"Delicious homemade almond milk flavored with a whole vanilla bean and sweetened with dates. So easy, even an absolute beginner like me can make it. Almond milk will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days."
Place almonds and vanilla bean in a bowl; add enough water to cover completely. Place dates in a separate bowl and add enough water to cover completely. Soak almonds and dates at room temperature, 8 hours to overnight.
Drain and discard soaking water from almonds and rinse almonds thoroughly. Drain water from dates and keep water to add to the almond milk, if desired.
Combine soaked almonds, vanilla bean, dates, and sea salt in a blender; pour in 3 cups water. Blend on high for 1 minute. Let sit to allow foam to subside, about 1 minute. Add remaining 1 cup water and some of the date water for extra sweetness; blend until almond milk is smooth, about 1 minute.
Place a nut milk bag in a quart-size measuring cup or large bowl. Pour almond milk into the bag and lift to drain. Gently squeeze the bag to extract as much milk as possible. Store almond milk in the refrigerator.
You can purchase a nut milk bag online or at a kitchen store. Straining the milk through several layers of cheesecloth will also work, but the nut milk bag has a very fine mesh that produces a smoother finished product.
Save and dry the almond meal for baking or adding to oatmeal. Or you could add it to garden compost.
Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of almonds. The actual amount of almonds consumed will vary.