As someone who loves making my own nut milk at home, I’m excited to share this comprehensive guide on how to make nut milk so you too can discover the joys and benefits of homemade nut milk.
After years of experimenting in my kitchen with different nuts, flavors, and techniques for how to make nut milk, I’ve learned firsthand how easy, fun, and rewarding it is to make nut milk at home. Not only does it taste infinitely better than most store bought nut milk, but you can completely customize it to your taste and dietary needs.
In this guide on how to make nut milk, I’ll walk you through my tried-and-true process, from the basic equipment you need to my favorite flavor combinations.
I’ll also share troubleshooting tips I’ve picked up along the way for achieving the perfect creamy texture.
Whether you’re an experienced nut milk maker looking for new ideas or a total beginner, you’ll learn everything you need to know to make nutritious, delicious homemade nut milk that beats the store-bought kind hands down.
I’ll also provide tips on how to use the leftover nut pulp in other recipes, reducing waste. So let’s get started!
At A Glance
The Basics of Nut Milk
Nut milk is a plant-based milk alternative made by blending nuts with water. It has a creamy, milk-like consistency while being dairy-free. The most popular types are almond milk and cashew milk, but you can use any nut to make your own nut milks.
The basic process involves soaking raw nuts (like raw almonds or raw cashews) to soften them, then blending them with water to extract the creamy liquid. A nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer is used to separate out any solids, resulting in a smooth, lump-free nut milks.
Compared to store-bought milk, homemade nut milk has no added guar gum, emulsifiers, or stabilizers. It also allows you to control the ingredients so you can customize flavors (think cocoa powder, vanilla extract, date syrup, etc.!) to your taste.
Homemade nut milk is incredibly versatile – use it just like cow’s milk in smoothies, baking, coffee drinks, and more!
Essential Equipment and Ingredients
You’ll require some basic equipment and ingredients to begin your journey of making your own “milk”. I won’t lie, the easiest and fastest option is buying a nut milk maker. However, if that isn’t within your budget or if you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can still make delicious nut milk with some simple tools you might already have in your kitchen.
A good blender or food processor and a nut milk bag are essential tools for achieving the perfect consistency.
Other ingredients you’ll need:
- Nuts: Almonds are the most popular choice, but you can also use other nuts such as cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, and even pistachios. I even tried making walnut milk once (soooo good!) Just make sure they’re raw and unsalted.
- Water: It’s best to use filtered or purified water as it doesn’t have the chemicals or impurities that tap water might have.
- Sweeteners (optional): If you like your milk a bit sweet, consider adding dates, maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar. Remember, a little goes a long way!
- Flavor Enhancers (optional): Vanilla, cocoa powder, or a pinch of salt can be added for extra flavor.
And if you don’t have any nuts, you can even use nut butter such as almond butter, peanut butter, or cashew butter. I tried it and it works like a charm. Just make sure you use clean brands with no added ingredients.
Blenders and Tools
I recommend using a high-speed blender, such as Vitamix, Blendtec, or Ninja, for making homemade nut milks due to their power and efficiency. These blenders give you a smooth, creamy result in no time and are easy to clean.
I’ve tried cheap, low-speed blenders and often ended up getting a grittier texture and more straining. These blenders also struggle to handle the nuts properly, especially harder ones like almonds, which can cause overheating or reduce the lifespan of the blender. No, thanks!
A food processor can also be used as an alternative, but make sure to add enough liquid to the nuts to ensure the blades move freely. I found that a simple food processor can work fine for homemade nondairy milk when I use soaked nuts or make dairy free milk out of oats or seeds.
Nuts and Flavorings
The choice of nuts determines the taste and nutritional profile of your nut beverage. I always recommend using unsalted, raw, and organic nuts for the best results.
You can experiment with different types of nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts, each offering a unique flavor and nutrient composition. And don’t worry about the leftover pulp – it can be repurposed in various recipes, eliminating waste.
Aside from the nuts themselves, you can also enhance the flavor of your homemade nut milk with various additions. Sweeteners like dates, maple syrup, or even berries can be added to taste, while flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, or cocoa powder (hot chocolate anyone?) can deepen the taste and make your nut milk truly unique. The possibilities are endless, and the best part is that you have full control over the ingredients.
Step 1: Preparing Your Nuts: Soaking and Rinsing
Prior to the blending process, ensure your nuts are soaked and rinsed. Soaking helps soften the nuts for easier blending and breaks down hard-to-digest compounds, increasing the bioavailability of certain vitamins.
