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There are plenty of reasons to go nuts for nut milks: they’re lactose-free, healthy, and if you make them yourself, cheap, easy, and preservative-free. Whether you add yours to your favourite dairy-free latte or smoothie, or guzzle them in all their nutty glory, homemade nut milk is a must-try.

But the best thing about making your own nut milks is creating flavours you’ll never find at your grocery store, like pistachio vanilla (follow basic recipe using pistachios; add vanilla and a sweetener of your choice), peanut chocolate (follow basic recipe using peanuts; add chocolate chips) cashew vanilla maple (follow basic recipe using cashews; add vanilla and maple syrup) or almond and Mayan chocolate (follow basic recipe using almonds; add semi-sweet dark chocolate, cinnamon and a pinch of dried pepper flakes).

What You Need:

TOOLS

  • 1 measuring cup (of at least 1 cup or more)
  • A jar or glass bowl with cover
  • A sieve or strainer
  • A high-powered blender
  • Cheesecloth or a nut milk bag (yes, it’s a thing, and yes, these pictures are safe for work). Find them at your local health food store or order online
  • A large bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw nuts
  • 2-3 cups soaking water
  • 3-4 cups fresh water (for a creamier milk, use less water; for a lighter version, use more)

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS

For flavour:

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or a vanilla bean
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp. cocoa powder

For sweetness:

  • 1-4 tsp. maple syrup, agave, or honey
  • A few drops liquid stevia or pinch of stevia powder
  • 2-3 pitted dates
  • 1/2-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

What You Do:

  1. Measure 1 cup of raw nuts into a glass bowl or jar and add water 2 – 3″ above the nut line. Cover and refrigerate for 8 – 12 hours. (If you’re in a pinch, it’s possible to make nut milk in a shorter time, but longer soaking yields a silkier end product).
  2. Drain nuts in sieve or strainer and rinse well.
  3. Add water, sweeteners, flavourings and soaked nuts to a high-powered blender, in that order.
  4. Blend on high until mixture is completely pulverized.
  5. Using a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, strain milk over a large bowl. Squeeze the cloth or bag well to remove all the liquid. (Note, some well-soaked nuts, like cashew, yield a smooth enough product that straining may be superfluous. Experiment and discover for yourself whether you prefer whole nut milk or a strained version.)
  6. Discard pulp, or better yet, put it to use in veggie burgers, nut butters, smoothies, cookies and more.

Fresh nut milk is delicious straight from the blender, but it’s better after chilling in the fridge for a few hours. However you like it, be sure to drink your preservative-free treat within a couple of days.