I have made my own dairy free milk for the last couple of years. A lot of people think it’s too much of a hassle or too difficult to make from scratch, but trust me, it’s actually so easy. As a vegan I love having the option of nut milk and I honestly don’t ever miss regular diary milk. Once you’ve made the switch you’ll realize you’re so much better off with out dairy milk in your diet and you’ll learn to love the many different varieties of nut and seed milk.
I strongly suggest to all of my clients to try some form of nut milk when they first start their food/lifestyle journey. Every single one of them has been pleasantly surprised at how delicious it tastes and how quick it is to make.
What I love about making nut milk is that firstly it’s so much cheaper than the store bought processed option, it’s completely natural and you can add a variety of other goodies to make, say a chocolate milk or Chai milk etc.
I think the first step when deciding to make nut milk is to buy a nut milk bag. I learnt this very important step the hard way. I sieved multiple batches of nut milk through a normal kitchen sieve to try and get the silky smooth consistency that I craved. A nut milk bag makes this whole process much quicker. You always get a good resulting milk and they’re only a few dollars. A must have in my book.
Another crucial step when making nut milk is to choose fresh, raw, unsalted nuts. You don’t want to be drinking milk made with rancid nuts now do you? I buy a large bag and store them in the freezer. This keeps them fresher for longer.
Lastly, you need a blender. Trust me a food processor doesn’t work. The more powerful the blender the better, but I have definitely made milk in whatever blender was available at the time and although it was a longer process it still turned out fine.
Now begins the fun part. You get to decide the type of milk you want to make. My weekly essentials consist of almond milk for my smoothies, in my tea and over my cereal, Hazelnut milk for any treats or for a hot chocolate and then walnut milk if I’m craving something richer.
When starting out I would recommend almond milk as it looks very similar to dairy milk, plus it has a very neutral taste which goes well with just about anything. Once you’ve decided upon your nut or seed of choice you then start the soaking process.
So, why soak?
Soaking is so crucial when making nut milk because if you don’t take the time to soak the nuts and seeds you’re leaving the protective outer coating on. This makes it so much harder for our bodies to break down and absorb the nutrients. We could drink nut milk daily but we still wouldn’t be getting all the goodness that comes from this delicious milk.
Nut and seed soaking times:
- Almonds (10-12 hrs)
- Walnuts (4-6 hrs)
- Cashews (2-4 hrs)
- Hazelnuts (4-6 hrs)
- Pecans (4-6 hrs)
- Pumpkin seeds (4-6 hrs)
- Sesame seeds (4-6 hrs)
- Sunflower seeds (4-6 hrs)
How to soak?
Soaking is actually super easy so don’t worry, I’m not going to get you to rinse it every few hours as you do when activating.
- Firstly, pour your nuts or seeds into a bowl and cover completely with cold water.
- Once the recommended soaking time has been completed you drain the nuts or seeds and thoroughly rinse them under cold water to wash off any residue.
- Now they are ready to turn into milk. If you’re not going to blend them immediately they can be covered in the fridge for one day before they need to be thrown out.
How to Make Nut & Seed Milk:
- Once the nuts and seeds have been soaked and rinsed tip them into your blender.
- For every 1cup of nuts or seeds use 4 cups of water and blend on high for 40-60 sec.
- Get a large bowl and place your nut milk bag in the bowl. Next, pour the nut milk from the blender through the nut milk bag and let all the liquid drain. Make sure to get in there and use your hands to squeeze out every last drop of liquid.
- Place the nut milk bag with the leftover pulp to one side. This can be saved and added to muffins or to smoothies for some extra fiber.
- Now transfer the nut milk from the bowl into a storing container. I like to use large Weck jars or mason jars. Make sure they are airtight. Nut milk will happily live in the fridge for 4 days before you have to start again.
Honestly, I wouldn’t ever now think of buying processed nut milk and I find I get a lot of joy out of actually going through the steps and making nut milk from scratch. It takes me only a few minutes a couple of times a week and then I’ve got fresh nut and seed milk always readily available.
Happy soaking everyone xx