Mar 13 | TASTE BEYOND

Make Your Own Nut & Seed Milks

While most dairy in its raw form can be quite healing, many people have a strong aversion to lactose (the sugar found in dairy milk) or casein/whey (the proteins found in milk.) This contributes to digestive distress, respiratory conditions like asthma, and skin conditions, such as eczema and acne. Dairy also increases mucus in the body and is best to avoid if you’re having sinus congestion or healing a cold.

Many with an aversion to cow dairy have an easier time digesting goat milk and goat yogurt. Others opt for alternatives, such as coconut and almond milk. (I never recommend soy milk because it is highly processed and is usually GMO. Also, too much soy can wreak havoc on your hormones.) If you prefer to buy nut milk at the store, make sure to read the ingredients. Not all brands are the same. I generally go for a less-is-more approach: the less ingredients, the better. Avoid added sugars like cane syrup/cane sugar, as well as fillers such as carrageenan or canola oil.

While alternative milks are readily available for purchase, good quality nut & seed milks do not come cheap. Luckily, making your own is an easy and affordable alternative! And, there are seemingly endless ways to use alternative milks, including: in your favorite smoothie to replace milk/yogurt, over granola or oatmeal, as a direct replacement for milk in baking recipes, in homemade soups to add creaminess, or in your coffee or tea to make a frothy latte. Nut & seed milks can generally be used in a 1:1 ratio with regular milk in your favorite recipes and, as a side benefit, they add a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber to your diet.

With very few ingredients, a great blender + an awesome nut milk bag you can easily make your own milk at home. Mix spices and sweeteners like dates, raw honey, maple syrup or stevia + superfoods like maca, tocos or chlorella/spirulina. Below are 4 of our favorite nuts & seeds to use as milk alternatives and simple recipes for each.


1. Almond Milk

Almonds are nutrient-dense stone fruits, containing significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium, phytosterol antioxidants, and plant protein. They are low in saturated fatty acids and rich in unsaturated fatty acids, and also contain filling fiber, making them a satisfying snack option. Since almonds are a great source of good fats, they can help with weight loss, increasing energy levels, and reducing LDL cholesterol. The antioxidant content supports heart health and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E helps nourish the skin and reduces signs of aging.

Ingredients:

1 cup raw almonds (we LOVE Terra Soul!)

4 cups of filtered water

½ tsp vanilla bean (ground or extract)

Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Optional Add-ins: 2-3 dates or omica butterscotch stevia or raw honey, ½ tsp cardamom, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp tocos, 1 tsp maca, 1/2 teaspoon activated charcoal,  1/2 tsp chlorella or 1/2 tsp spirulina (green milk)


2. Pumpkin Seed Milk

Pumpkin seeds are high in manganese, magnesium, copper, and zinc. They are also a good source of healthy fats, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and folate. Pumpkin seeds are one of the best sources of magnesium, which is important because magnesium deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in the US. Adequate levels of magnesium are important for controlling blood pressure, heart health, forming and maintaining healthy bones, managing blood sugar levels and about 600 other chemical reactions in the body. Additionally, pumpkin seeds help improve sperm quality, sleep, immune function and energy levels.

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin seeds

3 cups of filtered water

½ tsp vanilla bean (ground or extract)

Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Optional Add-ins: 2-3 dates, ½ tsp cinnamon


3. Cashew Milk

Cashews are packed with vitamins E, K, and B6, and contain minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium. Cashews mainly improve digestive function, nutrient absorption, heart health, and help maintain bone health. Another major benefit is brain function support due to their healthy fat, zinc, iron, and copper content.

Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews 

3-4 cups filtered water (depending on how creamy you like it!)

½ tsp vanilla bean (ground or extract)

Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Optional Add ins: 1-2 tsp maple syrup or 2-3 dates or raw honey, ½ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp maca


4. Hemp Seed Milk

Hemp hearts contain an ideal balance of omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids. They are also rich in vitamin E and contain a more digestible protein than that from an animal source. They contain all 9 essential amino acids. Additionally, hemp hearts are a great source of omegas, which are known to help those with asthma, arthritis and many other inflammatory ailments in the body. They also improve circulation, increase immune system functioning, and support brain health.

Ingredients:

1 cup hemp hearts 

4 cups of filtered water

Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Optional Add-ins: 2-3 dates, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1/2 tsp chlorella or 1/2 tsp spirulina (green milk)


Directions for all:

Soak nuts/seeds overnight in filtered water. (*no need to soak hemp hearts!)

Strain & rinse 

Add nuts/seeds, filtered water, vanilla bean and a pinch of Himalayan sea salt to a high-speed blender 

Blend for up to 1 minute or until fully combined

Grab a large bowl + “nutbag” & Strain milk into bowl or container. Once the milk has run through, squeeze gently to wring out the rest of the milk

Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week


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