salt 
  • 1 ½ tsp of vanilla extract 

Instructions 

Mix all ingredients together using a blender, and freeze. If you don’t have a blender, thoroughly whisk everything together in a container and freeze. That’s it! Add additional ingredients or flavors, such as strawberries, cinnamon, or cacao nibs.

vegan ice cream with chocolate drizzle and cherry on top
Improvise with fresh ingredients for the best result! Sundae by Nikki L.

Peanut Butter Jelly Overnight Oats with Almond Milk 

When camping with a cooler, try this quick, nutritious breakfast. Swap flavors with blueberries or coconut flakes. 

Ingredients

  • Rolled oats 
  • Almond milk 
  • Chia seeds 
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Chopped strawberries  

Instructions 

Mix ingredients together in an airtight container. Let sit in cooler overnight, and enjoy in the morning! 

white picther almond milk oatmeal and berries on table
Feel free to get creative with oats, almond milk and fresh fruit. Photo by Cleanlight Photo.

Hot Almond Cocoa Drink 

This warm, sweet beverage is comforting, best enjoyed next to a raging campfire under a starry night sky. Share with friends and family to create a sweet camping tradition. Because these ingredients are lightweight, enjoy almond milk hot chocolate on your next backpacking adventure. 

Ingredients 

  • Almond milk (or powder) 
  • Cocoa powder 
  • Maple syrup 
  • Vanilla extract 

Instructions 

Mix ingredients together in a saucepan, and bring to a near boil. Stir and let cool before enjoying. 

brown liquid in green mug
Almond milk & cocoa is a delicious camping beverage! Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq.

Almond Pulp Energy Bites 

Protein-rich, vegan and gluten-free, these are perfect on-the-go snacks for camping. Not only are they healthy, but you’ll feel guilt-free using every scrap of almonds. They also offer a helpful boost of energy on action-packed days. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup of almond pulp 
  • 2 cup of dates 
  • ½ cup of shredded coconut 
  • 2 tablespoons of cacao 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Experiment with other ingredients, such as dried mango, cinnamon, or orange slice for flavor options.

Instructions

  1. Pulse your leftover pulp and dates in a food processor. 
  2. Add the rest of your ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined. 
  3. Remove and add to a bowl. 
  4. Roll into a small ball, and repeat until you’ve used all mixture. 
  5. Store in the fridge for up to a week. Depending on the temperature, these bites likely keep while camping.

Need Ideas for Camping Meals? 

We’ve got you covered. From vegan food to five-ingredient meals, outdoor enthusiasts use KÜHL blog as a resource for useful information regarding camping, backpacking, and more. Here are some posts you might like:

Also, did you like our almond milk recipe? Let us know!

Featured Image – Homemade Almond Milk by Vivianna_love.

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two jars with white almond milk outdoors
Nancy Raven Kirk
Nancy is a writer, traveler, and outdoor enthusiast originally from Los Angeles. She's had work published in the L.A. Times, OC Weekly, and various other publications. Check out her website at www.copybykirk.com.