Almond, Coconut and Sesame Milk
I’ve made this marvellous milk twice a week the past month, so knew I had to share it with you. I hadn’t made my own milk for a while to be honest – not since Mila was born, and that spare time I used to spend on indulgences such as nut-milk-making somehow evaporated. Now all of a sudden she’s 20 months old (where did the time go?) so I thought why not get out the nut milk bag again! Mila’s also recently developed an avid enthusiasm for helping me out in the kitchen (“mummy up, mummy up”). So we’ve been making this lovely smooth and creamy Almond, Coconut and Sesame Milk together.
It didn’t take me long to remember how truly easy it is to make your own plant milk at home. Once you get in a rhythm, you’ll be able to make this recipe from start to finish (including clean up) in 10 minutes. I’ve been finding it quite therapeutic too, lovingly blending and squeezing your own milk each week. And if you’ve got little ones, I’m sure they’ll love getting involved as much as Mila does! Get them measuring and pouring the ingredients (I get her to pour over the small hole opening of our blender, and make sure it’s switched off at the wall when you’re doing so, so they don’t get anywhere near the blades).
I shared a recipe for homemade nut/plant milks a number of years ago, but this particular blend has become my favourite. You get a lovely creaminess from the almonds, a natural sweetness from the coconut (which also makes it more cost effective than just almond), and an extra calcium boost from the sesame seeds. Sesame seeds can be quite bitter on their own, but soaking and using them in small quantities as we do here, is the perfect way to benefit from all their calcium goodness. Call it the new Calci-Xtra Nut Milk if you will!
All you need to make this lovely milk is six very simple ingredients, which you’ll probably have in your pantry right now (and if not, you can order them from our online Be Good Organics store here). An overnight soak of the almonds and sesame seeds to remove any bitterness and nutrient inhibitors, a 1 minute blend in a high speed blender, and a good squeeze in a nut milk bag (my favourite is this one here). And delicious creamy homemade milk shall be yours. No additives, dairy, lactose, animal products, refined sugars, tetra paks, plastic, processing, heating, homogenising, thickeners or preservatives – just pure unadulterated creamy delicious plant milk. I hope you love it!
Sesame seeds – the calcium super star
I was surprised looking back over the blog that I’ve never talked to you about sesame seeds before, despite them being one of my favourite ways to get people to incorporate more calcium into their diet. Sesame seeds (the unhulled version) contain a whopping 975mg of calcium per 100g, nearly 100% of our recommended daily intake of 1000mg. That’s almost 9 times that found in the equivalent amount of dairy milk, which we’re often advised is the holy grail when it comes to calcium.
Now, granted, you’re unlikely to sit and eat 100g of sesame seeds in a serving. But by adding them to your milk as in this recipe, sprinkling on top of salads and fritters (like in these Spiced Cauliflower Fritters), or using tahini (ground sesame seed paste) to make a delicious Tahini Dressing which goes super well with falafels (as well as pretty much anything), you’ll be certain to get your daily recommended calcium dose.
Sesame seeds are also a fantastic source of protein at 18%, only just below animal protein sources (such as chicken, beef and fish) at ~20%. Sesame seeds are also a fabulous source of iron, with 15mg per 100g – five times that found in red meat (2.9mg/100g). They’re also a great way to include more magnesium is your diet, which can be very helpful for sleep onset, maintenance, and muscle cramps.
Note that you can get two types of sesame seeds – unhulled (with the outer part intact), and hulled (the hull removed, leaving just the kernel). Unhulled have a slightly more bitter taste, so my preference in general is the hulled seeds. The only downside of this is that some of the calcium is contained in the hull. If you’re very focussed on calcium intake (particularly if you’re older or going through menopause), you could try making this milk using unhulled seeds. The end result will be slightly more bitter, but you can offset this in part by soaking overnight (as we do here) and also adding an extra date to sweeten.
