If you or anyone you know suffers from allergies or food intolerance, you know how challenging it can be to come up with alternatives that are just as tasty as the real thing. In our household, we have three dairy-allergic family members — myself and the kids. I remember the stress of trying to come up with alternatives for my kids in every dining situation. Milk is a hard thing to just not use completely. This is a very important, versatile element in the kitchen of a home with anyone who has a dairy allergy.
Before I smartened up to all the preservatives in “healthy-for-you” packaged almondmilk, I was buying it weekly in a three-pack case from my local warehouse store! Yikes! (Sorry, kids! I didn’t know any better!) Good thing I like to experiment in the kitchen!
I have to tell you that after tinkering around with this recipe, everyone in the house likes it – even Matt, who is not dairy allergic. In fact, I have not purchased cow’s milk in years, literally, since I started making this milk. I use it in everything from granola to baking to just straight from the jar dipping cookies. (Yes, my personal friends and recipients of our yearly Christmas cookies, your cookies were made with this milk, too!) I love that there’s no weird ingredients and that it is made the day before it’s consumed and not sitting in a refrigerator for weeks at a time before it makes its way into our home.
Enough rambling. Let’s get you making yourself some Straightforward Nut Milk!
Here’s what I use:
1 cup nuts (any nut! walnuts, pecans, almonds, hemp seeds, etc.)
8 cups filtered or spring water (total)
2.5 tablespoons agave nectar or raw honey (even better if you can get this locally)
A tiny pinch of Himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, but helps to get kids to go for it!)
A 1/2 gallon glass jar (or a an assortment of jars in this size)
(You can also use recycled jars from products you have purchased in the past, as I have done here.)
A fine-mesh sieve
Now that we have the equipment and ingredients all lined up, we can start.
Some of this recipe involves planning, as the nuts really should be soaked overnight. I like to soak them overnight and make the milk first thing in the morning when i wake up so we have fresh milk for breakfast and throughout the day. So you want to soak one cup of nuts in filtered or spring water overnight, just to cover the nuts – I did forget to measure this. Oops! (You could probably get away with several hours in a pinch, but I have not tried this myself.)
The next morning, drain your water off of your nuts and add two cups of filtered/spring water to your blender. Add the nuts. Blend thoroughly.
Now set out a bowl and lay your fine-mesh sieve on top. Pour contents from the blender through the sieve. (You may have to clean the sieve out a couple of times and/or push down on the nut matter to remove all of the liquid.)
Once you get all of the liquid out, set your sieve to the side, and rinse out your blender thoroughly (otherwise you will get chunky nut milk, which will put you off and you won’t drink it again!).
Pour your liquid from the bowl into your blender and add six cups cold filtered/spring water. Add your salt, honey or agave, and vanilla extract. Blend thoroughly. (Top layer will look a little frothy.)
Pour into your jars and refrigerate.
Can be used just like regular milk. (Again, I use this for all of my baking and cooking and unexpected late-night cookies-and-milk opportunities, and it is downright tasty! :O))
Serves approximately six and will keep fresh in fridge for 2-3 days.
And it’s worth mentioning that the nut matter that you are left with after straining the liquid can be thrown into pancake batter (my favorite way to use it) or in muffins, etc. Find a creative way to use it; it’s good for you!
If you make it, let me know how you like it!
Wishing you a fabulous, albeit gray and rainy, day today!