|DIY NUT MILKS|
by Kimberly Donavan, Contributing Writer
If you are like me, dietary restrictions make you read labels. I'm shocked to read all of the additives, stabilizers, thickeners, emulsifiers and even sometimes sugar, in a box of 'alternative' milk. Frustrated, I set out to explore a cleaner option. When you make an alternative milk yourself, you control what goes in it, how often it is made (so fresh), how much you make with each batch, flavor blends and flavorings. Have fun with it because you never know what new favorite you will find.
Sweeteners: I prefer a less sweet taste, and while I am a firm believer that white processed sugar is the enemy, it does sometimes satisfy a sweet craving if I whirl in a tablespoon or two of honey or a medjool date or two, which is an added fiber bonus. Some nuts are naturally sweeter than others, so if you are adding, start with less especially if it is your first time using that particular nut.
Straining: For most, you will need a ‘nut bag’ which is just a bag of clean, finely woven material. You can skip it and use a REALLY CLEAN brand new and hand rinsed knee-high nylon or cut the leg from an unused pair of pantyhose.
The Leftovers: Whatever you do, do not toss it. You have the makings of flour, nut meal, fiber, protein bars (I have recipes for that too) just to name a few. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, spread the pulp out in a thin layer and dry for about 6 or 7 hours on the lowest setting of your oven with the door ajar. Doing this overnight would be perfect. A food dehydrator works well too. You can use the dried pulp in baked goods, yogurt, granola or veggie burgers.
These are so easy, once you try them and get one batch under your belt, you will never buy pre-made milk again, except of course in an emergency.
The original recipe is from elanaspantry.com
Note: This is an easy recipe that I used and what started my path. Why mess with a recipe that works?
Smooth, creamy and naturally sweet, this dairy-free cashew milk recipe is a fantastic milk substitute. It is also super easy to make. Unlike my almond milk recipe, and other nut milk recipes, it does not require a nut milk bag. You simply whip it up in the blender without the hassle of straining out the pulp. For that reason, cashew milk is a favorite. I use cashew milk in smoothies and tea or splashed over a bowl granola.
I like to have a quart of this cashew milk ready in the fridge at all times. Cashew milk has the viscosity of regular whole milk, but if you want to make the milk with the consistency of 2 percent cow milk, then just add another cup of water. For half and half, which is great for coffee and tea, use only 2 cups water in the above recipe. Cashew milk can be very foamy when first removed from the blender. The milk will settle nicely after sitting in the refrigerator overnight.
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
3 - 4 cups water
pinch Celtic sea salt
Discard soaking water and rinse cashews thoroughly until water runs clear
Place cashews, 3 - 4 cups fresh water and salt in a blender
Process on high speed for 20 to 30 seconds
Store in the refridgerator
RAW ALMOND MILK
1 cup raw almonds
4 cups filtered water plus more for soaking almonds
sweetener of choice – maple syrup, agave, cinnamon, etc
Soak 1 cup of almonds overnight (or all day) in a bowl of filtered water
Strain and rinse soaked almonds. They are delicious at this point, try one. Dump the almonds into your blender with the 4 cups of filtered water
Blend on high for 5 minutes
Place the nut milk bag in a bowl (preferably in the sink) and empty the blender into the bag
Squeeze the milk through the bag into the bowl (like you are milking a cow). The almond meal will stay in the bag and you will be left with just the yummy milk.
Rinse the blender and the lid. Pour the milk back into the blender and add the sweetener of your choice. I usually add a few tablespoons of maple syrup, maybe a squeeze of agave, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt. Blend again for about one minute.
And that’s it. Yummy milk alternatives that are actually better the next day once the foam has settled and the flavors have mixed together. Add it to coffee and tea, eat it in cereal, and drink it by the glassful through the day.
If you have a Vitamix or another high capacity blender, you can increase the portions of almonds and water so you will end up with more milk. I usually use 1-1/2 cups of almonds and 6 cups of water. This fills the Vitamix to capacity, which honestly is a huge plus with this type of blender. There is so much more space. I used to blend the milk in batches, which just made the whole process longer and less streamlined.
Just like the cashew recipe above, if you prefer a 2 percent type of milk, just add more water or less, if you would like a creamer for tea or coffee.
You can also use the same formula to make milk from different nuts. I have make brazil nut milk and it was delicious too. Have fun!
DrStandley.com Contributing Writer
I'm a farm girl foodie (currently working toward my ND certification) with food allergies. I am happy to share my tips and tricks to make your life healthier and happier.
**This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.