Nut milk for nut’s sake
Making homemade nut milk is more about the process for me rather than any health driven motivation. I made almond milk in NYC many moons ago and I was shocked at how simple it was. As with most things, the habit of making it at home got replaced with new experiments. Then a few weeks ago I saw fresh hazelnuts at the market here in Lyon. I guess I have lived in cities too long, but I had no idea what those bright green little spiky bulbs were. I asked and the guy cracked them open for me to try right there. Wow! If your version of hazelnut is an iced coffee or nutella, fresh hazelnuts will change everything. It got me jazzed up about making nut milk again.
I rarely buy milk alternatives 1) because I like the taste of regular (high quality) milk and 2) because they are usually highly processed, have some stabilizers added to them and 3) some of them are pretty expensive. Making your own is cool, cheaper, better for you, plus you know exactly what is going in your drink!
Nuts and seeds are loaded with minerals and healthy fats. Almond milk is particularly high in Vitamin D and E. Nuts and seeds are very dense- just think, they have everything needed to grow a whole tree! They are designed to be little armored warriors until the right growing conditions come along. Soaking the nuts breaks down some naturally occurring nutrient inhibitors as well as mild toxins contained in the skin, making more of the nutrients available for absorption. It also makes them much easier to blend!
I suggest almonds for your first try because the taste is mild and smooth. I use them with the skin on but feel free to try both. Make sure the nuts are raw—not roasted or salted- and you are good to go!
Homemade Nut Milk
You will need:
A food processor or heavy duty blender
1 cup* raw nuts (soaked overnight or all day in cold water, min 6 hours)
4 cups filtered water
A pinch of salt
Maple syrup or honey (optional)
A pair of thin stockings (clean!) one foot cut to the height of your container
A milk bottle or jar with a tight fitting lid
Drain and rinse your soaked nuts.
Add the nuts, water and salt to the blender and blend at high speed until the nuts are broken down into a fine pulp. The liquid will quickly turn whitish. Add maple syrup (if using)- start with a spoonful, blend and taste. Repeat until you reach the desired sweetness.
Stretch your stocking over the mouth of your container/jar so it lines the inside and pour in the blended milk. If you plan to store the milk in a bottle I suggest you use a wide mouth container or jar first to strain the liquid. Slowly lift the bag off the container and wait for the milk to stop streaming. The pulp will form a heavy ball. Squeeze the bag until all the liquid has been removed. Et Voila!
Store nut milk in the fridge for up to 4 days.
*As long as you use the same mug or glass for your 1:4 ratio of nuts to water you will be fine!
The fun does not stop there! Try adding cinnamon, macha, vanilla seeds, cacao, turmeric….
And what to do with the leftover pulp? Try tossing it on your morning cereal or yogurt with some toasted coconut. Lately I have been throwing it in the mix for my energy bark!