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Homemade Nut Milk

Nut milks are a fantastic daily-free substitute for cow's milk. If you don't tolerate dairy well or are looking for a tasty alternative, this will be perfect for you. This recipe only requires three simple ingredients; water, a nut of your choice, and an optional sweetener. Store-bought nut milk isn't as fresh and contains questionable additives and chemicals. Homemade nut milks not only taste great, but they are easily digested, easy to make, and affordable. If you're concerned about switching to nut milk and losing the calcium that cow's milk provides, think again. Calcium is present in a lot of plant-based foods, including broccoli, kale and figs. Harvard's School of Public Health suggests you look beyond the dairy aisle for sources of calcium.

Enjoy nut milk with smoothies, cereal, in baking, or simply pour yourself a glass.

Ingredients (serves 3):

For unsweetened:

  • 1 cup soaked nuts (8+ hours almonds or other nuts, 6+ hours cashews)
  • 3 cups filtered water

To sweeten add:

  • 1 raw vanilla bean pod
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3-4 dates or 3 tbsp of agave, honey, or sweetener of choice
  1. Soak nuts for at least six hours in water and cover them with a cloth, then rinse. Soaking then nuts makes them easier to digest and improves their flavour.
  2. Add all ingredients to a Vitamix or high powered blender. Blend for one and a half minutes until the texture is smooth and consistent.
  3. Pour the blended beverage into a nut milk bag, holding it over a bowl. This straining method will catch any pulp or solids present in the mixture.
  4. Once all the liquid has been strained, squeeze the pulp in the cloth until it is free of liquid. The nut milk will remain in the bowl.
  5. Serve chilled and enjoy.
Image_Nut milk strainingMattie Hagedorn

Tips: The nuts have to be soaked for at least six hours and ideally overnight, so plan ahead. Nut milk bags are commonly made of very finely weaved cheesecloth. If you don't have this on hand, you can drape a good quality cheesecloth over a colander. If you're using cashews, they blend well and typically don't need to be strained. Store the nut milk in the refrigerator after making and consume within 2-3 days, as it does not contain any preservatives. It should be stored in an air-tight jar or pitcher. If you're wondering what to do with the pulp that's left over, you don't have to throw it away. You can make nut flour out of it by dehydrating it. To do this, spread the pulp evenly over a cookie tray and dry the mixture for two hours in an oven at 200 degrees F. If you pinch the flour and it leaves moisture on your fingertips or forms a ball, allow it to dehydrate a little longer. Once fully dehydrated, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. Nut flour can be used in gluten-free recipes.

Photo source for feature image: Flickr.

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