If you have a dairy allergy or intolerance, or if you’re just avoiding dairy for some other reason, you may wonder about non-dairy alternatives to milk.
Nut milks are my personal go-to and they’re incredibly easy to make. All you really need are nuts, water and a blender.
Yes, you can buy nut milks in the grocery store, and that can be useful. But if you haven’t made your own nut milk yet (or it’s been a while), I’d encourage you to try it. It’s simple, easy, and quite rewarding.
Here’s a super simple recipe for almond milk if you want to give it a go (you can easily substitute other nuts or seeds):
Home-Made Almond Milk
What you’ll need:
- almonds (1 cup will make a fairly large batch for 1 or 2 people)
- pinch of high quality salt (optional, though I highly recommend it)
- optional: dates (for a natural sweetener), cacao, vanilla bean, other spices, frozen fruits
- optional: fine wire mesh strainer or nut milk bag
Soak the almonds overnight (or for 6-8 hours) in a large bowl filled with water. If using dates, soak the dates with the almonds.
Rinse almonds thoroughly after soaking.
Remove the skins from the almonds (just squeeze them between your fingers and they should pop out of their skins quite easily) and place them in your blender.
Process the almonds a bit just to get them started.
Add salt, soaked dates, and any spices. Add about 1 cup of water to start. Blend together until smooth.
Add water until you get the thickness you want.
If you want a smoother milk, you can strain it through a fine wire mesh strainer or a nut milk bag (paint strainer bags are equivalent) to remove some of the pulp.
A couple of notes:
I prefer to make my nut milks fairly plain and then dress them up to taste as I use them. Some great ways to use your home-made nut milk:
- as a base for smoothies
- in sauces or soups
- in breakfasts (e.g. cereal, oatmeal, muesli)
- in desserts
- or just as a refreshing, delicious drink
Play around with it! Experiment and have fun. The kitchen is the best place to play and try out new things.
Some other great options are hazelnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, walnuts, sesame seeds and even pumpkin seeds. For the seeds, I recommend soaking them for 1-2 hours rather than 6-8 hours.