Updated: Aug 25, 2020
Learn how to make easy, creamy, rich nut milk that will save your health, time, and money (and no juicer or nut milk bag necessary)!
Did you know that the most popular brands of dairy free/nut milk are laden with nasty chemicals and gross fillers?
You're spending your hard earned money trying to make a healthy decision, but if you're buying a brand that has a long list of ingredients, you're likely doing yourself a HUGE disservice.
Instead, do yourself a favor and take a look at the ingredient list (I've called out two popular brands below), and either make the switch to a brand that uses cleaner, safer ingredients, OR, don't outsource your nut milk at all. By making it at home, you can control every single ingredient that goes into your body (not to mention it's also more delicious and saves time and money)!
The problem with store bought nut milk
If you're buying conventional nut milk, you're likely getting a lot of nasty with a side of nut milk.
Take a look at some of these common conventional ingredients and as you read through them, keep in mind that my homemade nut milk only includes 3 ingredients: filtered water, organic nuts, and Himalayan sea salt (recipe below).
Carrageenan- Unnecessary toxic filler/additive, a known carcinogen, used as a stabilizer. Linked to gut inflammation and cancer. Sound delicious?
Natural Flavor- Unnecessary hidden ingredients which could include a long laundry list of toxic, GM ingredients. Who knows what mystery ingredients this label is hiding? Natural flavors are unregulated and it makes you wonder, what is being hidden by not disclosing specifics? Natural flavor is only slightly different than artificial flavor, as it’s derived from substances found in nature, however, they are still often not what you would consider natural. They are formulated in a lab by combining and isolating specific flavors extracted from various compounds, some of which may be GMOs, and some of which are nowhere close to the natural thing. For example, beaver castoreum is often used as a vanilla flavor. In case you didn't know, beaver castoreum is from the castor sac that lives between their genitals and anus which produces a liquid substance contributing to their beaver smell. All of this instead of using vanilla beans. But, hey, it’s “natural” because it’s from a beaver! Sound good?
Calcium Carbonate- Additive/filler used as a stabilizer. While this isn't a toxic ingredient, it is not a necessary ingredient either.
Potassium Citrate- Preserver to control pH. This ingredient is also not known to be toxic, but again it's an unnecessary filler. Why have it, when you don't need it?
Sunflower Lecithin (or Soy Lecithin)- Additive used as an emulsifier (prevents separation). This is a fatty acid substance in sunflower seeds that makes the nut milk creamier. If it’s derived from sunflowers, this ingredient is okay, but if you see Soy Lecithin in your ingredient list, it is not at all the same. Soy is usually GMO and heavily sprayed with pesticide, so if you have the choice, best to consume Sunflower over Soy. Keep in mind, this is still an unnecessary ingredient. I prefer to use more nuts to make my milk creamier.
The benefits of homemade nut milk
I enjoy making nut milk from almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and cashews. While I find them all to produce delicious milk, there's something to be said about a quick and easy return on investment.
Cashew milk is so easy to make, you won’t believe you‘ve never tried it! You will only need organic raw cashews (please do not use roasted or flavored nuts, nut milk will not turn out properly if the nuts are processed and they will be stripped of valuable nutrition), water, and a blender.
I always recommend buying local if possible, but if you’re like me, that’s not an option. So, I buy organic raw cashews in bulk and store them in the fridge for freshness between batches. Cashew milk is the easiest nut milk I’ve ever made, and it’s MUCH easier than running out to the store to pick some up!
Once you get the hang of making your nut milk, you'll be inspired to play with the recipe to determine your favorite thickness and flavor preferences.
For thickness, you'll want to experiment with the cashew to water ratio. By adding more nuts and less water, you can make a consistency similar to half and half for your coffee or for thick smoothie or ice cream. I tend to use more water for a lighter cashew milk since I mostly use it in my morning smoothie which has enough thickness.
You can also dress up the flavoring for a more decadent taste with cinnamon, pitted medjool dates, maple syrup, vanilla beans, etc., but since my smoothie carries enough flavor on its own, I prefer just filtered water, a dash of Himalayan sea salt (which acts as a preservative), and organic raw cashews.
How it's done
First, soak your raw cashews in filtered water for several hours before you want to make the milk to saturate the nuts (I usually soak mine overnight, but they don’t need that long).
Once your nuts are fully hydrated (you'll see them swell from water absorption), then you’re ready to make your cashew milk.
Drain the water the nuts were soaking in to rid of the enzyme inhibitors that make nuts hard to digest, and pour just the cashews and a small amount of fresh filtered water in to a high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix). The cashews will blend smoothly into the water without any need for draining or filtering.
Once your cashews are fully blended (takes roughly 45 seconds on high-speed), add more water to the blender to create your favorite thickness of cashew milk.
Voila, you’re done. Just store it in the fridge and enjoy!
I typically use 3/4 cup cashews to a liter of filtered water, leaving me with a fairly diluted blend of roughly 600 calories for the entire batch (lasting 2-3 days), which I blend into my morning smoothies. Happy blending!
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