Sure, we can all buy our favorite store brands, but how many of us dread those nasty complement ingredients such as emulsifiers, oils, starches, artificial or even natural flavors we know have no place in a healthy beverage? If you make your own nut milk, you’ll also save yourself from the toxic chemicals which line the cartons of more than 80 percent of brands. Instead of feeling limited to what’s available at the market, making your own nut milk is easy and you’ll get to decide exactly what goes in it.
Today’s processed milk is far from healthy and is essentially a dead liquid, devoid of any real nutritional value. What’s a better alternative? Nuts!
Brazil nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, and hemp seeds all make nutrient dense, great tasting milks and they’re all essentially made the same way.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Organic nuts or seeds. A general rule is a ratio of at least 2:1. Two parts water to 1 part nuts or seeds.
- Half-gallon mason jar or glass pitcher. Use this for soaking the nuts and storing your final product.
- Blender of food processor. You don’t need a high-speed blender or anything fancy to make nut milk.
- Nut milk bag, cheesecloth or fine-meshed sieve (optional). Use if you like your milk smooth instead of pulpy.
SOAK nuts, seeds, or grains by placing in a bowl with filtered water and a pinch of sea salt. Different foods require different soak times.
- Place the desired nuts or seeds in a glass bowl and cover them with warm distilled, purified or filtered water with a teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt dissolved in it.
- You will want to use a ratio of at least 2:1. Two parts water to 1 part nuts or seeds.
- Keep the bowl at room temperature and cover with a flour sac cloth or thin tea towel that breathes, and then drain and rinse every few hours to remove the nasties.
- The soaking water will contain all of the toxic enzyme inhibitors which we are trying to remove to improve digestibility and nutrient bioavailability, and helps everything blend more easily. So proper rinsing is really important. Make sure you do a final rinse until the water comes out clear. Some people recommend doing a final rinse with a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar in order to remove any remaining bacteria.
- You want to try and soak the nuts for the recommended amount of time to make them as digestible as possible.
- As a general rule with nuts: the harder the nut, the longer you need to soak. Long soak nuts such as almonds, pistachios and hazelnuts are best soaked for about 12 hours. Common medium soak nuts are walnuts, brazil nuts and pecans. They require less soaking time as they swell more quickly as they are oilier. Short soak nuts are cashews, macadamias and pine nuts. They require the least amount of soaking as they do not contain inner skins, and therefore not as many enzyme inhibitors.
|Nut||Soaking Time (Hrs)|
BLEND with filtered water. A high-speed machine like a Vitamix is preferable to really pulverize the mixture. A 1:3 ration of nuts/seeds/grains to water generally yields good results. I start with 2 cups of water and gradually add more water until I get the taste and consistency I like. Blend for about 1 minute. This can warm the mixture. Chill in the fridge, or blend with ice to consume immediately.
SWEETEN the milk to taste with pitted dates, stevia, maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, etc. You can also add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to boost flavors, and 1 tablespoon of coconut butter to emulsify ingredients. You can also jazz up your milks with raw cacao, fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg, or anything else that tickles your fancy.
STRAIN Some foods like cashews, macadamias, and pecans yield smooth milks. However, with most other foods, like almonds, you will get some texture. You can enjoy this fibrous milk, or strain it for a smoother, more commercial-style blend. Place a nut milk bag over a large container, pour the milk in, and gently squeeze the bag until all liquid has passed through. You can repurpose the pulp as a body scrub by mixing with some coconut oil, or dehydrate it for use in cookies, crusts, and crackers.
Here are five ideas for your pulp (if you don’t want it in your milk):
1. Nut Flour. The pulp can be dehydrated or placed in a 200 degree oven until dried. Grind the dried pulp in a spice grinder or high-speed blender until fine.2. Raw cookies. Blend the pulp with some dates, nut butter, shredded coconut and sweet spices. Roll into balls and roll in shredded coconut or raw cocoa powder.
3. Soft, raw cheese. Blend the pulp in a food processor with a little nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, fresh herbs, and salt. Serve with crackers.
4. Cereal. Combine the pulp with your fresh nut milk, dried fruits, nuts and sweet spices for a porridge-like cereal.
ENJOY Most milks will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for two or three days. Freeze any leftovers in ice cube trays for use later. Homemade milks can separate when stored. Just shake or blend again before drinking.
About the Author
Karen Foster is a holistic nutritionist, avid blogger, with five kids and an active lifestyle that keeps her in pursuit of the healthiest path towards a life of balance.
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