I had a lovely lunch meeting today at a local cafe, Mylk Uncookies. Their specialty is house made almond ‘mylk’, as they call it, for their lattes. As I sipped my latte I couldn’t help but reminisce about my own endeavors in nut milk making!
What’s this you say? Milk from nuts, yes it’s true I milked an almond or two in my day.
Why make my own nut milk?
After looking at the ingredients in many of the almond milks at my local organic grocer, I decided that I would try making my own.
I found that the unsweetened versions contain ‘natural flavour’ which is a fancy way of saying ‘lab produced chemical that mimics a natural flavour’. Essentially scientists take a naturally occuring flavour and play with it in the lab and ‘tweak’ it. The resulting compounds are usually excitotoxins (which excite our taste buds constantly until cell death).
In addition to ‘natural flavour’, the nut milks also contain a whole host of chemicals to preserve and stabilize them. Always one to look for ways to cut back on ‘fancy’ lab chemicals in my food I thought making my own milk would satisfy this urge.
Also, nut milks tend to be easier to digest than conventional dairy and soy milk.
What’s wrong with dairy?
This is a controversial subject that I will post about later on but to sum it up: dairy is pasteurized, homogenized, acidic in the body (it can cause leaching of calcium from your bones in order to make blood more alkaline; yes, true story. ), it is a common allergen, its proteins are hard for many to digest, and lastly casein (the major protein found in cow’s milk) was found to turn on cancer genes .
How to make nut milk:
It’s quite simple to make nut milk. You need only 2 ingredients; raw nuts and filtered water. Simply soak 1 cup of raw nuts in water overnight (at least 8 hours). This removes inhibitor enzymes and makes the nuts plump and juicy, so they are ready to be milked, um, I mean blended. After soaking, wash nuts. Place nuts into a blender and add 4 cups of water (2 if you like it very creamy). Blend well (about a minute in a vitamix, variable depending on the blender). Strain using a nut milk bag or cheese cloth. Drink and enjoy.
1 cup of raw nuts
4 cups of filtered water (more for soaking nuts overnight)
nut milk bag
*1 tsp vanilla extract
*optional; you may add vanilla extract and/or dates to sweeten and flavour the milk naturally
Heavenly Hazelnut Milk Hot Cacao
Yum and yum. I wish I had some way to convey the smell of hazelnut milk. The aroma is so beautiful and it makes you remember how good food tastes. I can see why chemical or ‘natural flavour’ companies bottled this smell/taste. It is absolutely heavenly, almost addictive!
1 cup hazelnut milk
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 tbsp raw cacao (or whatever hot chocolate you have on hand)
honey, stevia, or maple syrup to taste
Heat the hazelnut milk gently. Add the raw cacao (or hot cocoa) to the hot water and blend well adding the heated milk. You can use a milk frother to froth the hazelnut milk. It adds that cafe quality 🙂 Sweeten with honey, stevia or maple syrup. You will think you died and went to heaven. I have at least twice now. Which reminds me, I need to buy more hazelnuts!
Better for you ingredients:
Hazelnuts: Touted for their heart healthy fats. 1/4 cup of hazelnuts contain 18g of fat, 15g of which are heart healthy monounsaturated fats! They also contain fibre, protein, folate, manganese and copper.
 T. Colin Campbell, The China Study, 2005. Published by BenBella Books