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Almond Cow Review: This Nut Milk Maker Is Your Ticket to Better Nondairy Milks

Jun 19, 2023

By Emily Johnson

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At this moment in the American beverage landscape, it feels odd to review a nut milk maker called the Almond Cow, because at this point we are living in a Post–Almond Milk world. I do enjoy nondairy milk, but I have spent years navigating a complex, ever-changing, sometimes conflicting narrative about the “right” plant-based milk to drink (for my health, for the environment, and for my own cultural relevance), only to end up here in 2023, when the hot girls are drinking regular milk again. Even so, the options for alt-milks grow ever more varied and confusing as I write this such that we now need to answer the question: Should cauliflower be milked?

In these complicated times, I’ve found solace in a milk personalization practice. I started using the Almond Cow to take alt-milk into my own hands. The machine has allowed me to resist aligning my identity with one type of milk. Let the cool downtown crowd drink dairy milk. I’ll be over here making almond milk one week and oat the next. Who knows, maybe I’ll even decide to mix them together. To help you decide whether this sort of milk freedom is for you, here’s my Almond Cow review:

The most important reason is that a homemade nut milk is a creamier, fresher almond milk that contains more actual flavor of the nut you used. That’s because grocery store nut milks typically use fewer actual nuts. They also include stabilizers and additives that some people try to avoid. But making your own milk also allows you to really get wild, making combinations you won’t find at the store, like a coconut and pistachio milk, a cashew and macadamia nut combo, or a chocolate-chili oat milk.

Finally, you can control the waste element at home: Not only will you avoid single-use packaging, but you can use the pulp that comes as a by-product of your nut milk as a nutritious add-in to a bowl of oatmeal, or to make crackers or granola.

Essentially the Almond Cow is a blender with a well-designed, attachable filter. So to use it, fill a stainless-steel base with water—fill to the minimum line for a creamier milk or the maximum line for a thinner one. I recommend less liquid for obvious reasons; if you want thin nut milk, head to the grocery store. Then you add one cup of nuts or oats to the filter basket along with anything else you might want, like dates for sweetness, or vanilla extract and a pinch of salt for flavor.

When you're ready to blend your milk, screw the filter basket into the stainless-steel blender attached to the lid. All three parts—the base, the filter basket, and the lid with the attached blending mechanism—fit together to look like a coffee carafe. Press the cute cow button on the top, and the machine blends your milk in less than one minute. A light on the top, above the cow button, will turn from flashing to solid green when the blending is done.

I’ve made nut milk in a Vitamix plenty of times, and a dedicated nut milk maker like the Almond Cow makes the process easier in a few significant ways. First, while an hour-long soak can make things go more smoothly, you don’t need to soak your nuts the way I’ve found necessary when using a blender to make nut milk.

Second, you don’t need to filter layers of cheese cloth, a tedious process involved in blender nut-milk making, and one that always results in a huge mess for me. There’s really nothing that makes me feel justified in this purchase more than remembering the times I’ve held a fine-mesh strainer fitted with cheese cloth over a narrow-mouthed glass jar while pouring almond milk from a blender pitcher with the other hand. On that pouring note: The Almond Cow’s cord detaches, so you can carry the pitcher anywhere in your kitchen for pouring. The company also sells pretty glass jars for storage.

And while I wouldn’t call cleaning the Almond Cow a pleasure (no blender of any kind is a pleasure to clean), it is much easier to rinse the filter than it is trying to get little pieces of almond out of cheese cloth because you feel guilty only using it once.

The only real issue with the Almond Cow is that it now has a lot of competition in the nut milk maker space. When my colleague Wilder Davies tested a wide range of offerings in the category, he found that this one required way more nuts than other models to produce the same amount of milk. By extension, you’re left with more pulp than other machines. Again, you can use this pulp in myriad ways in the kitchen, but ultimately the Almond Cow is not as efficient as some other models.

A few user notes: I watched a YouTube review that said you can use fewer nuts in the Almond Cow if you do soak the nuts, and when I tried this I was able to cut the required almonds in half by doing an overnight soak in the fridge. That review also helpfully recommended running the machine through a couple of cycles to get creamier almond milk—and, again, after trying that, I think it’s the right move when it comes to tougher-to-blend nuts.

This appliance is smartly designed and works well. It’s great for people who really value a high-quality nut milk, and want the opportunity to experiment with their own blends. It will save on packaging waste, and potentially save grocery money in the long run, depending on the nuts you use when you make your own milks—and the brand of nut milks you’re used to buying at the store. I can’t say whether or not we’ve reached the end of the tumultuous milk/mylk roller-coaster ride, but I can say that pistachio-coconut milk with cardamom and dates is delicious—and I can make it at home whenever I want with this machine.

Now that you’ve read our Almond Cow review, check out some of our other favorite small appliances: