Photo by Selva Wohlgemuth
If you are trying to go dairy free or want an alternative to store bought nondairy milks, consider making your own! It’s easy to do and much less expensive than buying pre-made versions. Also, many store bought nondairy milks have preservatives to keep them shelf stable. If you make your own, it will taste great and be more nutritious!
Each seed or nut adds a different, unique flavor. Nuts and seeds are great sources of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes that help improve digestion.
For the following recipe, you can use almost any seed or nut including (but not limited to):
canary seeds (alpiste)
Soak seeds. Soak overnight or for 6-10 hours, depending on the seed/nut. Soaking seeds can activate enzymes that aid in digestion and absorption.
Rinse seeds in a colander. With almonds, you can peel off the skin if you would like your milk to have a white, creamier look to it. However, if you are crunched for time, you can skip this step and sieve out the fiber later.
Place seeds into a blender and blend at high speed. I recommend putting 1/4 seeds, 3/4 part water. However, you can experiment depending on what consistency you would like- the less water you put in, the thicker and creamier the milk. It also depends on how you want to use the milk. If it is for smoothies, more water may be desirable. Less water gives it a cream like consistency.
Once evenly blended, pour the thick milk through a nut milk bag, cheese cloth, or a fine mesh strainer and into a container or jar. For hemp seeds, flaxseed and other smaller seeds, you can skip this step. Smaller seeds are often less fibrous and by not straining out the fibers, you are maintaining more nutrients and fiber in the milk. However, if making almond or other nut or seed milks with thicker skins, you may need to use a nut milk bag or a fine strainer to get rid of the thick fiber that creates an undesirable texture. Tip: The thick fiber that remains from straining the milk can be used to add fiber to your morning oatmeal, add to a cookie or baking recipe, or even used to give yourself a facial or body scrub!
If desired, sweeten the milk by blending in 1-2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup. If you want a more natural sweetener, add 2-3 dates or dried figs in step 3.
Spice it! Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or vanilla to give it some extra flavor. For chocolate milk, add some cacao powder.
Store it in the refrigerator and be sure to drink it within 2 days. Since you are not using preservatives or other ingredients to conserve the milk, it may go bad faster. Use these milks the day or day after you make them to ensure optimal freshness. Store it in a clean glass jar for optimal freshness.
Ideas to use nut & seed milks:
replace cow’s milk
add to cereals and oatmeal
most baking recipes that call for cow’s milk
mixed with vegetable protein powder for a high protein snack
matcha lattes (homemade nut milks usually curdle in coffee)