Although there are some pretty good nut milks on the market these days, we generally make our own and encourage others to as well because it is so easy and cheap to make AND you can ensure that you're avoiding any added nasties such as thickeners, emulsifiers and preservatives. Not to mention the fact that a lot of the commercial brand nut milks actually contain a very small percentage of nuts!
We like to mix it up but generally stick with almond or cashew milk because of their creamy flavour and compatibility with coffee, but you can also other nuts such as macadamia or seeds like hemp and sunflower (although they make a much nuttier tasting milk).
Nut milks will last 3-4 days in the fridge and can replace dairy, soy and other milks. When heating for coffee or cooking, do so at low temperatures to avoid splitting. If splitting does occur, however, it is still drinkable.
1 cup of raw nuts (cashews, almonds, macadamia or a mixture)
4 cups of filtered water
1 tsp of good quality salt (we use Mount Zero pink lake salt)
*Optional ingredients: 1 tsp vanilla essence or 1/2 vanilla pod scraped out, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbs rice malt syrup
You will also need a nut bag or fine muslin cloth for straining (we got our nut bag from The Source)
Place the nuts and salt in a glass or ceramic jug or bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight or for at least 8 hours (except for cashews which only need 4-6 hours of soaking time)
Drain and rinse the nuts thoroughly. Place in a food processor, blender or thermomix and add 4 cups of water*, processing on high for 2 minutes.
Pour the contents into the nut bag, over a bowl and gently squeeze out all the nut milk. The pulp will retain a lot of milk so you really need to work it to get it all out. If you want to add any of the optional ingredients (sweetener, vanilla etc) chuck it in with the milk and give it a quick whizz in your process/thermomix. If you have used cashews you don’t need to strain, even better (you will get a bit of sediment in the bottle/jar so shake before use).
Keep your nut milk in a glass jar or bottle in the fridge for up to 4 days.
The left over nut pulp can be added to smoothies, soups (if not sweetened), added to crumbles or other desserts. We like to freeze the leftover pulp and when there is a largish amount, defrost it and dehydrate it for 24 hours or so until dry. Then we blitz it to turn into almond flour for baking! No waste there!
*Please ensure you are not going over the liquid capacity of your processor, if it takes less than 4 cups, process the milk in halves (half nuts and half water)