Vanilla or Plain Almond Milk

Once you start making your own almond milk, you'll never go back to store bought! All it takes is remembering to soak the almonds the night before, and then 5-10 min of time, depending if you are making plain or vanilla. For general drinking, cereal and lattes, we prefer vanilla, and for cooking I use plain. Almond milk will stay fresh, stored in the fridge for 3 days. 

1 1/2 cups raw, un-pasteurized almonds (usually available in bulk at organic markets/grocery stores)
4 cups water, plus 2 cups filtered water (divided)
3-4 medjool dates, pits removed
1 vanila bean, scraped or 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
You will need the following tools for this recipe:
high speed blender
nut milk bag

Place almonds in a large bowl and cover with 4 cups water. Allow to soak 10-12 hours, uncovered at room temperature. 
Once almonds have soaked, rinse thoroughly. You will notice the murkiness of the soaking water, which needs to be completely washed off of the almonds.  Place the soaked almonds and 2 cups of fresh filtered water into the canister of your high speed blender. Increase the speed until it is at the max and blend for approx 1 min. Pour the contents into a nut milk bag, over a pitcher or bowl and squeeze the milk from the pulp. The milk is now ready to refrigerate if you are making the plain version. 
If you are making vanilla almond milk, rinse your blender canister completely, then pour the milk back in and add the dates and vanilla. Blend on high until dates are have completely blended in; refrigerate and enjoy!