Nut milks… they are so good. They are also so expensive. But not when you make them yourself!
Let me tell you, fresh homemade nut milk is going to blow you away! Get ready to be completely hooked. And it’s easy. I know you hear me say that a lot, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m very lazy. Like super duper lazy and I don’t have the time or patience to deal with complicated things.
This will work with just about any nut – almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia, etc. Although I have to warn you, I don’t suggest macadamia nuts. It’s pretty much the most heavenly thing ever and a rather expensive addiction. I told myself I was never going to make it so I could blissfully live in ignorance of how good it tasted. But then I was out of almonds one day, and there on my shelf happened to be a jar of macadamia nuts, and I just couldn’t help myself. I’m still going through withdrawals 2 years later. Save yourself. Stick with almonds.
When making almond milk (or any nut milk) you want to soak the nuts first. Two reasons for this. First, soaking the nuts saturates them with water, (my almonds almost double in size) and this results in a smoother and creamier milk. The second reason is that it helps to break down enzyme inhibitors and toxic substances that are naturally occurring in nuts. These substances protect them during the growth process, but our bodies can’t digest them. By soaking the nuts, it not only makes them taste better, but also helps our bodies to digest them and absorb all the great nutrients they offer. And yes, if you’re wondering, snacking on raw nuts presents this same problem.
Recommended soaking times per nut:
Almond: 8-12 hours
Cashew: 2 hours
Hazelnut: 8 hours
Macadamia: 8 hours
Pecan: 4-6 hours
Pine Nut: 8 hours
Walnut: 4 hours
Blender Power. Now, you don’t have to have a vitamix to make almond milk, but let’s be real, it’s a lot easier if you do. When I first started making almond milk I had a basic Ninja blender and it worked. I had to blend the nuts longer and there was never a question of whether I wanted to strain it or not, it was a must. But it worked.
Speaking of straining. To strain or not to strain? If you’re using a high-speed blender, you can choose whether you want to strain your finished nut milk. The nuts that you choose to use will also change the consistency of the final product. For example, I always strain my almond milk. But, that one time I ruined my life and made macadamia milk, I didn’t have to strain it because it was already smooth and creamy and amazing. It’s up to you and the texture that you want. If you do want to strain your milk, please get a nut milk bag and don’t try to use cheesecloth. Cheesecloth does a terrible job and it’s super messy. A nut milk bag is so much easier and is a snap to clean so it’s ready to go for the next time. Seriously, it’s a game changer.
- 1 cup raw almonds (not salted or roasted)
- 4-8 cups water (depending on how thick you want the milk to be. Most people use 4 cups of water, I prefer to use 8 cups of water. Experiment and see what you like!)
- 2 tbsp sweetener – honey, maple syrup, dates, etc
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Dash of salt
- Dash of cinnamon or other spice (optional)
- Soak almonds in water with a dash of salt for 8-12 hours (I like to do this overnight or throughout the day while I’m at work).
- Once done soaking, dump them in a strainer and rinse them off, discarding the water that they were soaked in.
- Add all ingredients into your blender and blend on high for about 2-3 minutes. I do mine in two batches since I use 8 cups of water and it won’t all fit in my blender.
- Pour the blended milk into a nut milk bag and strain into a large bowl to get rid of the pulp. You can also leave this in if you want, but I prefer a smoother texture to my milk so I like to strain it. Gently squeeze the bag to get all the liquid out and then pour it into glass storage jars.
- Chill in the fridge for about a week or so. It will start to separate as it sits, that’s completely normal, just give it a shake before each use.