Although not necessary with a high-powered blender, soaking your nuts in fresh water for 4 to 12 hours and rinsing them in fresh water before blending will yield better results.
Properly soaked and rinsed nuts will give you a smoother, creamier drink with improved digestibility and nutrient absorption.
Taking the extra time to prepare your nuts before blending is a small yet crucial step that makes a significant difference. Trust me, it’s worth the wait.
Step 2: Blending and Straining Your Nut Milk
With your nuts ready, the next step is blending them with water. Just add the soaked nuts to fresh water. The standard ratio for most nut milks is 1 cup of nuts to 4 cups of water, but you can adjust this to your preference. I like mine a bit creamer so I usually opt for a 1:3.5 ratio.
Blend the mixture on high speed for 3-4 minutes, ensuring a smooth, creamy consistency. This step is crucial in creating the perfect homemade nut milk that’ll have you wondering why you ever settled for store-bought versions.
The last step to attaining silky-smooth nut milk is straining the blended mixture. Using a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, strain the liquid, removing any remaining solids.
This process gives your homemade nut milk an amazing, store-bought consistency without the additives.
So, whether it’s almond milk, cashew milk, or any other nut milk, blending and straining are key steps for a delectable non-dairy treat.
To achieve the perfect texture and flavor of your nut milk, I blend usually go being what’s usually recommended. I blend on high for 2 minutes, adding 30 seconds more if necessary. As I already said, soaking the nuts overnight makes a huge difference and improves the texture of the milk.
Remember to shake the nut milk before using it, as unstrained nut milks tend to separate more than their strained counterparts. Using these simple tips, my homemade nut milk is always irresistibly smooth and delicious.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just be done and pour the mixture into a glass? Sorry, you’ll have to strain your nut milk for a lump-free result.
Use A Nut Milk Bag, Cheese Cloth Or Strainer
Check out my recommendations for good nut milk bags to ensure a smooth and creamy texture. Alternatively, you can use a fine strainer. I found that it doesn’t work for making almond milk but it was good enough for cashew milk, which typically has fewer solid particles. I definitely recommend a good nut bag!
Whichever method you choose, proper straining is essential for a delightful homemade nut milk experience.
Step 3: Customizing Your Nut Milk: Flavor and Creaminess
One of my favorite things about making homemade nut milk is experimenting with fun flavors and textures! The options are endless, so feel free to get creative and make each batch your own signature creation.
Creamy or Thin? No problem! Just adjust the ratio of nuts to water – more nuts make a richer, creamier milk while less creates a thinner consistency. I love a super creamy cashew milk in my morning latte. You can also add a spoonful of almond butter or peanut butter for creamy nut milk or coffee creamer!
Sweeten it up! A touch of date syrup, agave syrup, or even berries lends a subtly sweet flavor. Or go bold with a full-on vanilla bean or chocolate nut milk – so delicious!
Spice is nice! Infuse your creation with warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, or nutmeg. Perfect for cozy fall vibes.
Mix it up! Blend different nuts together for a complex, multi-layered flavor. I like using half almond and half cashew.
The possibilities are endless when you make homemade nut drinks. Let your imagination run wild and treat your tastebuds to a new creation every day! Once you start experimenting with flavors, you’ll never want to go back to boring store-bought nut milk again.
Step 4: Storing and Using Your Homemade Nut Milk
Proper storage is key to maintaining the freshness and quality of your homemade nut milk. Here are some tips:
- Keep your nut milk in a clean, airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
- If you notice any separation, simply give the container a good shake before using it.
- For those who like to batch-make their nut milk, freezing it in ice cube trays is a great option for later use in smoothies or other recipes.
Nut Milk Recipe Ideas
One of the best things about making nut milk is how incredibly versatile it is! You can use your homemade nut milk in place of regular milk in a wide variety of sweet and savory recipes.
Beverages – Homemade nut milk adds creaminess and nutrients to smoothies, milkshakes, lattes, hot chocolate, chai tea, and more. It’s especially delicious in coffee!
Baking – Substitute 1:1 for dairy milk in recipes for muffins, pancakes, waffles or other baking recipes. The nutty flavor takes baked goods to the next level.
Overnight Oats – For creamier, protein-packed oats, use nut milk instead of water or traditional milk.
Soups – Coconut milk lends delicious richness, body, and flavor to curry, tomato, and cream-based soups.
