Mostly, for this guy at work I was talking to... He's one of those kinds of people who don't realize that a lot of stuff at the store was "made" by someone. (It's sort of a joke between us. He's always all "What do you mean you made it?" Umm...duh? If someone else can make it then why can't I?)
The whole thing honestly came one day when I made the realization myself. I think I was stuck between choosing "vanilla" vs. "unsweetened" and was probably going to have to buy one of each when the light went on. Who needs a fridge full of various cartons when you can make one batch and flavor all of it or as much as you need/want of each?
We get our nuts from here. I'm not saying it's the best place, just saying it's where we buy ours. And cacao nibs. And chia seeds. And...
Soak a cup of almonds in water for 8ish hours. Or longer if you are me and can't seem to perfectly time out your life in an 8 hour interval.
Drain and rinse the nuts. Add them to your blender with 5 cups of filtered water, 3 dates and a small squeeze of lemon juice. Blend until smooth.
Line a pitcher with a nutmilk bag. You could just quickly make a bag (maybe 1/2 the size of a pillowcase?) out of some muslin or something if you don't have one. Pour the milk into the bag to strain out the solids.
Add a teaspoon of vanilla if you want vanilla flavored milk. If you want plain (unsweetened) milk, leave out the dates. If you want chocolate flavored, try adding some cacao nibs when blending. For a heavier, creamier milk, decrease the water to 2-3 cups.
It's as easy as that.