Once You Go Homemade Milk... You Never Go Back
Homemade milk… Girl, are you crazy?
Nope! I’m not! But, I won’t lie, I kind of thought the same thing when I first heard about this concept. I mean, buying milk at the store just seems so much simpler, right? It might be a tad simpler depending which milk you choose to make at home. BUT, sometimes, it’s even EASIER because some homemade nut & seed milks really do take 3 MINUTES, which by the way, is less time than it would take you to get to the grocery store, get the milk, wait in line & bring it home to froth for that coffee you need STAT. You feel me? I know you do.
I started making my own nut, seed & oat milks because I was slowly making an effort to cut dairy out of my diet. It was a slow process because I had a really hard time giving up Greek yogurt (but we’ll save that story for another day!). I remember the first time I tried store-bought almond milk, I literally thought it tasted like water. But I toughed it out because I was reading more & more about how inflammatory dairy is, how bad it is for digestion, my skin & my hormones so I was motivated to make a change.
I eventually got used to the store-bought almond milk but I did find that some brands had a tendency to make me feel bloated. And that’s when I became more conscious of the ingredients labels on the plant-based milks I was buying & shocker… like most packaged foods in this day & age, they were filled with table salt, carrageenan, artificial flavours (& some even with added sugars), fillers, preservatives, gums & thickeners. Obviously, these ingredients are used to prolong shelf life & maintain consistent texture (ever notice how homemade nut milks tend to separate naturally when refrigerated, yet store-bought ones can sit on a shelf at room temperature for months?) That’s because there is no B.S. in them!
That was my turning point. In an effort to cut dairy to reduce inflammation & heal my gut, there I was consuming a bunch of fake ingredients - I realized I was fixing one problem, but creating another! That’s when I decided to give the whole homemade thing a try. There’s a first time for everything but let me tell you, that first time was most certainly not my last!
I’ve been experimenting with homemade nut, seed & oat milks ever since & I could never go back to store-bought milks for my coffees, smoothies, overnight oats or chia puddings. There are a select few brands that I will still use in baked recipes if they call for larger quantities of milk because homemade milk is EXPENSIVE & I bake A LOT, so something’s gotta give! If you’re from my hood, my two go-to brands are Califia Farms & Almond Bliss (they’re the only two that don’t cause bloating for me & they contain less additives than many other brands on the market).
Today, I lead a plant-based lifestyle & I feel better than I ever have! Homemade milk is a staple for me on a weekly basis & is always part of my Sunday meal prep. My mentality when it comes to nutrition is to go back to basics. Nut & seed milks don’t need all those added ingredients to taste good - all you really need is the nut, seed or grain, sea salt, ceylon cinnamon & any sweetener of choice (you can totally opt out of this if you prefer, but I suggest using pure vanilla bean or extract, dates, raw organic honey, yacon syrup, maple syrup, coconut flower syrup, nutmeg, vanilla powder or cacao powder).
Aside from homemade nut milks being a lot healthier (& a lot simpler & more minimal) in terms of ingredients, there are a few other reasons why I make my nut milk at home.
Homemade milks are creamier, silkier & more delicious because they’re not watered down & you get to sweeten them naturally, to your liking (or pass on sweetener altogether!).
Nutrition-wise, you’re also getting the most concentrated amount of the vitamins, minerals & nutrients in the actual nuts or seeds because that’s all it’s made with (it’s not watered down & contains no additives).
The nuts are soaked, which means that they’re sprouted a.k.a. the milk is easier to digest & the phytic acid & enzyme inhibitors are removed, allowing the body to fully absorb the maximum quantity & quality of nutrients from the nuts.
They’re simple & easy to make once you get the hang of it.
Basically, if you don’t know, now you know: Homemade nut milk is HEALTHIER, CLEANER, RAW, TASTIER & MORE NUTRIENT-DENSE!
When making your milk at home, there are a few tips that can make it easier & I’m here to share:
Get yourself a good quality nut milk bag that you can reuse (most health food stores carry them or buy it online on Amazon). If you don’t have a nut milk bag, you can also strain through a thin dish cloth.
No time for straining? Opt for hemp or cashew milk; neither of these milks require straining & take even less time to prepare than almond or hazelnut milk!
Make sure you rinse your blender before you add the strained milk back to it with your add-ins to prevent any residue pulp or nuts from blending into the silky strained milk.
Soak your nuts overnight so that you can freshly prepare the milk in the morning.
Use the guide below to know how long you need to soak the nuts for - certain nuts require more or less soaking time.
Make chocolate or vanilla milk by adding raw organic unsweetened cacao powder or vanilla bean powder to any of the nut or seed milks.
Store your milks in Mason jars or other hermetic glass containers to preserve freshness.
The milks usually last about 4 days.
Don’t worry if your milk separates a bit when refrigerated - this is natural & happens because the milk contains no binders or fillers to preserve it artificially. Always give your homemade milks a good shake before using.
So what are you waiting for? Get cracking!
Some of my favourite ones to make are almond, hemp, cashew & brazil nut milk, but I’ve done it all: oat, flax, chia, hazelnut (yes, chocolate milk in healthy form) & walnut milk.
Head on over to my blog for all my recipes so you can also fall in love with making your milk homemade like I did (http://kellyinthekitch.blog) & don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for daily health tips & tricks, fitness, recipes, beauty, skincare, eating disorder recovery, anxiety, nutrition, cooking/baking & wellness tips!
And if you're feeling super extra & you lead a plant-based lifestyle like I do, search for my homemade cashew & almond creams on the blog - they make for the best alternative to Greek yogurt & are legit the reason why I was able to give up my obsession with it (let me tell you, I couldn’t go a day without Greek yogurt & now I don’t even miss it!).