1.5 C whole blanched almonds
water for soaking, plus another 3C fresh water
1 vanilla bean (or vanilla bean paste to taste, approx 1/2 tsp)
pinch of salt
Soak the blanched almonds and vanilla bean in the water overnight or for 24-48 hours. (longer is better) Drain, rinse, and change the water several times during this period. Finally, add drained and rinsed almonds, vanilla bean and salt to the jug of a blender. Add 2 C of fresh water. (Do not recycle the soaking water, the milk will taste bitter)
Blend the almonds and 2 C of fresh water until it becomes a fairly smooth paste. You may need to add a bit more water so that it will move freely through the blender blades. Add a small pinch of salt (I like pink Himalayan salt, but sea salt will do). Add remaining water, whatever is left of the 3 C total. Whizz on high for a couple of minutes.
Pour into a fine sieve lined with cheese cloth or into a nut bag to strain out the solids. Will keep in the fridge 5 or 6 days, but will separate so you will need to stir or shake before using.
(Since my original post of this recipe I have perfected this recipe and technique and have made changes accordingly. If you like a lighter milk add an extra cup of water to the final blend, however this proportion makes a nice, slightly nutty milk that I find is very acceptable in coffee and for other milk requirements. Aug 5, 2014)