Monday, September 7, 2015

Homemade Non-Dairy Milks: 101

Non Dairy Milks

If you’re a vegan, or allergic to dairy, or just downright dislike cow milk…this post is for you.  It’s all about homemade nondairy milks.  I’ve been making homemade nut milks for close to 10 years! I started making them in my Magic Bullet and then graduated to a high speed blender.  I’ve tried many different nut and seed milks.  My ALL TIME favorite is walnut milk and I have created a video (end of post) sharing how I make walnut milk and also demonstrate the use of both and high speed blender and standard blender in the quality of the walnut milk.  In this post I share with you some of the basics to making your own non dairy milk, with several recipes to get you started.  And I hope you find it inspiring…as well as delicious.  

Okay, let’s get started…


Soaking…what and why?

Every nut, grain or seed milk starts with a good soaking.  The soaking process is helpful in a couple of ways.  First, it softens the nut, seed, or grain and helps in the overall blending process.  Second, soaking helps remove enzyme inhibitors that are naturally occurring in most all nuts and seeds and leaches out unwanted chemicals (such as arsenic in rice).  So soaking is a must.  Some nuts and seeds soak longer than others.  I typically soak large hard nuts longer than small soft seeds.  I think a good rule is soaking until sprouting occurs.  There are many charts for soaking to sprouting, but none particularly for soaking and blending.  I found a chart on The New Raw for soaking – it’s a simple chart with the most popular nuts and seeds.  So I would recommend following these soak times.  If making rice milk, I suggest soaking for one to four hours and rinsing the rice until completely clear.  



How to?

The process of making non-dairy milk is quite simple.  It’s just a few simple steps with the soaking time being the longest.  When I make nut milks I take an extra step which would go in between steps 3 and 4 and this is allowing the milk to rest and then scooping off the foam that is created from blending. I find it makes the straining process a bit faster (and easier).  If you’re new to making non-dairy milks, I would start with less water (2 1/2 cup to 4 cups) to 1 cup of nuts/seeds.   I personally use 7 cups of water to 1 cup of nut/seed.  It’s what my taste buds are used to after all these years.  As a general rule, the less water used, the creamier the milk will become…and stronger in flavor.  My advice is to experiment with what works best for you.

Standard Process: 

  • Step 1:  Soak 
  • Step 2:  Drain and Rinse
  • Step 3:  Blend with water
  • Step 4:  Strain through a mesh bag


  • Store all non-dairy milks in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.  Be sure to stir before severing, as the milk tends to separate.  


Common Add-Ins

I keep it simple with my add-ins with 5 drops of stevia and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and that’s about it.  But from time to time I experiment with different ingredients (for fun flavors) and less water (for a creamier consistency).  

  • Dates
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Coconut Nectar
  • Stevia
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg 
  • Vanilla Bean or Extract
  • Almond Oil
  • Cacao Powder
  • Coffee Beans
  • Coconut Oil or Coconut Butter 
  • Celtic Sea Salt


Homemade Non-Dairy Milk Recipes

  • Almond Milk Recipes.  Almond milk is perhaps the most popular nondairy milk (next to soy).  

1.  The Tasty Alternative 

2.  Wellness Mama

3.  The Blender Girl 

4.  Nom Nom Paleo 

  • Walnut Milk Recipes.  I LOVE walnut milk, it’s my all time favorite non-dairy milks.  I make it weekly for my family.  

1.  The Tasty Alternative 

2.  The Healthy Chef 

3.  The Tolerant Vegan 

  • Other Nut Milk Recipes

1.  Cashew Nut Milk

2.  Macadamia Nut Milk 

3.  Hazelnut Milk 

4.  Pecan Nut Milk 

5.  Coconut Milk (from fresh coconut) 

6.  Coconut Milk (from shredded coconut)

*Coconut is technically a seed, but I included it in this category.

  • Seed Milk Recipes 

1.  Sunflower Seed Milk

2.  Pumpkin Seed Milk

3.  Hemp Seed Milk

4.  Flax Seed Milk

  • Grain Milk Recipes 

1.  Rice Milk

2.  Oat Milk

3.  Amaranth Milk _____________________________________________________________________________

Nut Milk Bags:

I’ve tried many different nut milk bags over the years and my absolute favorite is THIS one from Vermont Fiddle Heads.  I love how well this one strains out all the pulp and creates a nice clean milk.  

I recommend browsing around their many nut bag options to find which one will best meet your needs. 


Green Kitchen Tip:

Making non-dairy milk is always a great way to decrease waste.  Less beverage containers in the landfill is a good thing.  I use THESE care bags when shopping and purchasing nuts and seeds in bulk and so there is virtually NO waste!  Woot–Woot. 



In this video I share my method for making walnut milk and compare the use of a high speed blender and regular standard blender.

This blog post was shared on the following link parties:  Allergy Free Wednesdays, 

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Labels: dairy free, drinks, how to, non-dairy milk, seed milk.


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