Nut Milk

If you are interested in trying your own homemade milk, nut milk is a delicious—and easy—place  to start! 

Makes 3–3½ cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup soaked and drained almonds or cashews
  • 3–3½ cups water
  • 2–3 tablespoons pure maple syrup 

(optional; see note)

  • ½–1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • ¼–½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder (see note)
  • Optional add-ins: pinches of cinnamon, cardamom, or nutmeg

INSTRUCTIONS

 Combine nuts with water in a blender. (I prefer 3 cups for a richer, thicker milk. Add an extra ½ cup for a thinner milk.) Blend until smooth and frothy.

 If desired, strain the milk to remove the nut pulp (a nut milk bag works best, a very fine strainer also works). Taste, and sweeten/season as desired with maple syrup, vanilla, and spices. Refrigerate in a covered vessel. Use within 3–4 days.

Sweetener 
You may not want any sweetener in your milk, as almonds and cashews are naturally not bitter. However, you might want to sweeten it slightly, as your children may prefer a small amount of natural sweetener. Some options include 2–3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup or, when blending the milk initially, you can add several pitted Medjool or honey dates. You will want to add these when pureeing the first time so you can strain out any fibrous bits.

Vanilla Bean
I love using vanilla bean powder. If you don’t have it, you can use vanilla extract or scrape the seeds from a whole vanilla bean. Another option with a whole vanilla bean is to submerge the bean in the milk for a day or two. The bean will plump some with soaking. You can then score and remove the seeds to stir in the milk or use in another recipe.

Ideas

• Use the nut pulp in baked goods, hot cereals, or smoothies. Or, make a quick “nut cheese” by pureeing the pulp with lemon juice and sea salt.

• Blend nut milk with fresh or frozen fruit for a refreshing smoothie! For a chocolate version, add 2–3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Add extra sweetener to balance flavor.

Recipe from Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes by Dreena Burton

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