Another dairy-free, vegan product that I decided to make myself is nut milk.
Except only for soy milk, all other nut milks out there (at least here in New Zealand) are quite expensive. I am the kind of person who loves to have a little bit of milk with my black coffee, or in my gluten-free cereal. I couldn’t keep my habit if I were to depend on buying nut milk from the store.
So, I got into making my own “milk” about two years ago.
The price of manufactured nut milks wasn’t the only thing that pushed me into being independent. The flavor of some of those products out there will either make you cry if you had to give up on dairy for health reasons, or will drive you to rage if you believe that a leading a vegan lifestyle should be more rewarding. After all, you have given up on so many yummy things out there made available to meat-eaters!
Jokes aside, I have seen some nut milk producers advertising that they have these delicious, creamy nutty milk for sale. I won’t disagree with them! I’ve tried a few and some are extremely delicious.
However, the price tag also puts me off of buying those products on a regular basis. Plus, in order for these milks to be available in the market, they have so many “nasties” in them (preservatives, emulsifiers, and loads of sugar) that all the health benefits that we would get from fresh, natural nut milk are out the window in these products.
I am telling you: you can make your own nut milk. It’s easy and quick!
I’ve tried a few different nuts, like almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts and cashew nuts. My favorite is Brazil nuts. Although they might be a bit more expensive than the other nuts, I found that Brazil nut milk lasts longer in the fridge (about four to 5 days). The flavor is also particularly pleasant. Perhaps I am biased, since I’m Brazilian.
This recipe will work with any type of nuts. So, go ahead and try it, and find which nut makes the best milk for you.
Lately, I’ve been making mixed nut milk. Turns out that raw, mixed unsalted nuts are cheaper in the local supermarket than almonds or Brazil nuts only.
Simply, soak about one cup of raw, unsalted nuts overnight.
Then, rinse the nuts and put them in a blender with half a cup of fresh, clean water, and blend the nuts and water for about a minute.
Once a cream forms, you can add water slowly and turn the blender on.
That much of nuts can make about 1 litre of nut milk. So, I add water up to the 1 l mark on the blender cup.
Then, sieve the milk through a cheese cloth or muslin cloth in to a bottle or a jar.
Keep the milk refrigerated.
** You can save the nut grounds to make the vegan croquettes or for other dishes. I use in curries, cakes, bread… you name it!
*** To add some sweetness to it, try putting some cinnamon or nutmeg while blending the nuts and water. Cinnamon has several health benefits, including reducing blood sugar levels. Nutmeg is also an amazingly healthy spice.