Place the almonds in a large bowl of water.
Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and place it on a counter - do not refrigerate. The almonds should be covered with approximately one inch of water. The almonds will become more visibly plump as they absorb the water. You can let the almonds stand in the water for a bit longer than 48 hours to create a more creamy milk.
Drain the water from the almonds and then rinse them in cool water.
The almonds will likely, and should, feel somewhat squishy when grasped firmly. Do not reuse the water the almonds have been soaking in for human, domestic pet, or livestock use. Almonds contain phytic acid and this will leach into the water. Consuming the water will decrease the ability for the body to absorb iron and zinc but unless a person consumes almonds to excess the health benefits of almonds far outweigh the action of phytic acid.
Mix together the almonds and the fresh water.
Now comes the hard part if the power grid is down, as the almonds must be processed into fine bits, which typically requires the use of either a food processor or a blender.
If you do not have access to modern appliances, the crushing of the almonds must be done by hand in a mortar and pestle, without splashing out the milk.
I use a blender or food processor, set the appliance on the pulse setting for two minutes, stir, and then process on the pulse setting again for another two minutes. The goal, whether crushing the almonds with the aid of modern technology, or by hand, is to wind up with something that resembles an extremely fine meal type consistency.
Strain the almonds through a mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or a nut milk bag by placing the mix into the center of the mesh or cheesecloth and then drawing up the sides.
Gather it tightly while alternating between squeezing and pressing the mixture to extract all the milk possible. You will likely wind up with around two cups of almond milk using this recipe.
Don’t discard the almond meal left behind when you have finished squeezing out all the milk – it can be added to health bread or substituted for some of the flour in a pancake recipe.
If you like, add sweetener to the almond milk.