How to Make Homemade Dairy Free Milk & Soaking Nuts
Are you always buying almond, coconut, oat or hemp seed milk from the store? Did you know it has added synthetic vitamins that your body cannot process? It is also usually mostly water. While not to discourage you, because I still think store bought, unsweetened, and carrageenan free non-dairy milks are still healthier than standard pasteurized dairy milk. However, I want to show you an even healthier, more economic way to make your own fresh, creamier dairy free milk at home. It's much more simple and less time consuming than you probably imagine. If the sound of creamier, easier to froth non-dairy milk doesn't already sound good, there is another perk. The pulp left over from making the milk can be saved and reused as grain free flour!
So what are we waiting for? Let's get to it!
What you need:
1+ cup of base (almonds, oats, cashews, coconut flakes, hulled hemp seeds, etc.)
2-4 cups filtered water
1 pinch salt
1 tbs sunflower lecithin (optional)
1+ tsp alcohol free vanilla extract (optional)
1-2 squeezes flavored or unflavored liquid stevia or other natural sweetener (optional)
1 large bowl
1 large jar or pitcher
Nut milk bag
Step 1: Choose your base/bases.
Almonds, hemp seeds, cashews, oats, coconut flakes, and any combination of the sort can be used to make your milk. I tend to use 1/2 almonds & 1/2 coconut flakes. Sometimes I even just use coconut milk from the can blended with more water, salt and sunflower lecithin, but that is not what this article is about. Were going to talk about making milk from dry pantry staples. Get creative because you can mix any of these or just use one on its own. Find your preference.
Step 2: Prepping your base
If you are using nuts or seeds, though not necessary to make milk, but the healthier/better option is to use raw organic and soak the nuts/seeds before using them. Soak them for at least 1-3 hours in a jar filled with water and a sprinkle of salt. Preferably over night though. Make sure to drain and rise them off. You will see all the gunk come out of the nuts/seeds. These are plant toxins/impurities/pesticides/anti-nutrients, etc. Soaking/sprouting nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, etc. makes them more bioavailable and multiplies the nutrient content from them by removing the plants "anti-nutrients," and releasing the nutrients to make them accessible. Anti-nutrients, lectins and phytic acid actually block the nutrients from being accessible, leach nutrients from your body, and infiltrate leaky gut and digestive discomfort. If you are using your nuts/seeds right away you can take them straight from the soaking process to the blender to make your milk, however, if you want to store them to use or munch on later, you will then have to dehydrate them for 24 hours in a dehydrator. Keep the temp at 115-118 degrees to keep the vital enzymes in them alive. There's no use in buying raw nuts/seeds if you're going to heat them too high and kill the enzymes. If you are just using something like oats, you can just purchase them sprouted and organic, instead of going through the trouble. This is the brand I buy. Coconut and hulled hemp seeds don't really take any preparation.
Step 3: Blend ingredients
Add about 1 cup of your base to the high-speed blender, whether its just almonds or almonds and coconut flakes, or any combination. I think the standard is 1 cup base : 1 cup water, however, I like to stretch it and do about 1 cup of the base to 3-4 cups of water or more. I find that it's still creamier than store-bought. You could also add more than 1 cup. Again, play with it to find the consistency preference you like. You could just do base + water + salt, however, I have a couple secret ingredients I use to amp it up. 1 TBS of liquid Sunflower lecithin helps keep the milk bound, so it doesn't separate. It also helps you digest the fats in the milk better. Add a good pinch of pink Himalayan salt or Real Salt, for minerals, taste and bioavailability. If you want to make it sweet and have vanilla flavor or even caramel, hazelnut or chocolate, you could add 1-2 squeezes of liquid stevia sweetener or 1+ tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract. Blend all this together at high-speed until the base is finely pulverized and you have a creamy white liquid.
Step 4: Strain your milk
You will need a nut milk bag for this. Place the nut milk bag inside a large mixing bowl. Pour the blender contents into the nut milk bag, pull the jaw-strings closed and squeeze all the liquid out until you just have a ball of somewhat dry pulp. Set the bag with pulp aside and poor the milk from your bowl into a jar or pitcher and make sure to seal it with a lid. The milk keeps in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Step 5: Repurpose the pulp
One of the reasons this is much more financially economic is that you can (for example) buy 1 lb of raw almonds and get almonds for munching, milk and almond flour out of it. Always recycle your pulp no matter which base you use. You can store it in a jar in the fridge for a week to use later in grain-free recipes, or dehydrate it on a dehydrator try to store in the cabinet longer term to use as flour and to sprinkle, salads, etc. Another option is to use it as your morning porridge base.
Here are a few recipes for this: