Making homemade nutmilk is pretty popular in the organic community, but it can be an overwhelming and even foreign concept to those new to the lifestyle. The last time I mentioned to someone that I make my own almond milk at home, she thought I was crazy and joked about “milking” an almond…like a cow.
I promise you that making your own almond (or any nut) milk is way easier and cleaner than that!
I’m not opposed to drinking organic dairy milk, I still do, but as my tasted have changed, I have developed a stronger liking to nut milks. Almond milk, for example, has a greater nutrition level, as well. It has an incredibly high amount of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, including manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron, fiber, and calcium, while remaining void of any saturated fats. Compared to cow’s milk, which admittedly does contain more protein, almond milk contains more necessary vitamins, making it a more nutrient-dense choice.
But why make your own when almond milk, especially, is so readily available? As the popularity of almond-milk rises, (though it’s been around for ages) so does the milk substitute industry. Asides from all the added sugars and “natural flavorings”, most milk substitutes, even organic almond milk, contains the dangerous food additive, carrageenan, that has been linked to gastrointestinal inflammation. Ultimiately, store bought almond milk has become just another industry processed food, full of unnecessary additives and stripped of the nutritional value many believe it still contains.
Considering that I prefer to keep my diet as clean and nutritious as possible, I opt to only make my own nut-milks at home, from scratch, so I can be in total control of what I am putting into my body.
- 1 cup of almonds (or preferred nut)
- 2-3 cups of filtered water
- Maple syrup or alternative sweetener of choice (optional)
- High powered blender
- Very fine mesh strainer
- Soak nuts for 12 hours (or overnight) prior to making milk
- Drain and rinse nuts before pulverizing them in a high powered blender with filtered water for 3-4 minutes (less water will yield a thicker texture, so add water according to your preference). Add sweetener if desired; I typically add a tablespoon or so of maple syrup. Feel free to play around with mix-ins: cinnamon, vanilla, honey etc.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and store in an air tight container for up for 48 hours
My current favorite is cashew milk and I typically use it as I would with “traditional” dairy milk, which is mainly in my coffee and as a base for smoothies. It also works well in baking, as does the nut-milk pulp (that stuff leftover in strainer). It can be dried out in the oven (on a very low temperature) and saved, or used right away in a number of recipes: I’ll share one with you next week!