This milk is “no strain” in a couple of ways: (A) It requires minimal effort and (B) you do not need to strain the milk with cheesecloth or a dedicated milk bag. Aaah – just my kind of recipe – no heavy lifting and fewer opportunities to spill. Disclaimer: I don’t know if my accelerated soaking method messes with the way nuts are really supposed to be soaked – I’m just going on visual cues. They look the same as when I soak them for hours, but if you require the digestive/nutritional benefits of a full soak, go the traditional route – cover them in filtered water and soak them overnight (some people say 3-8). I woke up this morning, put a bunch of hazelnuts to soak in just-boiled water, took my shower, and will go upstairs and make some iced hazelnut lattes. YUM!!
In the picture you see a few different types of milk: 1) Coconut (tall carafe), 2) Vanilla Almond, 3) Chocolate Almond. I’ve also tried this with hazelnuts and cashews and it’s great. The coconut and hazelnut milks make terrific lattes, especially since I’ve been into sweetening my milk with 4 dates and adding vanilla and cinnamon. This is so quick and easy it’s really doable, otherwise I wouldn’t be advocating this sort of milk-making behavior. It’s like, seriously? Just go to the store.
Now I love my favorite unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but I read in a few places that it’s actually better to make DF milk yourself since your body is better off without the fortification (calcium, vitamins) store-bought milk usually comes with. It’s counterintuitive because I drink lots of milk and think to myself, where else am I going to get calcium? Well, it turns out that you can get calcium from other foods. Sardines, for instance have a heavy calcium punch, and I like them a lot. So I’m going to give this homemade milk thing a try and seek calcium elsewhere.
No Strain Dairy Free Milk
Makes 4 cups of milk, but you can double/half it etc.
(1) Choose your milk base, e.g.
- raw almonds
- raw cashews
- toasted or raw hazelnuts
- unsweetened shredded coconut
(2) Soak your base: place ¼ nuts in a mug. Cover with just-boiled water, let sit for an hour. A ¼ cup is about a quarter of the usual amount of nuts I’ve seen in many recipes online that require straining. I figure if I’m not going to strain, though, I don’t want to be eating all those nuts. Even if I did strain my milk I probably wouldn’t want to ingest all of that. So I have been using my reduced ratio without diminished enjoyment – my siblings quite like it too.
(3) Blend: Drain and rinse the nuts, but if you’re using coconut, don’t do this. Dump the base into your blender – of course, I use a Vitamix. Add any flavorings along with the 4 cups of water: my favorite = 4 dates, splash of vanilla, dash of cinnamon, and if I want chocolate, spoonful of cocoa. Blend on high until smooth – froth is good. I found the coconut took longer to blend. As with all DF milk there will be sediment, so if your milk has been sitting in a pitcher, shake or stir vigorously before serving.
So the ratio is ¼ base: 4 c water. I don’t think this is a lot of milk, but that’s intentional – I don’t want this to sit in the fridge too long, and this method is so easy I can make it often. The hardest part is choosing what kind of milk I want. Ooh! It’s been an hour – I’m going to go make my hazelnut milk now. Bye :).
I’m back. The hazelnut milk was great. I made an iced latte in the morning and chocolate milk in the afternoon. This method is so easy you can go make a pitcher of milk right now. I just did 8 cups to make sure it doubles well, and it does. So go make some milk, pour a nice tall glass for yourself with ice cubes in it, and munch on a chocolate chip cookie, or if you have apple pie in your house, that would be a great way to celebrate the 4th. While you’re at it you can watch Ed being patriotic: (click the image for the video)