Homemade milk is fresh, free of additives and preservatives, and you have control of the ingredient’s quality, sugar levels, and texture. To make vegan milk, you can blend raw nuts, seeds, and grains with water. The most common plants used are almonds, coconuts, macadamia, cashews, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, quinoa, flaxseed, rice, and oats. Milking the above seeds, nuts, or grains can be easy and here’s how to do it:
Place nuts, grains, and seeds in a bowl with filtered water and add a pinch of sea salt. Different food requires different soak times. Almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts need at least eight hours of soaking. On the other hand, pecans, walnuts, and Brazil nuts swell up quickly and are oilier thus they require less soaking time, say less than six hours. Additionally, cashews, macadamia, and pine nuts have very high-fat content and require two to four hours soaking. Soaking past four hours will break down their health-promoting oils.
The reason for soaking these plants is to remove enzyme inhibitors, improve digestibility and nutrient bioavailability and make blending easier. Remember to rinse thoroughly and drain.
Add filtered water and use a high-speed machine like a Vitamix to completely pulverize the mixture. Using a ratio of 1:3 of nuts/seeds/grains to water will yield excellent results. To be precise, start with two cups of water then gradually add more water until you get the taste and consistency you prefer. Blend for about one minute. However, this can warm the mixture but you can place it in the fridge or blend with ice to consume immediately.
To make the milk taste even better, you can add pitted dates, Stevie, maple syrup, agave, honey or coconut sugar. Similarly, you can add a tablespoon of vanilla extract for flavor and a tablespoon of soy or sunflower lecithin and coconut butter to emulsify the ingredients.
Foods like macadamia, cashews, and pecans yield smooth milk. But, with most other foods like almonds, they will have some texture. You can enjoy this fibrous milk, or strain it for a smoother, more commercial style blend. To do this, place a nut milk bag over a large container, pour in the milk, and gently squeeze the bag until all liquid passes through. You can put the pulp into other uses such as a body scrub by mixing with some coconut oil or dehydrate it for use in cookies, crusts, and crackers.
Store the milk in a sealed container and place it in the fridge. This milk can stay fresh for up to three days. For the leftovers, freeze them in the ice cube trays for later use. Sometimes the homemade milk might separate when stored, just shake or blend it again before drinking.
Healthy Benefits of Vegan Milk
Low in sugar. Since you’re making the milk yourself, you can be well assured that there will be no added sugars, unhealthy sweeteners, or preservatives. For example, a cup of almond milk contains only one to two grams of Carbs, most of which is dietary fiber. While a cup of dairy milk contains 13 grams of Carbs, most of which is sugar.
High in vitamin E. Most nuts are a great source of vitamin E providing 37% of the daily vitamin E requirement in just one ounce. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that combats inflammation and stress in the body. It protects the body against heart disease and cancer and has beneficial effects on bone and eye health. What’s more, vitamin E is found to improve mental performance and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Naturally Lactose-Free. Nuts like almonds are naturally lactose-free which is good for lactose intolerant individuals. Lactose intolerance can lead to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms including stomach pain, bloating and gas. Statistics show that about 75% of the population in the world are lactose intolerant.
With serious health conditions and chronic diseases plaguing the world, more people are adopting the vegan way of eating. Vegan milk is what you need to be healthier and embrace more conscious lifestyle practices. You will find that the ingredients in this milk are all-natural and high in vitamins, proteins, and minerals. Tip: If you’re planning on making nuts, seeds or grain milk, buying these items in bulk can be cheaper. And remember, when making the milk you can combine different nuts or seeds depending on your preference. The ingredients required to make the milk are easily available and the milk is ideal for those following a dairy-free diet.