How to Make Homemade Vegan Milk
As dairy continues to be exposed for its cruelty, contamination, and negative effects on human health and the environment, a wider variety of plant-based milks have become more available in stores. Convenience foods can be helpful and at times offer much-need shortcuts. When you're ready to step into a healthy, compassionate diet, homemade is worth the few extra minutes when you can swing it. In my kitchen, the more from-scratch dishes, the better! Plant-strong milks are no exception. Homemade, vegan milk is:
- economical (why pay to ship mostly water?)
- more nutritious and fresher
- made with cleaner ingredients—you know exactly what’s in there
- far superior in taste
- simple to make
Top that off with my quick technique and you’ll have perfection in a glass, cereal bowl, or recipe. Let’s get started with a video and then the recipe!
Homemade Vegan Milk
By Allison Rivers Samson
Makes 3-4 cups
1 part nuts or seeds, soaked 4 hours or longer and drained
3-5 parts water (For a full-bodied, creamy consistency, use 3 parts water. For a lighter milk, use 4 parts water.)
- In a high speed blender, process both ingredients for 1 to 2 minutes. In a standard blender, process for 2 to 4 minutes. Test for smoothness by rubbing a little milk between your thumb and index finger. If it feels mostly smooth and creamy, with very fine bits of pulp, it’s done. (For cashew cream, the milk will be completely smooth when done; no straining necessary!)
- After blending, pour contents through a nut milk bag or very fine mesh cloth placed in a strainer, suspended above a wide mouthed container. Gently squeeze the milk from the pulp for a perfectly smooth texture. Refrigerate for 3-5 days.
- When you squeeze the nut milk bag, get the pulp as dry as possible and save it for recipes calling for nut flour or replace ½ cup of flour in any recipe with this pulp.
- Nut milk pulp keeps in the refrigerator for about 2 days. To store longer, stash it in a zipper bag and pop it into the freezer.
- Any of the nuts and seeds (use raw, unsalted) below will make milk. Feel free to use as-is or to customize the flavor with 1 tablespoon vanilla, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, a few dates, or a drop or two of liquid stevia. There are no limits to creativity and delicious possibility when making your own milk! Strawberry milk, anyone?!
- Play with several varieties to learn what your favorites are made of:
Almond - rich in biotin, which aids in fat and sugar metabolism.
Hazelnut - full of the antioxidant vitamin E and exceptional in folate, which prevents neural tube birth defects.
Brazil Nut - high in silica: great for hair, skin, and nails. Also high in saturated fat, making it a luscious, rich, and creamy–my favorite base for chocolate milk!
Cashew - very versatile and useful in cream-based soups and many recipes.
Walnut - high in omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Hemp - loaded with omega-3 essential fatty acids and protein.
Pumpkin - rich in zinc; helpful for skin and the prostate.
Sesame - high in calcium.
Flax - full of plant lignans, which are said to have anticancer properties. Also high in omega 3 fatty acids for good heart health and healthy hair, eyes, and skin.
Sunflower - a chart-topper in the anti-inflammatory vitamin E. Also high in magnesium.
Quinoa (cooked) - a complete protein high in folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.
© Recipe by Allison Rivers Samson, Self-care Coach, award-winning vegan chef and author of Quick + Easy DIY Salad Bar, The Dairy-Freedom Cookbook, Comfortably Yum, and Co-Founder of The Dairy Detox.
Photo credit: Michelle Cehn