How many times have you opened the grocery store refrigerator looking for a cow’s milk alternative that is plain, unflavored, unsweetened and chemical free, only to find every bottle you pick up has something different and unfamiliar in the ingredients? Unless you live in Australia, most brands of nut milk include gums and food additives. While it’s ideal to avoid all preservatives and thickeners in the products we buy, sometimes our reality presses us to choose the lesser of two evils and move on with our next grocery dilemma. However, making your own nut milk is simple, and we’d like to suggest, a rewarding act of self-care. Here’s how.
Put 1 cup of raw almonds (or a combo, see options at the end!) in a bowl and fill with enough water to submerge the nuts. Set your container in the fridge overnight. Still with us? Good. Because that’s all you have to do on Day 1: Let them soak and go to bed.
Drain your almonds and toss the cloudy water. Dump your drained almonds in the blender with 2 cups of fresh water and blend until pureed and combined. A high power blender works the best to pulverize your almonds, but with your regular blender, you can pulse until nuts are as pureed as possible.
Using a double layer of cheesecloth, a reusable mesh nut bag or fine mesh strainer, drain the liquid into a clean jar or pitcher, reserving the almond pulp.
Return the almond puree to your blender with another cup of fresh water and a pinch or two of salt for more depth of flavor, and blend again until your pulp is re-mixed with new water. Drain the additional liquid through the cloth, bag or strainer, into the milk. Toss the almond mash and shake or whisk your milk to combine both batches.
Store almond milk for 3-5 days in your refrigerator. Shake your container each time before using (the milk will separate). Revel in the fact that you’ve made something for yourself in an act of radical self-care, and be grateful.
- What other nuts can you use? Cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia… you name it, and you can try it. Mix nuts for a blend if you like!
- Are there other alternatives besides nuts? Replace half of the nuts with raw coconut flakes or rice to make a less expensive milk and a new flavor combination.
- Want a flavor or sweetener? Try a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean scraped into milk before your last blend. Honey, agave or maple syrup, or a pureed date can be added while blending nuts or at the point of use.