Dairy Free Milks-Nut, Seed and Plant Based Milks

nuts and seeds

You can make a variety of non dairy “milks” by blending raw nuts, seeds, or grains with water. A partial list of nuts and seeds that can be used to make milk includes: Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, coconuts, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, macadamias, millet, oats, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, quinoa and rice.

 

Some Benefits To Making Your Own Dairy Free Milk:

  • Significantly less expensive than store bought
  • Free of additives, preservatives
  • Control of quality, taste and texture
  • Control of ingredients
  • Control of sugar levels

 

Non Dairy “Milk” -Makes 3-4 cups milk
After experimenting with various nut milks here is a simple recipe I use that is easy to follow. There are some optional ingredients listed that can improve the flavor and texture of your milk. I tend to keep it really basic, as I frequently use these non dairy milks in raw recipes.

Ingredients:
1 cup nuts, seeds or grains

3 cups filtered water

 

OR For Chia, Flax or Sesame Milk

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp. seeds chia, flax or sesame

3 cups filtered water
Optional Ingredients:
3 Tbs. sweetener (such as agave, powdered coconut sugar, pitted dates, raw honey, maple syrup, or stevia to taste).
1 Tbs. coconut butter (for texture)
1 Tbs. Non-GM soy or sunflower lecithin (to emulsify and add creaminess)
1 tsp. natural vanilla extract (enhance flavor)
Pinch of Celtic sea salt (enhance flavor)
Fruit to create flavored milks

 

Directions:
1. Soak nuts, grains, or seeds for desired time. (Soaking removes enzyme inhibitors, improves digestibility and nutrient bioavailability, and helps everything blend more easily).

2. Drain nuts, grains, or seeds. Rinse and then place in high speed blender with 3 cups filtered water. Add any optional ingredients, and blend on high until fully liquefied, about 1 minute.  Milk may be warm from high speed of your blender.

3. Strain with a nut milk bag, if desired. Milk will keep for two-three days stored in a sealed glass jar in the fridge.

4. Homemade milk will separate; just give it a shake before pouring.

 

Additional Info For Those New To Non Dairy Milks

Soaking
Simply place your grains, nuts or seeds in a bowl cover with filtered water. See soaking chart at end of article.

Blending
I love a Vitamix for this. It’s fast, easy and clean up is a snap. Simply add your grains, nuts or seeds to the Vitamix with filtered water and blend for 1-2 minutes. If you like your milk a little thicker you may want to start with 2 cups of water and gradually add more till the consistency is to your liking.

Sweeteners
This is a personal preference, as some people like things sweeter than others. Experiment with agave, coconut sugar, pitted dates, raw honey, maple syrup, or stevia. Add a little at a time till it’s perfect for you.

Flavoring
Be bold and try adding carob, cocoa, lucuma, maca, fruit, spices or whatever you’re in the mood for. Consider dividing your milk into pint jars and make a variety of new flavors to try, that way if you really don’t like the taste you didn’t ruin the whole batch. Consider a small of vanilla extract to give your flavors a boost. Adding a non GMO lecithin or coconut butter can help to keep your milk from separating. (I leave these out and give the milk a quick shake before pouring).

Straining
This is also a personal preference; some people like their milks really smooth, while others welcome the additional fiber. To strain milk, simply place a nut milk bag over a large bowl and pour in milk. Gently squeeze the bag until the liquid has passed through. Pour into containers, label and refrigerate. Re-use the leftover pulp in cookies, crackers or body scrubs.

 

Soaking Chart

Nut /Seed Soaking Time
Almond  8-12 hours
Brazil Nuts  2 Hours
Cashews  2 Hours
Chia Seeds  No Soak
Flax Seeds  No Soak
Hazelnuts  8 Hours
Hemp Seeds  No Soak
Macadamia Nuts  2 Hours
Pecans  8 Hours
Pine Nuts  2 Hours
Pistachios  4 Hours
Pumpkin Seeds  6 Hours
Sesame Seeds  6 Hours
Hulled Sunflower Seeds  4 Hours
Walnuts  8 Hours
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