Back in my dairy-lovin’ days, I never gave much thought to dairy alternatives. Until I discovered I was lactose intolerant. Honestly, I was crushed – what would I do without my beloved dairy products?! Later on, I learned more about conventional dairy and was thankful for my intolerance. As a matter of fact it was the beginning of a journey that would eventually lead me to become a Culinary Nutrition Expert, but that’s a story for another day.
At the time there weren’t many milk alternatives available (aside from flavored, shelf stable soy milk – no thanks!). Then I discovered how to make simple and delicious milk at home using nuts and seeds and my life was forever changed – but seriously it was a pretty awesome discovery.
Flash forward a few years and countless varieties of plant-based milks line store shelves. It’s great to have so many convenient options, but you’re getting a little more than you think in that carton of almond milk. These aren’t the kind of extra ingredients you want hanging around in your food: stabilizers, emulsifiers, thickeners and preservatives. There should be only two ingredients in nut milk – nuts and water – the rest has no business lurking in your carton.
Make it From Scratch!
Luckily making your own fresh, pure milk at home is quick and simple. There are countless tutorials available on line, so I won’t bore you with the details. Here’s the gist:
- Soak some nuts (soaking makes for a smoother blend with less pulp, it activates enzymes, improves nutrient bioavailability and neutralizes phytic acid. Read more about that here.
- Rinse them off.
- Blend with 4 parts water.
- Strain out the pulp.
That’s it. Well…I guess there’s not much to bore you with.
After you’ve mastered the illusive art of straining nuts blended with water, you can really go nuts:
- Tired of almond milk? Use a different nut or seed, or a combination.
- Allergic to nuts? Get some seeds soaking.
- Want thicker, creamier milk? Add less water.
- Have a favorite herbal infusion? Brew some and use it in place of the water.
- Want an extra nutritional kick? Add some herbs, spiced or superfoods.
You get the idea. Become a plant milk mad scientist and see where you end up—your own signature milk blend is waiting to be discovered!
To give you some extra inspiration, I’ve created The Nut Milk Formula infographic:
I’ve got you covered, plus a few recipes to get those creative juices flowing (like Golden Turmeric Chai – so good).
Come on over to my website and get your copy and start milkin’ it already.