By Aylin Erman, EcoSalon
Nut milks are convenient to make for the home cook and just a matter of a few ingredients and a moment’s foresight to start soaking those nuts. Skip dairy milk and go nuts with homemade nut milk!
Vegan milks are increasing in popularity — rice, almond and soy milks grace grocery store shelves and come in a variety of flavors and variations. But even though store-bought versions are animal-friendly, they often contain preservatives, sweeteners, and other additives that deem the product over-processed and not the healthiest.
Sure, you could buy a grocery store version of nut milk, but why not maintain its full integrity, beyond being vegan, by making it yourself. That way, you have complete control over what goes into the mix and can make more exciting nut variations of milk, while adjusting the consistency, sweetness and flavors according to your tastes. All you have to remember is to soak the nuts the night before, and the rest is easy.
Soaking nuts is not entirely necessary, but for your health’s sake, it’s worth doing. Nuts contain “enzyme inhibitors”, which stall the nut from sprouting in birds’ fragile tummies after consumption. For humans, however, enzyme inhibitors make nuts harder to digest. Soaking nuts in water for a period of time helps to leach the enzyme inhibitors from the nuts, giving them more life force energy and doing your body a big favor. Aside from remembering to soak the nuts, creating nut milk is surprisingly easy and incredibly rewarding.
The following recipe can be altered according to your tastes. Use whatever nut or seed you like, keeping in mind the different soaking time requirements.
Soaking Time (room temperature):
Soak nuts in enough water to cover them by several inches as they will swell up.
Almonds: 12-18 hours
Brazil Nuts: 12-18 hours
Cashews: 4-6 hours
Hazelnuts: 12-18 hours
Macadamia nuts: 12-18 hours
Pine Nuts: 4-6 hours
Pistachios: 4-6 hours
Walnuts: 12-18 hours
Chia Seeds: 1 hour
Flax Seeds: 2-3 hours
Pumpkin Seeds: 6-8 hours
Sunflower Seeds: 6-8 hours
Basic Nut Milk Recipe
Makes 3-4 cups
1 cup nuts
2.5-3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
2 teaspoons agave, maple syrup, or honey (optional)
Soak nuts (or seeds) for designated time. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Add to a blender with water. Blend for one minute, or until smooth. Use a cheese cloth or fine sieve to drain and separate the nut milk from the pulp. Add vanilla or sweetener of choice. Use in smoothies, vegan versions of cream dishes, or as is. Enjoy!
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