By Melanie A. Albert, intuitive cooking expert, author, and speaker. Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group, LLC
Many people are not aware how easy it is to make a nut or seed milk. This morning I made a really quick smoothie to enjoy prior to teaching a cooking class. The base was a simple homemade sunflower seed milk, with frozen raspberries and a banana.
Excerpt from A New View of Healthy Eating
Make Your Own Nut or Seed Milk
Nut milks are very popular, but often store-bought milks contain added sugars or preservatives. Use these simple steps to make your own nut milks, which are nutrient-dense, more affordable than store-bought milks, and taste so fresh. Enjoy your made-from-scratch nut milk as a beverage, in smoothies, or in recipes that call for milk.
When making nut milk, it’s important to remember that various nuts and seeds have different flavor profiles, from neutral, to slightly sweet, to slightly bitter. Intuitively create your own favorite nut milk by experimenting with different nuts and seeds.
- Neutral: Almonds, Brazil nuts
- Slightly sweet: Cashews, macadamia, pecans
- Slightly bitter, may need to balance with a sweetener: Seeds
Nut-Based Milk. Generally, nut milk, such as almond, tends to be white and watery, with a thin texture and a mild, almost bland flavor. Use almond milk as a great plant-based replacement for milk or water in smoothies or with morning whole grains, such as steel-cut oats.
Seed-Based Milk. Seed milk, such as hemp milk, is thick and creamy. Hemp milk made with dates and vanilla has a lot of depth and a flavorful, sweet, nutty, earthy taste. Drink hemp milk as a perfect healthy beverage.
5 Simple Steps to Make Your Own Nut or Seed Milk
- Pour ⅓ cup raw nuts or seeds (almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, or hemp seeds) into a high-speed blender.
- Add 1 cup water or coconut water.
- OPTIONAL: Add 1 organic date (pre-soak 1 hour to soften) for sweetness and/or ⅓ teaspoon vanilla extract for smoothness.
- Blend on low to start and increase speed to high for 2-3 minutes, to finely pulverize the nuts or seeds and create a smooth texture.
- OPTIONAL: Pour liquid through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or nut bag and hand squeeze the liquid through the cloth.
- Use nut milk as a base for smoothies, a liquid in whole grains, or a tasty beverage.
6 Nut and Seed Milk Tips
- 3:1 Ratio. Start with a ratio of 3 parts liquid to 1 part nuts or seeds. Use more or less liquid depending on your personal preference for smoothness.
- Make a Little at a Time. Nut and seed milk stays fresh in the refrigerator for a few days.
- To Strain or Not to Strain. It’s Up to You. Strain the blended nut milk in cheesecloth, a nut bag, or a fine-mesh strainer. Straining ensures a smooth, milky texture, and you can use this nut or seed pulp as a base for other creations. Do not strain cashews, hemp seeds, and sesame seeds due to their soft texture. If you do not strain the nut or seed milk, the nutrients and fiber from the nuts or seeds go right into your smoothie.
- Pulp for Breakfast. Add pulp from the nut milk to a whole grain breakfast.
- Dehydrate the Pulp. Dehydrate the pulp to use in crackers or crusts, or grind it into gluten-free flour. To dehydrate, spread the pulp onto dehydrator sheets and dehydrate until crisp, about 4-6 hours. Blend in a food processor and sift to make flour.
- To Soak or Not to Soak. It’s Up to You. Many raw foodists pre-soak nuts and seeds to neutralize enzyme inhibitors, make proteins more readily available for absorption, and make digestion easier. From a culinary view, pre-soaked nuts and seeds are easier to blend and result in creamier milk. If you have not pre-soaked the nuts and seeds, you can still make quick nut milk, which works well with morning smoothies. Blend the milk, add fruit, re-blend, and you have a quick smoothie.
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