Making Your Own Nut Milk
Image: Ripe almonds with shells on
Whether you are looking for alternatives to dairy milk due to ethical or health reasons or perhaps you want to avoid the additives often present in packaged milks, there is no substitute for fresh and delicious nut milks that can be made at home. They are not only highly nutritious with no additives or preservatives, they are also immensely satisfying to drink as they are your own creation and are so versatile, as they can be used in any situation you would use dairy milk.
Non-dairy milks have been consumed around the globe for thousands of years. Since the Middle Ages, almond milk has been a popular drink in the Islamic world and is also a traditional drink in many parts of Italy. In fact it is so highly revered in Italy that it currently holds the status of ‘Protected Traditional Product’. Soy milk has also been around for more than a millennia, mainly in China and East Asia and was the most popular milk alternative in America until 2013, which is now surpassed by almond milk.
There are many advantages of making nut milks from home the first being that they don’t have the additives of store bought milk alternatives such as processed oils, genetically modified ingredients as well as artificial sweeteners often under the guise of ‘natural flavours’. When you make nut milks at home you will also save on packaging and it is often cheaper, as well as being fun and something the kids can do with you.
Home-made milks can be made using nearly any type of nut, the most popular being almonds and cashews. Macadamias and hazelnuts are perhaps the most delicious but also can be much more expensive, however I think are definitely worth the extra cost. A favourite of recipe of mine is nutella nut milk made using hazelnuts, maple syrup, vanilla beans and cacao powder, very decadent
One of the benefits of making your own nut milk is that you can customise your own special blend. You can add ginger and turmeric for a boost of anti-inflammatory goodness or vanilla beans and maple syrup for a sweeter nut milk to use making chai or to pour over porridge or granola. Add cacao or carob powder for a special treat or simply enjoy the naturally subtle sweet flavour of the nuts themselves.
Nut milks can be used as a direct substitute in most sweet and savoury recipes. Try using nut milk in creamy soups, Thai dishes and curries or in baking cakes, biscuits, muffins, even cheesecake. They can also be added smoothies, to make chia puddings and to your favourite pancake recipe, the list of uses is endless.
Another bonus in making nut milks is that you have all the left over pulp. The pulp is flavoursome, rich in fibre and can be used to make veggie burgers and spreads or used in muffin and bread recipes to add depth of flavour and extra nutrition.
If you have allergies to nuts you can try making seed milks instead. With any nut or seed milk recipe all you need is a blender, some cheesecloth and your ingredients, its very simple.
Enjoy your week in the kitchen!
Naturopath, Affordable Wholefoods
For a simple Almond Nut Milk recipe click here.