One other thing to note is that sesame seeds, like other nuts and seeds, contain phytates and oxalates in their skins, which if left untreated, can inhibit the absorption of other nutrients. The best way to offset this is by soaking them overnight. Not only does this remove these anti-nutrient compounds, it also has the double whammy benefit of removing their bitter flavour (this holds true for all nuts and seeds). Try a soaked almond or walnut, or better yet, one one that’s been soaked and dehydrated until crunchy – you’ll be amazed at how sweet and creamy the flavour is compared to a regular old raw one!
I hope you give this delicious Almond, Coconut and Sesame Milk a go – it truly has become my favourite blend. Get yourself a nut bag and get blending this weekend! After a few tries I’m certain you’ll become a bi-weekly regular like me. If you make a batch, I’d love to see a pic of yours on Facebook (you can find my page here, or on Instagram with the tags @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics. I’d love to see your version and hear what you think!
It’s a long weekend here in New Zealand, which means Monday off. We’re heading down to beautiful Matarangi, a beach in the Coromandel on the east coast of the North Island. I’m super looking forward to lots of walks, sunshine and fresh air. I’ll be writing a nutrition essay in between all of that, but I couldn’t think of a better place to be researching and writing than at the beach!
Hope you’ve got something lovely planned too. Til next week, stay happy and well.
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Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
Almond, Coconut and Sesame Milk
- 2 1/2 c water
- 1/2 c desiccated coconut soaked overnight
- 1/3 c almonds soaked overnight
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds soaked overnight
- 1 date
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
- Pinch sea salt
- 1/2 tsp lecithin optional
- Soak the almonds and sesame seeds in filtered water overnight (you can use the same bowl). Soak the coconut in a separate bowl with 2 cups of filtered water overnight. Make sure to place both bowls in the fridge overnight, as this will extend the shelf life of the milk.
- In the morning, rinse and drain the almonds and sesame seeds, and add to your blender along with the coconut and its soaking water, and all other ingredients.
- Blend for 1-2 minutes on high until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Pour into a nut milk bag. Add an extra 1/2 cup of water to the blender and blend for ten seconds to clean it. Then add this water into the nut milk bag too.
- Take the nut milk bag and squeeze it gently until all the liquid is extracted.
- Pour the milk into a clean glass bottle, seal, and store in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- You can use this milk in any way you'd use normal milk, but it's particularly delicious poured over grawnola and fruit, or in a decadent homemade hot chocolate.
- You can use this milk in any of my recipes that call for plant-based milk, whether they be my Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Creams, Beetroot Blueberry Muffins or favourite fruity Apple Pie Smoothie.
- Adding the lecithin is totally optional, though I highly recommend it as it helps to bind the milk ingredients and prevent separation - meaning it's great for in hot drinks. However, you can also just shake your milk bottle before serving to avoid separation - do whatever suits you best!
- The coconut in this recipe doesn't have to be soaked overnight, but it does make it easier on your blender to extract all the nutrients.
- I highly recommend soaking your nuts and seeds overnight in the fridge, especially in warmer weather, as it makes a significant difference to the shelf life of the milk (ie whether you'll get 3 days out of it rather than just 2).
- You can use the coconut soaking water in this recipe, because the coconut meat is only the inside of the coconut and therefore doesn't contain phytates, which are located in the skin of nuts and seeds.
- For a nut free version, swap out the almonds for an extra 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut (you need more than the 1/3 cup almond measure, as it compresses quite a bit).
- I soak 5 sets of ingredients at once, then rinse and drain the remaining 4 so I can have my ingredients pre soaked for mid-week milk making.
- Keep any nut milk pulp and put it in a sealed container in the freezer. It keeps for many months, and can be used to add to cakes, baking, breads, as well as these delicious Raspberry and Chocolate Macaroons here. Simply substitute 1/4 of the required flour for pulp in any of your favourite recipes, whether they are baked cakes or raw bliss balls.