Now I could have called this post “The journey to dairy-free freedom never did run smooth” but I doubt anyone would know what I was talking about!
Anyway I wouldn’t want to make false claims but I think I have probably tried every available alternative milk out there, originally easing in with soya then progressing to almond, onto hazelnut, macadamia, brazil nut, coconut, then hemp, rice and oat. I’m not saying that all of these were terrible and homemade is the only way to go (or maybe I am) but once you have tried homemade milks I defy you to not be completely hooked!
As the shop bought options go I would opt for Oatly Organic Oat Milk as it is literally just organic oats and water, gluten free and about as natural as you’re going to get. It also has a lovely subtle oats taste that just makes porridge taste even better, plus it works well in hot drinks which is always a bonus!
The process is so much simpler than you could imagine plus the big issue I have with the pre-made ones (even the organic brands) is they tend to add odd ingredients like sunflower or palm oil, carrageenan and our old foe sugar to lengthen the shelf life and prevent the milk from separating. I personally would prefer to avoid these plus if you buy your nuts/seeds/grains in bulk making your own milks will also save you money.
So what do you need?
- A glass bowl or jug for soaking
- A high speed blender such as a Nutri Bullet or Vitamix
- A jam strainer bag (I bought mine on Amazon for £2.50)
- A glass bottle or jar to keep the milk in (Lakeland do nice bottles)
- A sieve
- 1 cup organic raw nuts or seeds of your choice (I am using almonds)
- 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
Place your nuts into a large glass bowl and cover with double their volume of filtered water, add the vinegar then cover and leave to soak for 8-12 hours.
Drain the nuts and rinse well. Place into the blender with 3 cups of water and blend until a frothy white milk forms.
Put the jam bag into a jug and fold the top edges down over the top to prevent it slipping down. Pour the milk into the bag, only filling it halfway. Pick up the edges and gently squeeze the milk through the bag. Don’t try to do it too quickly as you will end up showered in a fine spray (as I know all too well!)
Once you’ve squeezed all the liquid through you will be left with the nut meal in the bag, I pop this onto a baking tray and then continue with the rest of the milk.
Decant your milk into your chosen container and voila you have your fabulous fresh nut milk!
I cannot bear waste so I then break the leftover meal up with my fingers and pop the baking tray into a preheated 190°C oven for about 20 minutes to dry out and lightly toast. Give it a stir and break up with a fork after 10 minutes or so to prevent the bits around the edge catching. Once done I then blend it to a fine meal in my Nutri Bullet using the milling blade but you don’t need to, simply add to smoothies, porridge, yoghurt or use in baking.