I have known that you could easily make your own nut milk in a Vitamix for a long time. It still just seemed too much effort. I read someone’s recommendation for the Almond Cow and was really intrigued.
As I dug deeper I read the almond milk from a Vitamix was actually creamier than from the Almond Cow. I finally decided to try it.
It’s pretty simple
All you really need is nuts and water. You can add other flavorings, and I often do (pinch of salt, vanilla, cinnamon). The Vitamix is a very high powered blender, so you don’t even have to presoak your nuts and I haven’t.
For most nut milks, you’ll need a nut milk bag (this separates the “milk” from the leftover ground up nuts, although if you don’t mind the taste, you can leave them in there).
I use cheesecloth, for the simple reason that I had some and while you might think buying a nut milk bag would be a simple thing, I couldn’t decide on one. I think I’ll probably try one at some point.
Some nuts, like cashews, you don’t even need the nut milk bag for. It’s a softer nut and you won’t notice the cashew meal in your cashew milk. I happen to really like cashew milk, too.
Put all the ingredients into your Vitamix (or other blender). Blend about 90 seconds. Either place your nut milk bag in, or drape your cheesecloth over, a large container. I use a 64 oz glass pyrex measuring cup; I happened to already own it.
Pour the contents of the Vitamix into the nutmilk bag or over the cheesecloth (you may have to hold onto it or put a rubber band around it so it doesn’t slip down into the container).
Squeeze the “milk” out of the nut milk bag/ cheesecloth. You can throw out the remaining almond pulp, compost it, or even make things like cookies and crackers out of it (which I haven’t yet tried).
Pour your fresh almond milk into a container. I use Mason Jars.
Making alternative milks on the fly
What if you’ve run out of nut milk and just don’t have time (or the will) to make a fresh batch? Never fear, nut butter will do the trick.
Use about 1 tbsp nut butter and 1 cup water. I used my smaller, less powerful blender for this. Because the nuts in the nut butter are roasted (although of course you can buy raw nut butter), the taste will be slightly different and the “milk” will be a bit more tan colored.
I’m not sure I’ve found the perfect ratio of nuts to water yet. The more nuts you add, the creamier it will be, but of course the higher the fat content will be.
Generally you can go anywhere from 1/4 – 1 Cup nuts per 4 cups of water. I do suggest adding in a little vanilla and a pinch of salt for flavor (unless you’re using your almond milk in a savory dish, then omit the vanilla). You can sweeten it if you’d like, of course, but I usually don’t.
For your “instant” nut milk the ratio is about 1 tbsp to 1 cup water.
I also make chocolate cashew milk. Typically I add about 1-2 Tbsp cacao and 4 – 8 dates to sweeten it. I use that for making hot chocolate, and I often use it as a recovery drink after a run — adding collagen gives it a protein boost to help you on your way to recovery.
It isn’t really all that hard to make nut milk, and it is definitely cheaper than buying a good brand. The brand I liked the most was $6.99 for 4 cups! But it was basically nuts and water. I can make about 3 x that much with the same amount of money in nuts.
I also get to control what goes into my nut milk. I can control the amount of sweetener, and there’s no need for emulsifiers, which is a slightly iffy ingredient healthwise.
Yes, without the emulsifiers like soy lecithin or carageenan, your nut milk with separate in the fridge. All you have to do is give it a shake.
I also get to control the flavorings, the type of sweetener — or no sweetener (most of the time). No containers to recycle or throw out, either.
Yes, it does take some time. Yes, there are days I don’t want to do it. But overall, I’m happy I finally tried it and I don’t see myself going back to buying nut milk at the store.
What do you prefer to make yourself that you can buy?
If you have a blender, what do you use it for?
Do you like warm recovery beverages when it’s cold out (yes, please) or don’t really care about temperature?
This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.