• Maria

Making Nut + Seed Milks



Nut and Seed milks are so easy to make, better for you than store bought and better for the earth too. They're also super tasty and versatile. Since there are loads of blogs on making these milks, my goal here it to give you some of the tips and tricks I've learned along the way to perfecting my basic recipes (which are also included at the end of the post).



The Tips


1. Soak Them


I skipped soaking for a very long time. But what a difference it makes when you take the extra 2 minutes the night before to pop your nuts in water and sprinkle them with sea salt.


Why?

Soaking RAW nuts or seeds reduces their phytic acid. This makes the nuts, seeds and milks way easier to digest and their nutrients more bio-available to our bodies. As a bonus, the softened nuts and seeds create a much creamier milk.


How?

Place nuts or seeds in a glass container (I use a Mason Jar), cover with cold filtered water and add a pinch of sea salt. Leave to soak as follows:


Harder nuts with skins (Almonds, Pecans, Hazelnuts and Walnuts) need 8 to 12 hours before being drained, rinsed and blended. Softer nuts without skins (Cashews, Macadamia and Brazil Nuts) need 4 hours of soaking before draining, rinsing and blending. Seeds (Sunflower, Pumpkin and Sesame) also need 4 hours. Hemp Seeds don't need any soaking time.


2. Find Your Preferred Water To Nut/Seed Ratios


1 cup of nuts to 3 or 4 cups of filtered water is the most common ratio for basic nuts milks. I like 3 cups for a thicker consistency and 4 cups (or even 5) when I'm using the milk for baking. Play around with the measurements to find your ideals.


Seeds are similar. Generally 1 cup of seeds with 3 to 4 cups of water works best. For hemp seeds, I prefer 1/2 cup seeds to 3 or 4 cups water.


For half-and-half milks, use 1/2 cup of nuts plus 1/2 cup of seeds combined with 3 to 4 cups of water. If you're using hemp seeds, reduce them to 1/4 cup when paired with 1/2 cup of nuts.



3. Strain Them. Or Don't


For a smooth and creamy milk, definitely strain hard nuts. I will skip straining if I'm using the milk in overnight oats or recipes that benefit from the bulk provided from the pulp. Straining softer nuts and seeds is a matter of preference. I usually don't. Either way, use a nut-milk bag made of thin mesh.



4. Maximize Their Life


The milks last for 4 to 5 days in an airtight glass jar in your fridge. You'll get the longest life if you don't drink directly from the jar and you store your batch in several smaller jars so the milk isn't exposed to air with frequent opening.


Because I'm basically lazy, I usually make 10 small jars at the beginning of a week and store half in the freezer. By mid-week I'm placing a frozen jar in the fridge the night before I need it and it's good to go in the morning, after a shake.



5. Use The Pulp, Eventually


In a perfect world, I use the leftover fresh pulp to make raw balls, crackers or cookies. Mhmm. When this (usually) doesn't happen, I store the pulp in the freezer until I can make a big batch of something. There are lots and lots of recipes for milk pulp online.



The Basic Recipes


Almond, Pecan, Hazelnut and Walnut Milks (the hard nuts):


Place 1 cup soaked, rinsed and drained hard nuts of choice in high speed blender.

Add 3 to 4 cups filtered water and a pinch of sea salt.

Blend on high until completely smooth, about 45 to 60 seconds.

Pour the milk through the nut-milk bag and gently squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible.

These are the classic milks (especially almond).



Cashew, Macadamia and Brazil Nut Milks (the soft nuts):


Place 1 cup soaked, rinsed and drained soft nuts of choice in high speed blender.

Add 3 to 4 cups filtered water and a pinch of sea salt.

Blend on high until completely smooth, about 45 seconds.

Strain, if desired.

These milks have a neutral flavour and creamy texture.



Sunflower, Pumpkin and Sesame Seed Milks (the seeds):


Place 1 cup soaked, rinsed and drained seeds of choice in high speed blender.

Add 3 to 4 cups filtered water and a pinch of sea salt.

Blend on high until completely smooth, about 45 seconds.

Strain, if desired.

These are great nut-free milks that are also cheaper.



Hemp Seed Milk (the outlier):


Blend 1/2 cup hemp seeds with 3 to 4 cups filtered water.

Strain, if desired.

This is an easy, high protein, nut-free option that requires zero soaking prep.



You can also experiment by mixing different soaked nuts and seeds together. This changes the taste and nutrient profile of the milk. For example, I add a few soaked Brazil Nuts to every milk so I get a perfect daily dose of Selenium from one of nature's best sources.



Adding Some Flavour


To lightly sweeten, return any of the strained milks to the blender and add sweetener of choice. Some great options include: 1 to 2 pitted raw dates or 1 tablespoon liquid sweetener (like raw honey, maple syrup or yacon syrup) or 5 drops Stevia or 1 tsp lucuma powder. Blend until well combined.


To make vanilla milk, return any of the strained milks to the blender, add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or 1 drop vanilla Stevia and blend until combined.


To make a spiced milk, add a small amount (1/4 to 1/2 tsp) cinnamon, nutmeg or turmeric powder to a lightly sweetened milk and blend until well combined.


To make chocolate milk, add 1 to 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder to a lightly sweetened milk and blend until well combined. This is delish when heated and dusted with vanilla or cinnamon.


I love a warmed nut or seed milk as a snack each afternoon during the winter. Sometimes just a simple vanilla flavour is perfect, but usually it's cacao or (around Christmas) our Nut Nog.



All homemade nut and seed milks will separate. This is because they don't contain emulsifiers.

Simply give them a good shake before enjoying!


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