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!).