Nut Milk

July 20, 2014
Nut milk made with almonds is a great non-dairy alternative .. not to mention this stuff is good. Really, really good.

It's always the little things in life that make us the happiest

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like coming home from a week-long business trip to a sweet husband waiting for you at the airport (especially when he carries your bags!) 

Or walking into a clean house, opening the fridge to find the mac & cheese I'd been craving, and (!) chilled champagne.  Not to mention, my favorite t-shirt and sweat pants after a long shower

the quiet of my office

Nut milk made with almonds is a great non-dairy alternative .. not to mention this stuff is good. Really, really good.

(For those who follow The Veggies, you'll know I work from home for corporate America.  A career in the field of IT)

Five years had passed since our first face-to-face meeting as a team.  A season following a corporate merger between two companies with very different cultures.  New working groups had been formed, different roles and responsibilities assigned, no two people from the same background, and name tags were a necessity

This past week couldn't have been more different.  The air of awkward, replaced by a genuine warmth and comfortableness.  Over the years, strangers had become not only coworkers but long-distance friends.  We caught up on life as we reviewed projects, listened to speakers, set goals, and worked on processes

The conference room we called home was a tiny sliver of the 2 million-square-foot complex where 10,000 people come to work each day (trivia: it has the 2nd largest footprint of buildings in the U.S. right behind the Pentagon!).  One could easily get lost trying to find the potty, much less caffeine!

Nut milk made with almonds is a great non-dairy alternative .. not to mention this stuff is good. Really, really good.

So once in the morning, and again in the afternoon, she would graciously guide me through the maze of stairways, cubicles, and nondescript hallways to Starbucks for my green tea fix.  Along the way, we talked about kids, her background studying classical piano (cool!) and cooking (of course, cooking)

I told her of homemade nut milk, which has become a staple.  During the time I was a part of the Venice Nutrition's 8-week run I'd replaced cow's milk with almond.  Once I began a study in holistic nutrition, I looked at all of the additives on the back of the carton and began making my own

It's a simple process really, one requiring a little downtime for the nuts to soak. (plan ahead).  After they've soaked, run them through a food processor (or blender) along with some hot water, and strain through a fine-mesh sieve.  The milk stays fresh in fridge for 3 or 4 days.

Nut milk made with almonds is a great non-dairy alternative .. not to mention this stuff is good. Really, really good.

The recipe below represents my most basic, although I have a few favorite variations

Vanilla Bean Almond Milk

Before blending the almonds, add two pitted Medjool dates, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and the seeds of one vanilla bean to the mix

Chocolate Hazelnut Milk

Before blending the hazelnuts, add 2 Tbsp honey, and 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder to the mix

Strawberry Almond Milk

Before blending the almonds, add two pitted Medjool dates, 2 cups strawberries, halved, and the seeds of one vanilla bean to the mix

Nut milk made with almonds is a great non-dairy alternative .. not to mention this stuff is good. Really, really good.

What to do with the leftover pulp?

When you're finished there will be a lot of pulp left behind.  I can't bear to get rid of it and have discovered it's quite simple to dry it out to make, for example, almond or hazelnut meal (flour) which is wonderful in baked sweet treats

To dry out your pulp, set the oven at its lowest setting (at our house that's 170 degrees F).  Spread the pulp in an even layer on a lined baking sheet.  Put it in the oven and leave the door cracked an inch or so (this will release moisture & reduce the drying time). Let it bake until it's crumbly (~ 3 – 4 hours).

For a finer flour-like texture, pulse the dried meal a couple of times in your food processor after it's had a chance to cool.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Nut milk made with almonds is a great non-dairy alternative .. not to mention this stuff is good. Really, really good.

ps:  A few notes:

Some recipes online that mention using a cheesecloth to strain the milk.  This will work, but consider buying a nut bag instead.  Trust me on this one

There are a couple of keys I've discovered in my quest for silky smooth, non-gritty milk.  Allow the nuts to soak a long time (I have the best luck somewhere around 48 hours) and use hot (but not boiling) water during the processing    

No matter how careful I am about straining the milk, sediment will settle as it sits.  Always give it a few good shakes before using

— — —

~ Adapted from The Kitchn

Nut Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw nuts (a few we've experimented with: almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, cashews)
  • 2 - 3 tsp liquid sweetener (honey, agave or maple syrup)
  • 3 ½ cups very hot water, but not boiling

Instructions

  • In a bowl, add the nuts along with enough water to cover them by 2” or so. Cover, place in the refrigerator, and let them soak at least 12 hours (I typically let them go 48 hours. The longer they soak, the smoother the milk will be)
  • Drain nuts and discard the soaking liquid.
  • To the bowl of a food processor (or blender) add the soaked nuts, sweetener (if using), hot water, and blend until very smooth (~ 2 minutes)
  • Over a medium-size bowl, strain the mix through a nut bag, pressing down on solids. (see notes about drying the solids)
  • The milk will keep in the refrigerator a week.
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2 Comments

  • Reply Belinda Davis June 10, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I love your variations, I use a soy maker to make my almond milk, it has the strainer already built in and heats up the water in the blending process.
    I love that you found use for the left over pulp, I hated throwing it away as well.

  • Reply Anosa July 5, 2017 at 4:23 am

    Homemade nut milk is a staple at our house. I’ve had great luck with all kinds of nuts, although the kids are always excited when they see hazelnuts. Especially with some strawberries added? So, so good!

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