Did you know you can make your own nut milk at home? Non-dairy milks like almond and nut milks are very popular these days. Due to environmental and ethical reasons, many people have started to ditch dairy products in favor of plant-based options.
Vegan milk is a great option for people with lactose intolerance or allergies. Additionally, nut milk generally contains fewer calories and saturated fat than cow’s milk, making it appealing to anyone on a diet.
While you can choose from several nut milk options at the store, they can contain unwanted additives like sugar or sunflower oil. Not to mention, most vegan milk is more expensive than cow’s milk, although it has become more affordable due to high demand.
Still, making nut milk at home ensures you have control over the ingredients. Plus, you can buy the ingredients in bulk to make them go the extra mile. Nut milk doesn’t take much effort or time to make, and the recipe below ensures you’ll have enough for the whole family.
Want to know how to make your vegetable milk? Read on for the simple recipe that only requires four ingredients! But first, let’s talk more about the benefits of homemade nut milk.
Why Homemade Nut Milk Tastes Better
If you’ve read the ingredients in store-bought plant-based alternative milks, you may notice thickeners and additives that extend shelf life. These ingredients don’t necessarily make the milk unhealthy, but they can detract from the flavor profile. Homemade almond or cashew milk has a rich nutty flavor, while commercial brands can taste watery and bitter.
You can add natural sweeteners like maple syrup, agave nectar or Medjool dates to the mix. If you buy cashew or almond milk from the store, they often contain added sugars that reduce the health benefits. At home, you have complete control over what goes into your food and drink, something many people find attractive.
What You Need to Make Homemade Nut Milk
- A high speed blender
- A mesh or cheesecloth nut milk bag for straining
- Glass jars for storing leftovers
Don’t worry if you don’t have a high-speed blender; you can opt for a small blender. These blenders work well for pulverizing small nuts and seeds, sometimes better than full-size blenders. You can mix nut butters such as peanut or seed butters with water to get similar results. However, this method will not yield the same rich, nutty flavors as homemade nut milk with raw nuts.
As for the type of nuts to buy, it is recommended that you buy the ones closest to you. Raw, organic, unsalted, unroasted walnuts work best for this recipe. If you only find roasted walnuts, buy the dry roasted version instead of walnuts preserved in oil. Oil can enhance the flavor of roasted nuts, but it can also cause them to go rancid more quickly due to the oxidation process. Not to mention, roasting nuts at high temperatures can damage some of the healthy polyunsaturated fats in nuts.
Some tips before starting
If you’ve never made nut milk before, you might wonder why nuts need to be strained first. Straining nuts and seeds through a mesh screen helps create a smoother texture and remove excess pulp. However, you can skip this step for nuts with a soft consistency, such as cashews. It would help if you strain hard shelled nuts like almonds and pistachios. If you like the added fiber and thickness, you can skip straining the nuts first.
You can soak the nuts overnight to create a richer, creamier consistency. Soaking the nuts first makes the milk easier to digest because it removes phytic acid, an antinutrient that inhibits mineral absorption. Larger nuts, like cashews, may need to soak for about twelve hours before they are ready for the next step. If you want an exceptionally smooth and silky nut milk, soak the nuts for up to 48 hours for best results.
You can use a mason jar or similar airtight container to store the nut milk. Homemade vegan milk lasts about four to five days, but you can freeze it if you make a lot. You can make ice cubes from leftovers and add them to shakes and smoothies!
How to make nut milk in three steps
Fortunately, this recipe only takes about five minutes to prepare and is ideal if you’re short on time. Makes about four cups, but you can always cut the base recipe in half if you prefer.
- 1/2 cup nuts or seeds, with optional dipping
- 4 cups of filtered water
- pinch of salt
- Optional sweeteners and/or spices: maple syrup, Medjool dates, agave syrup, honey, cinnamon or nutmeg
- First, blend the nuts, water, salt and optional sweeteners in a blender, preferably at high power. Blend on high speed for about three minutes or until you get a rich, creamy texture.
- Then take the nut milk bag and place it over a large bowl. Pour the nut milk into it and use your hands to create a “ball” shape with the baggie. Then drain the excess liquid, discard the pulp or reserve for future recipes.
- Finally, pour the nut milk into storage containers, close them with an airtight lid and store them in the refrigerator for about four days. Alternatively, you can freeze leftovers in ice cube trays and use them for smoothies.
Final Thoughts on Making Homemade Nut Milk
Making homemade nut milk can seem intimidating at first, but it’s a lot easier than you might think. It only requires a few ingredients that you can find in almost any grocery store. As long as you have a powerful blender and a strainer, you can make this nut milk in the comfort of your own home.
Whether you choose almonds, walnuts or cashews for your base, nut milk makes a great addition to many baked or savory dishes.