A full review of the Almond Cow, plus a comparison of its nut milk making capabilities vs.
a high-speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec
Making nut milk at home can be just as easy, cost-effective and even more delicious than store-bought milks. However, there are a lot of options on the market in terms of devices. In this blog post I’m going to review (and break down) the increasingly popular Almond Cow, and compare its nut-making capabilities with my high-speed Vitamix blender.
In case you missed it, I also shared my Ultimate Guide to Making Nut Milk on the blog last week. If you haven’t read that yet, be sure to check it out for more nut-milk-making tips and tricks!
First Up: The Almond Cow
Cost / Availability:
The Almond Cow is sold for $195 USD and is available exclusively on the Almond Cow website (affiliate link). International shipping and payment plans are also available.
- the blender base + head (including a built-in immersion blender and metal strainer),
- plastic draining cup,
- removable power cord, and
- cleaning supplies for the metal strainer
Using the Almond Cow is very straightforward and simple:
- Soak the nuts or seeds for a minimum of 4 hours, then place them in the metal strainer and screw onto the head. You can use a minimum of 1/4 cup of nuts and a maximum of about 1 1/2 cups of nuts – the more you use, the creamier it will be. You can also make oat milk in the Almond Cow too, which doesn’t require soaking.
- Fill the base with water to the MIN (5 1/2 cups) or MAX (6 1/2 cups) fill lines, then close the blender and plug it in
- Blend by pressing the button on the top of the blender, which will light up. The Almond Cow runs in “cycles”; one cycle runs for around 60 seconds and includes intervals of the blender running and resting. The light on the top of the device will flash while the cycle is running, and stop once complete. The Almond Cow website recommends blending each nut milk for one to two cycles total.
- Strain the nut milk by placing the metal strainer into the plastic draining basket for at least 10 minutes. Then you can store both the nut milk and nut pulp in the fridge, and use as desired!
- Size: this took up a lot less counter space than I thought, and is actually smaller than my blender; I also like how the power cord is removable!
- Price: the Almond Cow comes in at around $200, which is still less expensive than a high-speed blender. The website also offers interest-free payment plans starting at $65/month.
- Cleanup: the device is relatively easy to clean, and the toothbrush that comes with the machine helps to get all of the blended nut pieces out of the strainer. The outside metal of the device will get discolored if you don’t dry it immediately though, which is a slight bummer.
- Design: it can be a little difficult to secure the metal strainer onto the blender head once it is filled with nuts. Also, the Almond Cow makes rather large batches of milk, with the smallest being around 5 1/2 cups.
- Consistency: even though I used more nuts for this milk, it appeared more translucent and less creamy than my Vitamix. The end result was still satisfying, but less cost-effective in terms of nuts.
The Nut Pulp
I’m not sure if this is a pro or a con, so I’ve decided to include a separate section on the leftover nut pulp for each device!
The Almond Cow naturally separates the nut pulp. After blending, simply place the metal strainer into the plastic draining cup and wait at least 10 minutes. Then you can scoop out the leftover pulp and discard or use as desired!
The pulp from the Almond Cow is much more wet and chunkier than the Vitamix, which you will see later. Because you are not squeezing the pulp by hand, there’s naturally going to be more moisture in it. The resulting pulp also still has rather large pieces of almonds in it because the blender is not as powerful and does not run as long. This pulp is more edible, and definitely tastes like almonds – which can be a good thing if you plan to use it in another recipe, but at the same time it does feel like you could be getting more “milk” out of your nuts.
The Vitamix (or other High-Speed Blender)
Cost / Availability:
A Vitamix starts at $290 USD for a certified refurbished blender and can run up to around $700, depending on the model. These blenders are available online (affiliate link) and at a variety of retailers across the world. I personally own a Vitamix A3500 Series blender, but any model from this brand is powerful enough to make nut milk.
- the blender base (with attached power cord),
- the blender itself, which houses the blades (size varies based on model), and
- a tamper – this helps to blend thicker mixtures, but is not needed to make nut milk
- Soak the nuts or seeds (optional – not required), then place them in the blender with any amount of water. The Vitamix allows you to make nut milk batches as small as one cup, or as large as 4-8 cups, depending on the size of your blender. You can also use any amount of nuts, seeds, or grains to make your milk.
- Blend the nuts and water together on high speed for 90 seconds
- Strain the blended mixture through a nut milk bag into a large glass bowl, then
- Pour the final nut milk into a glass jar and store in the fridge. You can also remove the nut pulp from the bag, and use as desired
- Consistency: the Vitamix allows for much more versatility in terms of the creaminess ratio and quantity of nut milk that you’d like to make. Not only that, but it “milks” the nuts better: the final product is more opaque and much creamier in terms of consistency and mouthfeel when compared to the same amount of nuts used in the Almond Cow.
- Versatility: the Vitamix makes excellent nut milk, but can also be used for smoothies, soups, sauces, and nut butters.
- Price: high-speed blenders are known for being notoriously expensive, with prices ranging from $290 for certified reconditioned models, up to a whopping $720 for top-of-the-line new models. However, payment plans are available these blenders do go on sale occasionally, and any model is powerful enough to make nut milk. When compared to the Almond Cow, you can end up paying as little as $90 extra for a machine that can make nut milk in addition to a variety of other recipes.
- Extra Work: It does take slightly longer to make nut milk in the Vitamix, because you have to strain it through a nut milk bag into a separate bowl. However, the cleanup process is still easy, and takes about the same amount of time as the Almond Cow. I personally found my nut milk bag easier to clean than the metal strainer.
The Nut Pulp
The Vitamix produces nut pulp that is darker, finer, and has a spongier texture than the Almond Cow. This is because the Vitamix practically liquifies the nuts or seeds as they are blended, leaving behind only the fiber once strained.
Just like the Almond Cow, you can choose to discard, compost, or reuse this nut pulp. It does not really taste like Almonds, and has a denser, thicker texture to it. However, it still works perfectly well in these Banana Nut Pulp Cookies, or can be frozen and blended into smoothies, or mixed into oats.
The Vitamix produces creamier nut milk, finer pulp, and has more culinary uses, but has a higher price tag. Overall, I would recommend purchasing a Vitamix (or similar high-speed blender) if you have the extra cash.
The Almond Cow, however, is still a great option for homemade nut milk and more versatile pulp at a lower cost. It’s also a great option if you already own a blender, but cannot make nut milk with it.
Honorable Mention: The Ninja Kitchen Bullet Blender
Before I owned a Vitamix or Almond Cow, I would use my Ninja Bullet Blender! It clocks in at $150 total, and also comes with a mini food processor attachment, which is powerful enough to blend nut butters and soups. The blender itself is limited, but can still make small batches of cashew milk, pumpkin seed milk, and hemp milk – see my nut milk guide for more details.
It’s not the perfect solution, but is a very acceptable compromise in terms of budget, versatility, and counter space – hence why I wanted to give it a quick little honorable mention in this post. I still use mine today, especially when I only want to make small batches of sauces or milk.