Years ago, if you were lactose intolerant you were just out of luck. No big deal, it just meant that you couldn’t enjoy that snap, crackle and pop as you poured a white cascade of ice-cold milk over your breakfast cereal, and you couldn’t indulge in ice cream, or pudding or basically anything made with good ol’ moo juice.
Okay, so maybe it was a big deal.
And let’s not forget about the vegans, who just prefer to leave Bessie alone and find their nutrients elsewhere.
Now we’ve got choices. Soy, coconut and almond milk are easily found at most grocers in the alternative milk aisle, but you still have to watch those sneaky labels for added oils, starches, sweeteners and thickening agents, and they are often expensive. So where do we turn now?
Homemade nut milk is simple to make — you just need nuts and water, and in your own hands the possibilities are endless. Besides almonds you can use cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans or pistachios. And don’t forget about your seed choices: hemp, sunflower, flax, pumpkin, Brazil nuts (yes, they’re actually a seed) or pignolias.
Sweetened or unsweetened? Sugar, maple syrup, honey or agave? It’s your choice! In your kitchen you’re in control. Steep vanilla beans or even cinnamon sticks in the finished product for a different twist or try adding raw cocoa powder for chocolate milk. Yum!
Nut Milk Recipe
Using a glass bowl, cover one cup of raw nuts or seeds of your choice with water and soak overnight. The next day, drain the water and rinse well.
Blend the soaked nuts or seeds with 3 cups of water in your blender or food processor until smooth and milky. (I like to start with just the nuts and then add one cup of water at a time.) The amount of time it takes will depend on your blender, but with my ancient blender it still only took a couple of minutes on the “liquify” setting.
Strain through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer for a smooth drinkable milk or leave it pulpy for smoothies or baking. Add any sweetener or flavorings of your choice.
This recipe will yield one quart. Store in a glass jar or pitcher in the fridge.
Have you tried making your own nut milk? Do you have a favorite flavor? —Karen