I’ve never been a huge fan of cow’s milk, even when I was a kid. I remember going to elementary school when we used to have a little mini-carton of milk waiting for us at our desks when we arrived in the morning. I remember not liking my milk and not wanting to drink it and being sent to sit in the hallway because I was being “bad”. Crazy, right? Looking back on this now, this seems ludicrous and obviously another example of big business propaganda – especially in schools.
But living the raw vegan lifestyle, there’s no need to think you’re missing out on animal dairy, actually you’re doing yourself a huge favor by steering clear of it!
It’s easy to get your daily dose of calcium from a plant-based diet. And considering how easy nut milks are to make you don’t have to spend huge money buying cartons of almond milk and you actually spare yourself all the added preservatives that allow those vegan milks to sit on the shelves for months on end.
Thank goodness there’s a ridiculously easy way to make low-cost vegan alternative to cow’s milk that are more nutritious, tasty creamy, nutty and simply amazing.
I like to make sprouted almond milk, but lately I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of different nut and seed milks, like macadamia, brazil nut, sesame, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or hemp seeds. Heck, you could even go wild and make a combo nut-seed milk, the options are limitless!
If I’m going to make the milk first thing in the morning, then I soak a cup of almonds the night before in water to germinate them This basically initiates the sprouting process, waking those sleeping seeds up from being dormant and removes the enzyme inhibitors, unlocking the vital life-force potential of the nuts and seeds.
After I soak the nuts in water I make sure to drain them and rinse them thoroughly before I use them for anything.
Basic Raw Almond Milk Recipe:
- Place 1 cup soaked almonds in the blender.
- Add 2.5-3 cups of filtered water. The amount of water will determine how watery your milk will turn out. For me, it ultimately depends on what I’m using it for. I usually like it on the creamier side for Mango Lassie Smoothies or as a milk for raw sprouted buckwheat granola recipes like my Raw Pecan Apple Crisp Granola or Raw Goji Berry Granola. I think a nice creamy sweet spot is at the 1:2.5 ratio. Add about 2.5 cups of water for every cup of soaked nuts and seeds. Play with the ratio to determine an optimal thickness that works for you.
- Blend at high-speed until the nuts or seeds are pulverized. The vita-mix blender does a great job at this.
- Strain the pulp and milk through a nut milk bag, into a container, or a bowl or a jar, whatever is easiest for you.
Voila! A simple raw vegan nut milk recipe that you can make in less than 5 minutes.
Raw Almond Milk with a Twist
If you’re like me and you want something a little less…um…basic, and want to add some flavor to your milk you can do this in a variety of ways. Here are some suggestions to spice up your nut milks.
Rinse the blender and place the milk back in there.
You can try adding one, all or any combination of the following to your freshly made nut or seed milk:
- 1 T cinnamon,
- Vanilla extract or actual dried vanilla bean
- a dash of clove and cardamom if you’re going for a spiced almond milk chai – kind of milk
- Sometimes I even like to go wild and add a few tablespoons of Artisan’s coconut butter, giving the milk a super rich, and coconut-creamy texture. But this is not recommended if you’re trying to watch your daily fat content.
To make your nut milk a little sweeter, you might
- A couple of fresh medjool dates
- 1 teaspoon of stevia (organic green leaf powder stevia)
- 1 tablespoon of raw local honey. (Yes, I do eat – and love – honey)
- A half of banana will sweeten it up and also make it a little thick and creamier.
I also like to save the nut or seed pulp in a bag in the freezer (will also keep in the fridge for a 2-3 days) and throw it in with a cracker or bread or a yummy Raw Cinnamon Hazelnut Scone recipe.
Most of all, remember to have fun playing with and exploring raw food recipes.
This is Laura Dawn wishing you a healthy and happy day,
Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii!