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Many people I know are moving away from dairy for one reason or another. Personally, I do consume dairy products on occasion, opting for local and raw sources. But more often these days, I look to alternatives – nut milk, for example. I’ve been using nut milk for many years. But I didn’t realize how easy it is to make yourself until this year, when my friend Selene – holistic nutritionist and founder of La Belle Vie Holistic Living – showed me just how simple it really is.

You can use almost any type of nut to make nut milk. I’m a believer of going local. If I was in Australia and Hawaii, I’d use the macadamia nut. If I was back in California, I’d go with the ever-popular almond. In India, I would make cashew nut milk. In Peru (my current location), the cheap local nut (lucky me!) is the brazil nut. Brazil nuts are known for their high levels of the mineral selenium which plays a key role in metabolism, as well as their antioxidant properties which help to protect and repair cells.

Reasons I started making my own nut milk

  1. Nut milk is not available where I am at the moment. But nuts are!
  2. I know what I’m putting in my homemade nut milk. Store-bought nut milk contains a lot of weird things (like preservatives) that I don’t want to put in my body.
  3. Nut milk is cheaper to make than buy. I can get a kilogram of brazil nuts in Cusco for about $6 which will make me a lot of nut milk. That’s about the cost of just 1 carton of store-bought nut milk.
  4. I’m not creating any additional waste. No cartons to throw away.
  5. Seriously, nut milk is so easy to make. Here’s how to do it.

The What

1 cup nuts
4-5 cups water
pinch sea salt
flavouring (I like to use 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp vanilla)
sweetener like honey or agave, to taste (optional)

The How

  • Soak the nuts overnight. Why? Soaking the nuts activates and increases their nutritional value and makes digestion easier. It also removes toxins and bacteria.
  • Drain and rinse them.
  • Throw them in a blender along with 4-5 cups of water.
  • Add a tiny bit of salt along with your flavouring and sweetener, if using.
  • Whizz it all up as smooth as possible. There shouldn’t be any chunks.
  • Put it through a strainer or cheese cloth to separate the liquid from the the pulp. All you want is the liquid.

That’s it! This recipe makes about 1 litre of nut milk that will keep for about 3-4 days in the fridge (the no-preservative thing).

Straining the nut milk

The finished product

What do I do with the nut meal?

Don’t throw it out! Toast it in the oven. It’s a great addition to granola. I’ve also been using it in my baking.

Nut meal… so many uses

Seed Milk: An Alternative to the Alternative

My friend Caroline of Reviveolution told me she’s tried using sesame seeds to make her milk. So I gave that a try recently when I ran out of nuts and it was delicious. Same recipe as above, using sesame seeds instead of brazil nuts.