Nut milks have become increasingly popular over recent years. Nut milks are a healthy alternative to regular cows milk, with comparable protein and mineral content.
It’s not as hard as you may think. Once you master it, you’ll forever be satisfied that you made your own entirely natural nut milk.
Here’s 3 good reasons why you should make your own nut milk.
- You’ll save money in the long run.
- You’re in control of quality ingredients.
- You’re getting the best nutrient content by using whole, raw nuts and not much else.
Perfect if you’re lactose intolerant or if you just want to branch out of your dairy milk comfort zone.
Here’s how easy it is to make your own nut milk.
- 1 cup raw, unsalted nuts
- 2-3 cups water for soaking the nuts
- Optional sweetener - a squeeze of honey or maple syrup
- 4 cups water for blending
- One large bowl
- Muslin cloth or fine mesh nut bag
- High-powered blender
- A few sealed glass jars
- Soak the nuts overnight in 2-3 cups of water in the fridge.
- Strain and discard the water, give the nuts a quick rinse under running water.
- Blend nuts with 4 cups of water and sweetener until almost smooth. This may take a couple of minutes and you may need to scrape the sides of the blender as you go.
- Strain the nut mixture using a cheesecloth muslin or a nut milk bag over a bowl. A tight-weave cloth is ideal, as twisting the top ensures all the milk can be squeezed out. A tea towel or a few thick paper towels can also work. The yield will be around 2 cups of nut milk.
- Store in the fridge. Store in glass jars with a sealed lid in the fridge. The milk will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Shake it up before each use.
As a general rule, you’ll need a ratio of 1:2 of nuts to water when making your nut milk. For example, one cup of nuts requires 2 cups of water for blending.
If you find there’s leftover nut milk at the end of five days, simply pour into ice cube trays and freeze for later use. Add a couple of cubes to fruit smoothies, protein shakes or to an Indian curry for a creamy, nutty hit.
Why Soaking Nuts Overnight Is Important
You can omit the soaking step if you like. I’d recommend using a high-powered blender or liquidiser to make your nut milk if you don’t soak the nuts overnight.
However, the longer the nuts have soaked, the creamier the nut milk will be. This ensures a smooth, incorporated nut milk that’s also delicious. Allowing the nuts to soak in water overnight helps break down the protein and fibre, which makes it easier to blend and easier to digest.
Soaking also removes the phytates that are naturally found in nuts, which makes the nutrients within more available for your body to absorb.
How To Use The Leftover Pulp
At the end of your nut milk making journey, you’re left with a nutty pulp. What do you do with it?
First and foremost - don’t throw it away!
This nut pulp is high in fibre, protein and minerals and has all the goodness of the nuts you already enjoy.
Transfer the pulp into ice cube trays or portioned in zip lock bags and freeze it!
Here’s how to get the most of your nut milk pulp. Enjoy it several ways:
- Add it to a your fruit smoothies
- Mix into pancake batter or overnight oats
- Add to curries - delicious in a korma!
- Spoon some into your favourite biscuit batter
- Make a nutty crumble with coconut, honey and oats and sprinkle over fresh blueberries or stewed apples
- Add to hummus and white bean dips
The Best Nuts to Make Nut Milk
The best thing about making your own nut milk is you get to decide what nuts to put in!
There’s really no limit and changing up your regular nut milk repertoire ensures your nut milks are never boring.
The most commonly found nut milk in supermarkets is almond milk. Some personal (very delicious) favourites are hazelnut milk followed by macadamia milk and cashew milk. Yum!
Using nuts that are sustainably sourced, local, raw and organic really makes a difference to the end result of your nut milk.
Here’s some nuts that make delicious homemade nut milk:
- Brazil nuts
Why not experiment? Try adding sunflower seeds and hemp seeds to your nut milk for a dose of healthy fats.
Nut Milks: Lactose-free and Vegan Friendly
There’s emerging research that almond milk could be a valuable alternative to cow’s milk. A 2021 review article examined almond milk and other plant-based milks to measure their nutritional content.
Almond milk is very palatable, easy to source and you can of course make it yourself. It’s a great option for those who are lactose intolerant, if you suffer from cow’s milk allergy or if you’re vegan.
Almond milk also confers healthy monounsaturated fats. Healthy fats support weight management and promote cardiovascular health. Almonds themselves are also naturally high in fibre, protein and vitamin E, which boost their nutrient content of nut milk.
Why Homemade Nut Milk Is Healthier
While ready-made nut milks are convenient, many of them contain a mere whiff of actual nuts in the ingredients!
If you flip the carton over and read the ingredients list (not what the front label is telling you), you may be shocked to learn you’re buying little more than filtered water, rice syrup and calcium carbonate (aka chalk).
Many store bought nut milks have added emulsifiers to prevent splitting, artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Some of them add fortified vitamins as well. These are all synthetic ingredients that your body really doesn’t need.
This is all to make up for the lack of actual nuts, which is what you think you’re paying for.
Not all nut milk brands are created equal and it pays to read what’s in them. Some are just nuts and water, and a touch of natural sweetener - which is all you want in a nut milk.
What’s more, if you choose Australian-grown nuts, you’re supporting local farmers and helping the environment by reducing the need for transport and shipping around the world.
With a simplified recipe, free of additives and any unnecessary ingredients, your homemade nut milk will contain more nutrients and will be healthier for you and your family.
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