Making Nut Milk

100030-1I would have loved to have been in the marketing room when they started discussing what in the world they were going to call the liquid that is discharged when soaked nuts are ground in water… Because nut juice, well, really doesn’t work.

Yet, as they probably knew, nut milk is not milk. Milk is “a fluid secreted by the mammary glands of females for the nourishment of their young.”* Nut milk more closely aligns with the idea of a cider, “an unfermented drink made by crushing fruit,” because you grind the nuts and press out the liquid. Nut milk is only milky in that it is white and opaque. Though, for those of us who choose not to drink a tall glass of cow milk, nut milk (unlike cider) does fulfill many of the same functions (coffee companion, cereal splasher, etc) as milk. So we will let the nomenclature nickname stand.

almond-choc-8ozBy the time I was a teenager, we had rice milk in the house. One could get soy milk latte’s at Starbucks. In the past 15 years more and more milks have hit the market: almond, hemp, coconut, hazelnut, oat, carob, 7 grain. Eden Organic has a rice AND soymilk beverage. Dream has coconut and almond and chia, rice and quinoa, or almond and cashew and hazelnut. Do you want your milk unsweetened, vanilla, chocolate, low sodium, original? How about a single serving package certified Non-GMO? How about a french vanilla nut creamer for your coffee?

Inspired by all of the options on the market I started feeling the urge to make my own nut milk (exacerbated by a recycling container overflowing with almond milk boxes). The only caveat to this story is you need a Vitamix. But once that is in hand, all you need is your imagination and a little forethought (you need to start the night before).

PureCoco_VanHG_496x1130I have included a few official recipes below from Eagle Loft Kitchen because I am more of the eyeball type of cook.

Grab some raw nuts: brazils, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts. I haven’t tried peanuts yet, don’t know if the flavor would be too intense. I would love to make almond milk but finding raw almonds can be tricky. As of 2007 all almonds are pasteurized in the US. I have not yet been able to bring myself to order raw almonds from Spain from nuts.com, but I am sure I will eventually. 

Soak raw nuts overnight in 4 times more water than nuts.
Rinse them off in the AM till the water runs clear.
Add anywhere from 2 to 4 times more water than nuts to the mixer. (the less water the more the milk becomes a milkshake)
Add nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, fruit, maple syrup, honey, etc according to taste.
Throw the switch!

I have been pouring the milk off the top of the residue and then throwing the residue into the compost pile. You could strain the liquid if you prefer not to chew on your milk. 

And voila! Nut juice!

Happy Milking!
Corinna

Thank you Eagle Loft Kitchen for these ideas as well…

IMG_5549Almond Milk
1 cup raw almonds
4 cups water + more for soaking
2 Medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Soak almonds in enough water to cover for 4 hours or overnight. Then drain and rinse almonds well.
  2. Measure 4 cups fresh water into the Vitamix (using the handy measurements on the side of the pitcher). Add the almonds, dates and vanilla.
  3. Secure the lid and start the Vitamix on low, increasing the speed slowly up to 10 and then flip the high power switch. Process until well blended, 1 minute or more.
  4. Strain the milk through a nut milk bag, or 2-3 layers of cheesecloth in a wire sieve (the nut milk bag is SO much easier), for 30 minutes. Squeeze excess milk out of bag (or gently press residue in sieve) then pour milk into a container with lid (I use a 1 litre/quart mason jar). Store milk in the fridge for up to 5 days. Shake well before serving.
  5. Almond residue (what is left in your nut bag or sieve) can be discarded, but I store mine for a few days in the fridge to use in recipes such as Zucchini Bread. It can also be used as a facial scrub!

IMG_5556Cashew Milk
1 cup raw cashews
4 cups water + more for soaking
1 Tbsp agave syrup
pinch sea salt

  1. Soak cashews in enough water to cover for 4 hours or overnight. Then drain and rinse cashews well.
  2. Measure 4 cups fresh water into the Vitamix (using the handy measurements on the side of the pitcher). Add the cashews, agave and salt.
  3. Secure the lid and start the Vitamix on low, increasing the speed slowly up to 10 and then flip the high power switch. Process until well blended, 1 minute or more.
  4. To decrease foam, turn off high power switch and slowly turn dial lower. A funnel should form in the middle. Decrease speed until funnel almost disappears, then hold at that speed for 15 seconds. Decrease again until funnel almost disappears and hold for another 15 seconds. Slowly decrease speed to 1, then turn off.
  5. Cashew milk does not need straining. Simply pour milk into a container with lid (I use a 1 litre/quart mason jar). Store milk in the fridge for up to 5 days. Shake well before serving.

Rice Milk
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
2 cups water
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup

  1. Measure 2 cups fresh water into the Vitamix (using the handy measurements on the side of the pitcher). Add the rice and maple syrup.
  2. Secure the lid and start the Vitamix on low, increasing the speed slowly up to 10 and then flip the high power switch. Process until well blended, 1 minute or more.
  3. To decrease foam, turn off high power switch and slowly turn dial lower. A funnel should form in the middle. Decrease speed until funnel almost disappears, then hold at that speed for 15 seconds. Decrease again until funnel almost disappears and hold for another 15 seconds. Slowly decrease speed to 1, then turn off.
  4. Rice milk does not need straining. Simply pour milk into a container with lid (I use a 500mL/1 pint mason jar). Store milk in the fridge for up to 4 days. Shake well before serving.

* Never too early to read the words mammary glands.

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2 Responses to Making Nut Milk

  1. rebacox says:

    I make fresh nut milks all the time! So much better tasting than store bought ones!

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