Almonds have a substance in their coating called phytic acid. It's naturally occurring and is a defense against insects, but it can make nuts difficult for people to digest. To remove much of the phytic acid, we soak nuts and rinse them before using. Here's how:
If you don't have time for this step, purchase almonds that are "raw, activated" -- ideally, without any salt or seasoning since we've making plain almond milk! Raw, activated and/or sprouted nuts have already been soaked and possibly sprouted and then dehydrated at less than 105 degrees to keep their enzymes active! Whole Foods or a local natural food market should carry products like this. I'll warn you -- they can be pricey, so it's often worth the savings to prep this kind of thing at home.
While your nuts are soaking, make sure you have a fine mesh strainer, a nutmilk bag or several layers of clean cheesecloth or muslin to strain the almond milk once it's blended. The beauty of making your own almond milk is that you also get about a cup of finely ground pulp --- I'll share some recipes for using that and we'll be doing a happy dance for a zero waste process that yields tasty nut milk AND something extra!
2 cups raw almonds, soaked and drained
6 cups cool water
2 Tablespoons sunflower lecithin (optional)