Basic nut milk

In recent years, nut milks have had a huge surge in popularity, with widespread availability in shops, cafes and restaurants. Lactose intolerances (if you are interested in reading a little about it – the New Scientist –  Everything you need to know about lactose intolerance) an increase in those trying to reduce their dairy intake or cut it out completely due to it being environmentally detrimental (see Cowspiracy) animal cruelty and those who simply prefer the taste of nut milk to dairy milk. Then there are those who are just interested in trying everything.

I am frequently surprised by how many people who drink various nut and seed milks have never tried to make it at home, thinking it might be complicated. it is extremely easy and far superior in taste to shop milks, which are usually 98% water, 2% nut. Seriously bad value for money when 1 litre is priced at between £1.50 – £2.00.  You might as well just drink water. Even though nuts are expensive, you do not need a lot and you will still end up with a milk that is more like 20% nut. I would take the extra protein.

All you need is nuts, water, salt, a mesh bag (they sell them elsewhere on line too, but this is the kind of bag  Amazon – nut milk bag) and a blender. It doesn’t need to be a fancy one. Lidl have a knock off one for less than thirty quid.

Makes approximately 1 litre

Time – ten minutes

Lasts for approximately 5 days in the fridge

Utensils

  • 1 milk bag
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 litre bottle (kilner do a nice one)
  • Blender
  • Sieve / colander
  • Funnel or jug with a spout

Ingredients

  • 1 glass of cashews, almonds or sunflower seed kernels
  • 4 glasses of water (use the same glass as the nuts)
  • Pinch of salt

Method 

Soak the nuts or seeds in a bowl of water overnight (if you are using cashews a few hours is sufficient but overnight is also fine)

Drain off the water and rinse the nuts. Add to the blender with the water and a pinch of salt. Experiment with the amount of water; 4 glasses is quite creamy. If you prefer a less creamy milk, add more water. If you have a good blender with powerful blades, a few minutes of blending will be sufficient. If you have a weak blender, go for 5 minutes.

Carefully pour the milk into a bowl through the milk bag. If you make cashew milk, there is very little residue. If you make almond milk, usually there is a more substantial amount left in the bag from the skins. You can store this in a container in the fridge and use for smoothies, cakes or cookies.

Pour the milk into the bottle through the funnel or tip the bowl of milk into a jug and then pour into the bottle.

Chill in the fridge. Use in the same ways as you would a dairy milk. If you like a sweeter milk, add a tablespoon of date syrup or maple syrup to the blender before straining.

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