Whatever the reason, you’ve decided against consuming cow’s milk. So now where do you go? The long-life milk aisle of your local supermarket may offer an array of dairy-free alternatives, but take a closer look at the ingredients and you may start to feel a little…cheated. Most shop-bought ‘nut milks’ only contain around 5% nut content. The rest is water and a whole host of other additives that are not altogether necessary.
Yes, it’s easy to grab a carton from the shelf and pour it straight over your muesli. But why not have a go at making your own nut milk? It’s fresh, wholesome and deliciously easy to make. And the bonus is, you know exactly what’s in it, because you made it.
- 200g of your favourite nuts such as hazel nuts, almonds, brazil nuts or cashews. Feeling adventurous? Why not try a mix of several different nuts?
- 1litre of filtered water
- Natural sweetener (optional), such as date syrup, agave syrup, honey or pitted dates.
5 simple steps to heavenly nut milk:
1. Soak your chosen nuts overnight in a bowl of filtered water. This softens them ready for blending, and also makes their nutrients more bioavailable to us by decreasing the amount of phytic acid they naturally contain. (Cashew nuts will need less soaking time – about 3 hours. Brazil nuts don’t need soaking.)
2. In the morning, drain and rinse the nuts, place in a blender and add 1 litre of filtered water (less if you want a thicker milk). If you want a sweetened version, add a tablespoon of date syrup, agave syrup, honey or 3 large pitted dates. Another option is to add in a tablespoon of raw cacao or good quality cocoa powder to give it a chocolatey kick.
3. Blend for 1 minute. In the meantime, prepare your straining device. A muslin cloth, placed over a sieve, placed over a bowl works well.
4. Strain your mixture. Pour just enough mixture into the muslin cloth so that you can bring the four corners up to meet and squeeze the liquid out through the sieve (you could say it’s a bit like milking a cow…if you’ve ever milked a cow). Shake out any dry mix (the ‘nutmeal’) into a separate bowl. Do this until all the mixture is strained.
5. Et voila! You now have at least a litre of smooth, fresh nut milk, that can be stored in a glass bottle for about 5 days (although I challenge you to make it last that long!).
But wait! Don’t discard the leftover nutmeal. Here are three suggestions to make your nut-milk-making-experience even more worthwhile:
- Nutmeal makes a great porridge (soaked, funnily enough, with your home-made nut milk), topped with a sprinkling of flax, pumpkin and hemp seeds for added Omega intake, and a drizzle of date or maple syrup to sweeten.
- You could follow the recipe for energy balls (coming soon!), and create delicious, protein-packed snacks for on the go.
- Alternatively, use it to make your own nut flour (as a base for baking wheat-free bread and pastries). Spread the nutmeal out on a baking tray, and place in a low-heat oven (100°C) for 2 – 3 hours. Once the mix has dried out, place in a coffee grinder until it resembles flour. Store in an airtight container for up to a month.
Check in to Yogi Kitchen for more ideas on delicious ways to make the most out of your ingredients.