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Making Non-Dairy Milk

Food Forest Abundance Education
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In North America and abroad, milk is a versatile ingredient that’s used in a wide variety of food and drink recipes. However, many people can’t process the sugars (lactose intolerance) in milk, and others simply choose to use a type of non-dairy milk instead. There are several types of nut-based milk that you can use as an alternative to cow’s milk, and there’s an easy way to make it yourself at home. Here are our recipes for how to make various plant-based milk and how you can benefit from each type.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a delicious, and naturally sweet non-dairy milk. Making it at home is simple,  you can do it by blending and straining coconut and water, adding a little salt, and adding flavoring if necessary. Coconut milk can be enjoyed on its own or used in smoothies, lattes, baked goods, cereal, mac & cheese, or to replace milk in most recipes. After straining, use the leftover pulp in cookies, oatmeal, or sprinkled on top of a smoothie.

Coconut milk has several health benefits:

Lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol 

– Raises HDL (good) cholesterol

– Shrinks stomach ulcers

– Reduces inflammation

– Anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut

  • 3-4 cups of water

  • Pinch of salt

  • Optional: 1 date, ½ tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp cocoa, or ¼ cup fresh berries

Instructions

  1. Add coconut, 3 cups water, salt, and optional ingredients to a high-speed blender, and blend for about two minutes.
  2. Taste it. If it’s too thick, add more water.
  3. Cover a container with a cheesecloth or thin towel and pour the coconut mixture to strain it.
  4. Transfer the non-dairy milk to a sealed container and put it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 5 days.

    Shake before use as it tends to separate.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is a healthier alternative to cow’s milk and has a smooth, nutty flavor. You can blend almonds or almond butter with water and any additional flavors, and get tasty non-dairy milk that contains less than 25% of the calories and less than 50% of the fat of cow’s milk. Also, after making your almond milk, the pulp leftover from straining can be used in cookies, crackers, and energy bites.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almonds or ⅓ cup almond butter
  • 5 cups of filtered water
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • Optional: 2 dates, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, ½ cup fresh berries

Instructions

  1. If using raw almonds, soak them in cool water overnight or in hot water for 1-2 hours.

     

  2. Add then soaked almonds (or almond butter), water, salt, and optional ingredients to a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth. Continue blending for another minute or two to ensure it is evenly mixed.

     

  3. Strain with cheesecloth into a glass container.

     

  4. Transfer to a jar or sealed container. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

    Shake well before use.

Oat Milk

Oat milk is a tasy and naturally sweet non-dairy milk. It’s especially good for use in coffee and tea because, unlike other types of milk, it doesn’t curdle when exposed to high heat. Oat milk is high in fiber and reduces how quickly your body absorbs cholesterol. It also helps you to feel full and lowers blood sugar after a meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • 4 cups of water

  • Optional: dates, vanilla extract, cocoa, or berries, to add flavor/taste.

Instructions

  1. Add oats and water to a high-speed blender.

     

  2. Blend on high for 30-45 seconds.

     

  3. Strain through a cheesecloth or thin towel, as traditional strainers let too much pulp through.

     

  4. Transfer to a sealed container and store in the fridge. It will last for 5 days.

    Shake well before use.

Takeaway

As you can see, it’s not as difficult as many may think to make non-dairy milk. Coconut milk, almond milk, and oat milk are all excellent choices if you’re looking for a type of non-dairy milk. You can try them all, and experiment with added flavors, to see which type is right for you!

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