The world of nut milk is plentiful and it is such a better way to go than store bought milks when looking for a dairy free option. The milks you find in store come at a price, are processed and often have sugar added to it. On average an almond milk can cost 4 dollars for 1.89 litres, which is 50 cents for an 8oz glass. When you make your own you use 1 cup of your favourite nut and 4 cups water that is it, and the price tag on that can not be compared.
The thought of going dairy free can really be a step out of your comfort zone, thinking that your favourite warm drinks, oatmeals, and dishes using dairy just wont be the same. I have good news after one taste of your own homemade nut based milk you wont bat an eye at the dairy section of your grocery store.
The nut milk bag
Whenever you start out making nut milks you want to make sure that you have purchased a nut milk bag to strain the pulp from the nuts once blended. You can also use cheese cloth with a number of layers or a really fine mesh sieve but the possibility of some granules may still come through.
What nuts or seeds should I use?
The possibilities of nut milks you can make are endless. You can try a variety individually or even make a blend of your favourites.
Almonds: California is said to have the greatest orchards for the growth of almonds. Did you know that there are both sweet almonds used for overall consumption as well as bitter ones that are more for cosmetics and some food. They are regarded as a true super food providing support to digestive tract and the nervous system among other beneficial aids to our well being.
Brazil Nuts: rich with flavour grown on a brazil tree in south America this is powerhouse for selenium. Provides antioxidants to protect against many health issues including heart disease, can reduce allergies and inflammation.
Cashews: also native to Brazil and is grown in a shell that contains a toxic oil so they must be roasted at high temperatures so that the oil is released so they can be cracked and reroasted. Cashews provide a warming food that support lung function. They are lesser in fat than other nuts are high in protein and magnesium.
Hazelnuts (filberts): This crop of nuts and is grown on a hazel tree regarded as the tree of knowledge. The hazelnut can aid with persistent coughs and aids with cold symptoms with a great source of calcium.
Hemp Seeds: are regarded as a highly digestible essentially complete protein and provides essential fatty acids and Omega 3’s. They aid with the kidney function and as well as anti-inflammation properties.
Sunflower seeds: are considered to have an increase amount of protein and support large intestines which will in turn aid with constipation. Include an abundance of vitamins and minerals that are vital for everyday function.
TO SOAK OR NOT TO SOAK
It is advised to soak nuts for at least 2 hours to allow them to soften and make it easier to blend. The preferable time is at least 8 hours. Nuts can be hard to digest so by soaking them they begin to have a little more digestibility.
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Basic Nut Milk: serves 4
1 cup almonds (or preferred nut/seed)
4 cups filtered water
1 Tbsp raw unpasteurized honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Soak almonds in a bowl with the water for 6-8 hours
2 Strain the water into the sink. Rinse the almonds under filtered water
3 Add the almonds to the blender and mix at high speed until well blended
4 Over a bowl pour the mixture into a nut bag and squeeze well until expel as much liquid as you can. If you want to add flavour to your milk add it to the bowl and return to the blender to mix for a minute or so.
5 Pour the almond milk into a jar or container and enjoy within 3-4 days.
*TIPS: You can also add 1 Tbsp of raw organic cocoa powder to your milk to create chocolate milk.
When using some nuts like Cashews and Brazil Nuts you won’t have to put through a nut milk bag as there will be little to know pulp that affects the milk.
Mateljan G. The Worlds Greatest Foods 2nd Edition. GMF Publishing, 2015. Canada
Wood R. The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia. Penguin Books, 2010. USA