Most African Americans are lactose intolerant, and struggle with digesting milk, ice cream, and other dairy products. Nut milk is a wonderful alternative, making it possible to enjoy a bowl of cereal or a glass of milk with your cookies!
Though there are plenty of commercial options available, the best-tasting nut milk can be made right in your kitchen.
Feel free to use all almonds, all cashews, or a mixture like I do here. You can also throw in some hemp hearts to soak with the nuts.
Use your imagination!
This recipe makes about 24 ounces of nut milk – or three cups. You’ll need a powerful blender or food processor, a bowl, and either cheesecloth or a nut bag to strain the pulverized nuts and extract the milk.
1 cup raw organic almonds and cashews
3 cups filtered water (plus two additional cups for pre-soaking)
Pinch of sea salt
Sweetener/flavorings are optional, but a vanilla bean, raw agave nectar, cinnamon, cacao powder, or 100% maple syrup are great additions for variety
Soak the almonds at least 8 hours (24-36 hours is better – the longer they soak, the creamier your milk will be). To soak, put your nuts in a bowl and add water to about 2″ above the nuts. You’ll notice that they become soft and squishy, plump and smooth after soaking because they absorb so much water.
Pulse the blender or food processor a few times to break up the almonds, then put it on HIGH and blend for two minutes (if using a food processor blend for 2 minutes, push down, then blend another two). The nuts will become tiny chunks, and the water will turn a rich frothy white. If you have a super powerful blender like a Blend-Tec or Vitamix, you’ll be able to cut the blending time in half.
Pour the mixture into your nut bag. Add a few tablespoons of water to the blender and swish it around to rinse out any remaining pulverized nut meal; add that to the bag.
Draw the string tight, and squeeze with clean hands, draining the nut milk out into a clean bowl. Use all your might, or get someone with stronger hands and arms to do the squeezing for you. Keep squeezing in different parts of the bag until no more moisture comes out.
Taste your creation, then add the additional sweetener or flavoring of choice (if desired).
Nut milk is highly perishable and should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It should keep for about three days. Mine never lasts that long, however.
You can use the nut meal leftover in the milk bag by adding it to pancakes, smoothies, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, oatmeal, or soups and stews.
You can also spread the meal out on a baking sheet and bake it in a low oven until completely dry (2-3 hours), then store it in an airtight container or freeze it in a zip style freezer bag.