• Jayne MacDonald

Fool proof guide to making your own plant based milks​

Why Soak?


Ever have a sore tummy after eating a handful of nuts? This could be why...


Seeds, nuts, grains and legumes are covered in enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid (required by the plant to prevent premature germination and to store the nutrients required for plant growth). The enzyme inhibitors & phytic acid, when consumed by humans, reduce important nutrient absorption. This can cause potential problems in humans such as digestive irritation and reduced nutrient absorption contributing to deficiencies. So although nuts and seeds are considered good sources of protein and nutrients, it doesn’t mean your body can absorb those nutrients in raw form. All plants contain phytic acid in some levels, but typically, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds contain the highest levels.


We can brake down the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors by soaking (or activating) our nuts and seeds in a mineral solution (like salt) or filtered water on its own. Low-temperature dehydrating will also help to break down more of the phytic acid making the nutrients in nuts more available to the body and more easily digested. This is a step I am more inclined to do if I am wanting to consume the nut or seed whole. Many traditional cultures soaked or sprouted seeds this way but unfortunately in the modern world and particularly large scale production this step is often missed due to the time consuming factor. However, it is simple and inexpensive to do at home and will greatly improve digestion and increase the nutrient content of the seeds and nuts you consume.


That being said, brazil nuts, macadamias and hemp seeds are excluded from the list of nuts, seeds, legumes and grains that require soaking or sprouting (see chart below). So if you do not have time to soak nuts, those are great options you can use for instant milk!


Soaking Guide:

Image Sourced from Google Images

What is Lecithin?


Lecithin is used in plant based milk to stop the separating of milk on standing. However, it is a totally optional ingredient that I personally do not use it in my own milks. When the separation occurs simply shake the bottle/jar before pouring. There are two types of lecithin - sunflower and soy and its a personal preference.


Types of milks:


Nut - Almond, Macadamia, Cashew, Brazil Nut

Seed - Hemp, Sunflower, Pumpkin

Grain - Oat, Quinoa, Rice


Why should you be making your own nut milk?


  • It's more beneficial for your health. You’ll know exactly what you’re putting in your body. Look at the ingredient list on a carton of any plant based milk. You may be drinking nasty preservatives or added sugars and stabilisers. I feel much better making my own and knowing exactly what I’m putting into my body.

  • Most store bought nut milks actually contain minimal nuts, intact, it is pretty much just water. You will notice a huge difference when making your own.

  • Homemade tastes better. It's creamier, tastier and more nutritious.

  • Environmental impact - think of all the cartons you won't be buying! For example, 1 carton a week = 52 cartons per year. To emphasise on that, if 100 people in your town made their own milk each week, that 5200 cartons not in land fill **mind blown**

  • There are many variations with what you can add to your chosen plant based milk such as, chocolate, turmeric, matcha or beautiful mermaid inspired flavours with beetroot or spirulina powders.

  • Once you realise how easy making your own plant based milk is, you won’t want to:

  • a. buy store bought and;

  • b. you'll be ready to experiment with options like hemp, sunflower, oat or macadamia, my personal favourite!


Basic Almond Nut Milk:


Yield: 1 litre

Soak Time: 8 + hours (required) + 12 hours sprouting (optional)

Preparation time: less than 10 minutes

Equipment: A high speed blender & muslin cloth/old thin tea towel/nut milk bag.


Ingredients:


☆ 1 cup raw, organic (if possible) almonds

☆ 4 cups water

☆ pinch salt


Optional:

☆ 1/2 tsp Lecithin

☆ 2 dates (for natural added sweetness)


Instructions:


  1. Soak your almonds in a bowl of filtered water overnight or for 8+ hours. Once soaked, drain and rinse well.

  2. Add all ingredients & use just one cup of water to your blender and blend for a minute until super creamy with no grainy bits left. You may need to scrape down the insides of your blender and blend again, depending on how strong your machine is.

  3. Once creamy, add the remaining water and blend again until smooth.  

  4. Strain your milk through a muslin cloth/old thin tea towel/nut milk bag, squeezing the pulp until all liquid comes out and you're left with dryish nut pulp.

  5. Pour into a clean jar or glass bottle and keep in the fridge for 5 days.


Basic Hemp Seed Milk:


Yield: 1 litre

Soak Time: Not Required

Preparation time: less than 10 minutes

Equipment: A high speed blender


Ingredients:


☆ 3/4 cup hemp seeds

☆ 4 cups water

☆ pinch salt


Optional:

☆ 1/2 tsp Lecithin

☆ 2 dates (for natural added sweetness)


Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients & use just one cup of water to your blender and blend for a minute until super creamy. You may need to scrape down the insides of your blender and blend again, depending on how strong your machine is.

  2. Once creamy, add the remaining water and blend again until smooth.  

  3. Pour into a clean jar or glass bottle and keep in the fridge for 5 days.

Notes:

  • In our video we have a mini sieve to strain the milk but this is not necessary.

  • Hemp seed milk does have a much more potent earthy/nutty flavour.

  • Hemp seed may not be suitable for children - consult with a health professional.



Recipes to use your hemp seed milk in (they may require "almond" but you can sub for any nut or seed milk:


Hazelnut Cake, Nut Butter Cookies, Hazelnut Carrot Cake, Simple Savoury Scones


Be sure to tag us in your baking! #nourishedbaking or #nourishedpantry -We LOVE seeing your creations.

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