How to make your own nut milk

Lactose intolerant or not, these days, more and more people are getting into drinking nut milk. You've probably seen almond milk in your grocery store's dairy aisle, but did you now that it's actually super simple to make yourself? All you need is a fine-mesh strainer and some cheesecloth and and you can make any nut milk you want, without all the controversial stabilizers and thickeners that store-bought versions often contain.

Making it yourself also puts you in control of added sweeteners -- and flavors which can take many of your breakfast dishes to the next level. How good does a bowl of chocolate-y granola with some homemade hazelnut milk sound right about now?

Or how about some oatmeal cooked in pistachio milk with a bit of cardamom? You could even use nut milks to add thickness, without heaviness, to soups, stews, curries, and purees.

1. Gather a few simple ingredients:


For about 3 1/2 cups of nut milk, you need:

1 cup of raw nuts (almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans)

Filtered water: about 2 cups for soaking and 3 1/2 cups for blending

Optional flavorings: Citrus zest, cinnamon, vanilla bean, rosewater, turmeric, orange blossom water, matcha powder, etc

A fine-mesh sieve


2. Step 1: Soak the nuts

Almonds may have 20 percent less calories than previously thought.

Almonds may have 20 percent less calories than previously thought. (iStock)

You want to use about twice as much water as nuts and let them sit at least overnight and up to 24 hours.  Some people prefer to remove the skins from the nuts first. We really like the flavor that they add, sono need to bother with this step if you don't want to.

3. Step 2: Blend the nuts


Drain the nuts and rinse them under running water to remove any remaining impurities. Add them to a blender with the rest of the filtered water.  Here is where you would also want to add your flavorings. Blend the mixture for about 3 minutes at high speed. Add more filtered water for a thinner consistency. Taste and add more flavorings as you go if necessary.

4. Step 3: Strain your nut milk

Almond milk in glass with almonds

Almond milk in glass with almonds (iStock)

Place the fine-mesh strainer, lined with several layers of cheesecloth, over a large liquid measuring cup or bowl. Press down on the pulp to extract as much liquid as possible. You might have to do this in batches. Pour the strained mixture into a covered jar or lidded container and store in the fridge where should keep for 3 to 4 days.

Now that you have a basic recipe, it's time to get creative. Experiment with different nuts and flavorings. For sweeteners, we like to use agave, honey, maple syrup or even chopped pitted dates that have been soaked in hot water.  You can even use this method to make milk from seeds, like sesame or poppy.

Here are some recipes from Epicurious that would greatly benefit from a little homemade nut-milk.

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