Now I love a bit of milk. Always have. So when I found out the process by which it gets to my fridge door, I was torn between that delicious creamy taste and the not so dreamy reality of its inception. You see, in order to make milk, like humans a cow must be pregnant. So because dairy farmers want milk all year round (and consumers demand it), the lady cows are kept in an almost permanent state of pregnancy – taxing on the body to say the least. When they do give birth to their little one, if it’s a girl, she might get to stick around so she can replace her ma later down the track.
But if it’s a boy, there is no use for him. So every baby boy calf born (which equates to every second calf on average), is sent away as a “bobby calf” to either be slaughtered immediately, or kept inside restrictive veal crates to be turned into veal. Mother cows have been known to escape their pens and run for miles in search of their abducted little ones!
But enough of that. Luckily, there is a delicious creamy and oh so tasty solution to this issue, that will nurture both your body and your soul. And here in forays my Nurturing Nut Milk. All you need is a high-speed blender or food processor, and if you’re really fancy – some muslin/cheese cloth, a spare pair of pantyhose, or a nut milk bag.
One more thing – you definitely want to soak your nuts for this recipe – they will expand (check out the handy diagrammatic below for soaking times). Why soak you say? A wee thing called phytic acid in the skin of the nut we want to remove to improve digestibility and enhance the bioavailability of all that nutty goodness into your body.
Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
- 1 c almonds
- 4 c filtered water
- 2 dates
- 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
- 1/2 tsp lecithin
- Pinch sea salt
- Soak your nuts in a bowl of filtered water overnight. In the morning, drain and rinse well.
- Add all ingredients using just one cup of water to your blender and blend for a minute until super creamy with no grainy bits left. You may need to scrape down the insides of your blender and blend again, depending on how strong your machine is.
- Once creamy, add the remaining water and blend again until smooth.
- Now, you can stop here and keep all the pulpy goodness in the milk, especially if you’re using cashews or macadamias (I normally do – its quicker, easier and less mess). BUT, if you want a consistency like in the containers of store-bought milk without any graininess, strain your milk through a sieve/muslin cloth/pantyhose/old thin tea towel/nut milk bag, pushing or squeezing the pulp until all liquid comes out and you’re left with dryish nut pulp. Don’t throw this away – pop it in the freezer and add to your favourite cookie or cake recipes!
- Keep in the fridge for 3 days.
- You can use a wide variety of nuts, seeds and even grains to make dairy-free milk. Your favourite nuts (such as cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, walnuts), seeds (such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds), grains (such as oats, cooked brown rice, cooked quinoa), or even desiccated coconut will all work great.
- To make it nut-free, simply use one of the non-nut options given above!
- You can also replace the dates with 1-2 tbsp coconut nectar/yacon/agave syrup OR a few drops stevia – or just leave out entirely!
- Lecithin is optional but helps to emulsify the milk so it doesn’t separate on standing – which makes it particularly great when you want to add to teas and hot drinks. You can use either sunflower or soy lecithin, just make sure to source organic or non-GMO. If you don’t have any, just make sure to shake your bottle to recombine before using
- This bottle of creamy goodness will last in your fridge for 3 days – be sure to shake it up before pouring over your raw Grawnola or Buckinis each morning, and topping with fresh organic fruit.