I’m the DIY girl. Yep, through and through. I’ve always been the “let’s make it” person when it comes to food-stuffs and crafts. So this project as well as this post isn’t novel in the slightest.
But truth be told, it feels hugely novel to me. If the do-it-yourself-home-healthy-let’s-make-it had a turning point (to the left!) it would be right here and now. Because making your own nut milk is a commitment. Not in time or budget (it’s pretty simple and cost effective) but in principle. Becoming the person/woman/mom/wife who doesn’t have a backup tetra-pack of almond milk in the pantry is in my world close to life-is-going-to-shit-whatever-will-you-do-with-your-lousy-self status. If nothing else, there is always and has always been backup almond, soy, cashew, rice milk around to whip up a recipe that calls for it, make a quick latte, pudding, cake, custard, you name it! So in deciding to now make all our own nut milk I feel we’ve reached a new level of crazy (er, awesome!).
What does this mean for our family:
- I’m going to have to stay on top of our “milk” consumption because you can’t just open up a jar at the drop of a hat. Soaking and blending take a bit of prep time and awareness but hey, no problemo! I am forever on constant patrol of what is in our fridge.
- We eliminate a number of additives: carageenan, gellan gum, flavour (natural or otherwise). Not that they are the most horrible things, but thickeners, preservatives and additional things can’t hurt to reduce. Plus there was all that press about how almond milk actually has almost no almonds in it, it’s all the additives that are the bulk of what we know the milk to be! Water and nuts (and maybe a dash of vanilla) are a pretty simple ingredients list I can get behind.
- We get to play with the texture and flavour in each batch. I sometimes make a portion of a batch into date-chocolate milk. Mmmm dangerous. It’s crazy-good!
- It’s more economical. Nuts can be quite expensive. But when you look at the quantity of milk that a cup of nuts can make it all of a sudden looks more appealing. I did the math and it’s about half the cost to make the same quantity if you were to buy it in the tetra-packs as regular price.
- We have more space in our pantry. I used to stock-pile a case at a time of nut-milk, which takes up some serious space in our urban small storage space for food. The bag of nuts in the fridge takes up much less room. So this means we’ll have more room for other goodies in the cupboard.
Let’s see how the make-your-own-milk project goes over the course of the next months. For now, here’s the simplest recipe for cashew milk. We’ll start with cashew because it truly is the easiest nut to work with. After soaking it blends with no meal or leftover residue. Seriously. I know right! It blends into a creamy, milky liquid with no need for cheese-cloth or fancy bags or anything. And it feels great to know you aren’t wasting any of the ingredients either.
- 1 c cashews (soak overnight and then discard of the soaking water).
- Blend with 5-6 c spring or filtered water (start the blender on low and then gradually speed it up until milky-white colour and texture is visible).
- Add 1-2 t natural pure vanilla extract (if desired/to taste). Add 1 T maple syrup (to taste) if you want to sweeten.
- Decant into clean glass jars (the easiest way to make sure a glass jar is sterile and your milk won’t perish quickly is to pour boiling hot water in the jar).