Nut milks make an excellent and nutritious alternative to dairy, rich as they are in trace minerals, so-called ‘good fats’ and Vitamin E. And a typical 200ml (7fl oz) glass of unsweetened almond milk is only about 40 calories.
Almond milk is easy to make at home and its slightly sweet notes are particularly good in cereals, porridge and smoothies.
You can make milk out of any nut but almond milk and cashew milk are especially delicious, so they are good nuts to start with if you’re new to the idea.
Visit our vegan recipe section for dairy-free recipes
Almond milk recipe
- 100g (4oz) shelled almonds
- 550ml (1 pint) water
- 1 tablespoon linseeds
To make your own, cover 100g (4oz) of shelled almonds (blanched if you fancy a more refined finish) or shelled, unsalted cashews with plenty of cold water and leave to soak in a cool place for at least 8 hours.
Blend the drained nuts with 550ml (1 pint) water and 1 tablespoon of linseeds until smooth.
The linseeds are not essential, but help to emulsify and make the milk creamier.
Line a large sieve with a double layer of muslin. Set over a bowl and slowly pour in the mixture.
Once drained, gather up and squeeze the muslin to get all the liquid out.
The almond milk will keep for up to three days in the fridge. Dilute with a little extra water to taste.
Use as is, or sweeten with maple syrup or a mild-flavoured honey.
Strain through muslin to remove the pulp
Other nut milks
Of course other nut or seed varieties or combinations will do the job, as long as they are unroasted and unsalted.
Try it with cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, macadamias (very rich!), sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds... the list goes on.
You could also add flavourings such as vanilla seeds, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg or even cocoa powder, at the blending stage.
Using the leftover nut pulp
The ground pulp left behind in the muslin needn’t be discarded; stir it into Bircher muesli, blend it in soups, incorporate it into bread dough or fork it through couscous.
Try this recipe for apple Bircher muesli
Using the milk in smoothies
Try blending chilled almond milk with ripe peaches and a touch of vanilla extract to make a luxurious smoothie.
This recipe originally appeared in Saga Magazine