Recipe Monday: How to Make Your Own Nut Milks
Categories: Food & Nutrition
Tags: Raw Foods Recipe Vegetarian & Vegan Terces Engelhardt Orchid Matthew Rogers Tiziana Tamborra
Making Nut Milk
You can make nut milk out of almost any kind of nut. The process is very simple: All you do is blend soaked or unsoaked (depending on the nut) nuts with water and strain out the milk using a nut-milk bag or something comparable. Nut-milk bags are fine-mesh straining bags with a drawstring, specifically designed for the purpose of making nut milk (N.B.: If you don’t have a nut-milk bag, I’ve found that cheesecloths work just fine). The pulp left behind after straining is nut “flour,” which can be used in a variety of ways. We use nut flour extensively in all our cakes and in some dehydrated items.
Making almond milk requires first soaking the almonds 12–24 hours. After soaking, drain water and rinse the almonds. They are now ready for milk-making. Hazelnuts and Brazil nuts do not require soaking, as they do not contain the enzyme inhibitors found in most nuts with brown skins. Cashews should be soaked in cold filtered water for 8 hours (less time is needed if the cashews are broken up into little bits). Soaking them overnight in the fridge is a perfectly fine and easy method for cashews and most other nuts. Once soaked, drain off the water and rinse once or twice.
Add to blender 1 cup nuts and 3 cups filtered water. Blend on high 2–3 minutes or until nuts are completely broken down. Don’t blend too long or the milk will start to overheat.
Optional: Let nut milks steep 10–20 minutes before straining for a creamier, richer flavor.
Place a nut-milk bag in a bowl or other container. Pour the blend ed nuts through the nut-milk bag and strain out as much of the milk as possible by firmly squeezing the bag. Pour milk into a container and store in fridge. Most nut milks will keep for at least three days if stored properly. Empty the contents (nut flour) of the nut-milk bag. Keep nut flours in an airtight container in the fridge. Nut flour will keep for at least two days, or you can store it for longer in the freezer.
Useful Tips for Selecting and Storing Nuts
Special attention should always be given when selecting nuts. All nuts, if improperly stored, will become stale or rancid. The higher the oil content in the nut, the more easily it will spoil. In general, softer nuts tend to have a higher oil content. For this reason, we recommend always storing macadamia, Brazil, and pecan nuts in the fridge in an airtight container.
Always smell and taste nuts before using, and if possible, before buying; if they are rancid the odor will be a sharp, strong, chemical-like smell. We suggest purchasing nuts in quantities that will be used in a short period of time. All nuts should be stored in an airtight container to ensure freshness for as long as possible.