5 Things You Need To Know About Making Nut Milk From Scratch

If you’re exploring alternative milk but aren’t sure about commercial brands due to additives and sugar content, you can try making nut milk at home. Making nut milk at home is very easy, whether you’re almonds, cashews or any other nut. In fact, you can easily add flavours and essences to your homemade nut milk if you’re making it from scratch.

Besides almonds and cashews, which are the most popular staple ingredients for nut milk, pistachios, hazelnuts and walnuts are also good options. Choosing the right ingredients is crucial since the wrong ingredient and wrong consistency can mess up the milk. If you’re planning to make nut milk at home, bookmark these pointers.

Choose The Right Ingredients

The foundation of any nut milk recipe lies in the selection of high-quality ingredients. When making nut milk, start with raw nuts—such as almonds, cashews, or hazelnuts—that are fresh and free from rancidity. You can also experiment with seeds like hemp, sunflower, or pumpkin for a nut-free alternative. Opt for organic nuts whenever possible to minimize exposure to pesticides and ensure optimal flavour.

Before using the nuts, soak them in water for several hours or overnight. Soaking helps to soften the nuts, making them easier to blend and improving their digestibility. Additionally, soaking can activate enzymes that enhance nutrient absorption and reduce phytic acid content, which can interfere with mineral absorption.

Proper Nut-to-Water Ratio

Achieving the perfect balance of nuts to water is crucial for creating a creamy and flavourful nut milk. As a general rule of thumb, a ratio of 1 part nuts to 3-4 parts water is recommended for most nut milk recipes. However, you can adjust the ratio based on personal preference to achieve your desired consistency—more nuts will result in a creamier texture, while more water will yield lighter, more dilute milk.

It's essential to find the right balance to avoid a watery or overly thick consistency. Start with a smaller batch size until you find the ideal ratio for your taste preferences. 

Proper Blending Technique

Blending the soaked nuts with water is the next crucial step in the nut milk-making process. Use a high-speed blender to ensure thorough blending and achieve a smooth, creamy texture. Begin by draining and rinsing the soaked nuts to remove any residual soaking water, then add them to the blender along with fresh water at the desired ratio.

Blend the nuts and water on high speed for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous. Be mindful not to over-blend, as this can lead to excessive heat buildup and result in a gritty or grainy texture. If you prefer an extra-smooth consistency, you can strain the blended mixture through a nut milk bag, cheesecloth, or fine-mesh sieve to remove any remaining pulp.

Straining and Flavouring Options

While straining is optional, it can help achieve a smoother texture and remove any leftover pulp or sediment from the nut milk. If you choose to strain your nut milk, pour the blended mixture through a nut milk bag or fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl or pitcher. Gently squeeze or press the pulp to extract as much liquid as possible, leaving behind creamy, pulp-free nut milk.

After straining, you can customise your nut milk with various flavourings and sweeteners to suit your taste preferences. Common additions include vanilla extract, maple syrup, honey, dates, or a pinch of salt. Experiment with different flavour combinations to create unique and delicious nut milk variations that cater to your palate.

Storage and Shelf Life

Homemade nut milk should be stored in a clean, airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness and prevent spoilage. Proper storage can help prolong the shelf life of your nut milk and preserve its flavour and nutritional integrity. Nut milk can typically be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, although this may vary depending on the type of nut used and the presence of any added ingredients.

Before consuming stored nut milk, give it a gentle shake or stir to recombine any separated solids and liquids. It's normal for homemade nut milk to separate over time, so this step helps ensure a consistent texture and flavour. Avoid leaving nut milk at room temperature for extended periods, as this can promote bacterial growth and lead to spoilage.