**This post is tips+tricks to making your own milk, along with the reasons why I do it. If you want a basic how-to, check this out.
Making my own nut milk has changed the way I start my mornings, test my recipes, and look at the ingredients in store-bought products. It might sound crazy, but hear me out.
You know how people say it’s good to make your bed in the morning, because you’re starting your day with intention? Or starting it on the right foot? Making my own milk has become a similar concept for me. It’s a huge part of my routine because it makes me happy. Lemmmeeeee tell you why and how I got started.
I first decided to try making my own nut milk last spring, when my boyfriend at the time used Sundays to bake his own bread. I loved the idea of making something I had every day from scratch, and I already used Sundays to meal prep, so what’s another thing on the list?
Like anyone else with a full-time job who was ballin’ on a budget, I used to buy my nut milk at the grocery store. Your average brand is under $5 a box and ready to use, which was super convenient for me. Little did I know that making the real deal took WAY less time, effort, and money than I thought.
Of course, I first turned to my favorite food bloggers for their go-to nut milk recipes. After doing so, I quickly noticed that there wasn’t much of a consistency in the nut to water ratio in all of their recipes. So, I decided to say screw it and test my own.
My two favorite nuts are walnuts and Brazil, so walnut milk first venture. Since I was a rookie, the first batch I ever made was definitely thicker than it’s supposed to be (apologies to those I shared it with because it was basically a milkshake), but it still tasted good!
Here’s the point of telling you all of this: Yes, there is a standard 1 cup nut, 2.5 cup water ratio to make any kind of nut milk, but in my opinion, it all depends on what you will be using the milk for. Will you be making desserts or lattes? Do you drink it plain, or add it to your morning drink? Are you going for taste, or are you just looking for a quick dairy replacement?
These questions may make things more complicated, I know. No worries, I’m here to make it simple for you! Now, I make nut milk 2/3 times a week, and through trial and error, I’ve learned a handy list of tips and tricks. Ch-ch-check it below.
1. dates are your best friend
Dates help with two things: taste and texture. If I’ve run out of dates when I’m making milk, I always find the taste to be a little bland and the consistency seems more chalky. It’s like they smooth everything out or something. And they make it a little sweeter…naturally, of course! I usually add 2/3 pitted dates to each batch.
2. soft nuts = more water needed, hard nuts = less water needed
This makes sense if you think about it. If a nut is super soft, it will soak up more water, which gives the milk a thicker. Walnuts are a great example of this. I find that whenever I make walnut milk, I always have to add more water; otherwise, it tastes like a milk smoothie, which is no good for recipe testing. With almonds, I don’t have to add as much.
3. bring it from “OK,” to “ayyyyyy, OKAYYYYYY.”
There are three things I ALWAYS add to my nut milk: dates, pink salt, and a litttteeee dash of vanilla. As stated above, the dates help with texture. Though they are opposites, adding the pink salt and vanilla compliment each other wonderfully and will give your milk the sugar and spice it needs to bring it from good to GRRRREat. Not do or die, just a suggestion.
4. don’t put your cheesecloth in the washer!
Clean your cheesecloth in the sink. I soak mine in hot water throughout the day after use, and then, I clean it with a food safe soap/cleaning agent. Afterward, I hang it to dry overnight. Be sure to soak it right after so bacteria doesn’t build!
5. make small batches
When I first started making nut milk, I would make these HUGE batches because I thought it was saving me time. Though it would save me time, I was also wasting money because the milk would go bad and I’d have to throw it out. FYI, nut milk lasts on average about 3 days in the fridge.
6. save the pulp
For those of you who don’t know, nut pulp is the stuff that’s left in the cheesecloth once you’re done straining. Don’t throw it away! Put it in the fridge or freezer and look up nut pulp recipes. Most of them are no-bake desserts, which like, hellooooo….
so, why make your own?
Many people ask me, “I know it’s more expensive to make your own nut milk. Is it really worth it?” My answer is, DUH. Think about it this way: What are some other things in your fridge that only last a few days, or maybe a week tops? Fruits, veggies, pre-cooked legumes, etc. All things that are REAL good for you, and don’t have any added BS. Store bought nut milk lasts longer because chemicals are put into it to give it a shelf life. If these chemicals keep the nuts from taking their natural course and going bad when they’re dunzo, do you really think your body will know what to do with it? I try to feed my body with things that it will recognize. Otherwise, my digestive system is like, “WTF,” even if I don’t always feel it. When I make my own, I know EVERYTHING that’s going into it, and that makes me soooo happy.
In addition, it tastes SO MUCH BETTER. It’s creamier, and it actually tastes like the nut you made it with.
Finally, as I said before, like meal prep, it’s become a huge, positive part of my routine. It’s so rewarding and therapeutic to start your day by making something from scratch that tastes good, fuels your body, and has multiple uses. Now that I’ve started to make my own, I can def say I will never go back to the store-bought stuff.