As more people choose or are forced to cut dairy from their diets, the non-dairy milk industry is booming. You can find milk substitutes made from oats, hazelnuts, soy, almonds, rice, coconut, hemp, flax and even quinoa, each with its own distinct flavors and nutritional benefits.
Nut milk is a great substitute in oatmeal, cereal, baking, smoothies, cream sauces and other savory dishes. It is sweet, mild and very easy to digest. However, there’s little reason to buy store-bought when nut milk so easy and cheap to make at home.
Making your own homemade nut milk is simple and fun. Homemade also tastes better, richer and more complex than the store bought versions. Best yet, nuts have powerful physical and mental health benefits and boast a variety of fatty acids and nutrients that boost cognition and mood.
To make homemade nut milk, you will need: almonds, water, sweetener (optional), flavoring of choice (optional), a blender, and cheesecloth.
Ingredients (for vanilla almond milk):
- 1 cup almonds, soaked eight hours
- 4 cups water
- ¼ cup agave or honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Soak nuts for eight hours, then rinse and discard the soak water.
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high speed for about one minute.
- For a smooth texture, strain through a cheesecloth secured to a jar with a rubber band.
- Let drip for an hour, and all the liquid will be strained.
- Enjoy your homemade nut milk right away with cookies, or store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
For variations on this recipe, try adding a teaspoon of cinnamon, cocoa powder for chocolate milk, or nothing at all for an unsweetened version to use in savory dishes. The best part about this technique is that you can adapt it with Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds or anything else you’d like to try.