Sauces – Cashew or almond milk creates lusciously smooth dairy-free “cheese” sauces.
Ice Cream – Blend frozen banana with your favorite nut milk and a touch of honey for healthy “nice” cream.
With so many ways to use your homemade nut milk, you’ll find yourself reaching for it anytime a recipe calls for dairy milk.
Nut Milk Variations and Alternatives
Once you master the basic homemade nut milk, the possibilities are endless.
Every time I make almond milk (one of my favorites!), I end up with a new homemade almond milk recipe. I like to experiment with changing the water ratio, creating flavor infusions and even using almond meal!
For my cashew milk, I love using roasted cashews and adding a little bit of sea salt and when I make oat milk, I always add a spoonful of peanut butter to make it creamier.
Nut Allergy? Try These Plant-Based Milk Alternatives
If wonder if anybody with a nut allergy is reading this but if you are: Hi there! You are in luck. 🙂
There are several nut-free alternatives available, such as:
- Oat Milk
- Rice milk
- Hemp Milk
- Soy Milk
- Cashew Milk
- Almond Milk
Wait, why are cashew milk and almond milk in this list of nut-free alternatives? Well, both cashews and almonds do not meet the botanical definition of a true nut.
Each of these homemade nut milk options boasts its own set of nutritional benefits and can be used in various recipes.
Unique Nut Milk Flavors
Here are some drool-worthy flavor combos to try:
- Rose Cardamom Almond Milk
- Hazelnut Mocha
- Blueberry Almond Milk
- Matcha Cashew Milk
- Goji Berri Almond
Just start experimenting with different flavor combinations and discover a whole new world of delicious homemade nut milk that will leave your taste buds wanting more. Eating healthy can be so fun!
Making the Most of Your Pulp
Think twice before discarding leftover pulp! You can repurpose this valuable byproduct of homemade nut milk in several ways:
- Make nut flour or almond meal
- Make almond meal from almond pulp
- Add it to smoothies or oatmeal
- Incorporate it into energy balls or bars
- Use it in baked goods
- Transform it into nut cheese
The possibilities are endless, and it’s an eco-friendly way to make the most of your homemade nut milk. Some creative recipe ideas for using leftover pulp include:
- Banana Nut Pulp Cookies
- Energy balls
- Nut cheese
- Adding it to your morning oatmeal or smoothies
By utilizing every part of the nut, you’re not only maximizing your investment but also reducing waste and embracing a more sustainable, organic lifestyle.
In A Nutshell
In this step-by-step guide, we’ve explored the process of making homemade nut milk, from the basics and essential equipment to customizing flavors and creaminess.
You also learned how to store you nut milk, how to repurpose leftover pulp, as well as discovering unique nut milk flavors and nut-free alternatives. With the knowledge and skills acquired, you can now embark on your nut milk-making adventure and experience the freshness, taste, and nutritional benefits of homemade nut milk. Happy blending!
Frequently Asked Questions
What nuts are best for making nut milk?
For making nut milk, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, macadamias, walnuts and hazelnuts are all excellent choices.
Almonds offer great nutritional benefits, while cashews provide a rich and creamy texture. Pistachios give off a “healthy & wealthy” vibe, and macadamias have an incredibly flavorful creaminess that can’t be beat!
Is making your own nut milk worth it?
Making your own nut milk is absolutely worth it for a healthier, creamier and more nutrient-dense milk experience! It’s easy to do, and you can customize the flavor and texture to your liking. You can also save money by making your own nut milk.
How is nut milk prepared?
Preparing nut milk is easy and straightforward: you simply need to blend nuts or other grains with water in a high-speed blender until it’s smooth and creamy. The ingredients for homemade nut milk can be tailored to your individual tastes by adding spices, sweetener, or salt.
Can all nuts be made into milk?
Most nuts can be transformed into milk, but the flavor, texture, and richness will vary depending on the nut you choose. The process for making nut milk is generally the same across the board: soak, blend, and strain.
How long does homemade nut milk last in the refrigerator?
Enjoy your homemade nut milk for up to 5 days in the refrigerator! It’s easy to make nut milk at home, and it’s a great way to get the nutrients you need without the added sugar and preservatives of store bought nut milk.
Can I customize the flavor and creaminess of my homemade nut milk?
Yes! Customize the flavor and creaminess of your homemade nut milk to suit your taste preferences – simply adjust the ratio of nuts to water and add flavorings and sweeteners.