The growing popularity of dairy-free milks bring a wonderful world of options to folks who are dairy allergic, dairy sensitive, or lactose intolerant, and for those wanting to eat anti-inflammatory, clean, plant-based food. As fabulous as it is to have these on offer at your local grocery store, some store-bought nut milks have added thickeners and sweeteners and are significantly watered down. Add to that their high price point and wasteful packaging, and you’ve got yourself a great case for making your own nut milk at home!

When you make your own nut milk, you not only control the quality of the nuts used, you also decide which sweetener (if any!) is added and how much is included.

Give seeds a chance

There’s nothing seedy about using seeds in place of nuts! Try making milk with hemp hearts—Canadian superfood superstars that are a great source of plant-based protein and contain all the essential amino acids for energy, brain health, and muscle development. The milk from hemp can taste a little grassy, so add a dash of vanilla or maple syrup to please younger palates. Or give sunflower or pumpkin a whirl! Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, important for our skin and immune system and pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc—important for the immune system, skin, hormones, and adrenal glands.

Ingredients

  • 1 c nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, or cashews!)*
  • 3 c water
  • pinch sea salt

*if using hemp hearts use ½ c.

Optional add-ins:

Make it sweeter by stirring in a few teaspoons of maple syrup, honey, or add in two Medjool dates (soak these first with the nuts to get them nice and soft!).

Make the flavour sing by adding ½ tsp of any of the following: vanilla extract or bean, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, or matcha powder.

Give it a whimsical hue with a pinch of turmeric (yellow), beet root powder/strawberry juice (pink or purple), or matcha/spirulina (green).

Special equipment:

High speed blender
Nut milk bag (sprouting bag) or fine-meshed sieve with cheesecloth

Instructions

  • In a jar or bowl, cover nuts with enough water to completely submerge them and allow to sit overnight (8 hours) at room temperature.
  • Rinse nuts in colander under running water and discard soaking water.
  • In high speed blender, combine nuts with water, salt, and any desired add-ins, and blend for 2–3 minutes on high, until smooth.
  • Pour the milk through the nut milk bag, squeezing the top of the bag to extract all liquid from the nut pulp.
  • Nut milk will keep in the fridge for about three days. Keep in mind some nut milks separate after sitting, so a little shaking might be necessary!

Instant gratification
Cashews, macadamia nuts, and hemp hearts don’t require pre-soaking and can be whizzed into milk in their unadulterated state!

Zero Waste Nuttiness
Don’t toss the pulp! Instead, use it in smoothies, cookies, veggie burgers, or nut loaves.

(As published in EcoParent Magazine)

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