Combine all ingredients in a blender. Start with 4 cups water. Cover and blend on high for 2 minutes until completely smooth. Add the remaining 1 cup water to reach the desired texture.
Place a nut milk bag or strainer, lined with 2-3 layers of cheesecloth, over a bowl. Pour the mixture through then wring the bag or cheesecloth to squeeze out the remaining liquid from the pulp.
Discard pulp or use in an almond pulp recipe. Keep homemade almond milk in a glass or metal jar or airtight container in the fridge for about 3-5 days.
For plain almond milk, use just 1 cup almonds and 4-5 cups water. For a lightly sweetened vanilla almond milk, use the almonds, water, dates, and vanilla extract.For an almond creamer, you can use even less water. Start with 2 1/2 cups and work up to 3 1/2-4 cups water.If on Whole30, omit dates and vanilla extract.