No joke, making my own nut/seed/oat milk has become one of my favorite weekly rituals.
Once I got over the intimidation factor of making it at home (for a long time I refused to try it because it seemed intensive and time-consuming) I realized there are so many benefits to the DIY approach.
Seriously, have you ever tried house-made nut milk at a coffee shop, restaurant, or smoothie joint? The texture is creamy and rich, the taste fresh, pure and not overly sweetened.
When you make your own nut milk, you know exactly what’s going in it. This means you can avoid weird shelf-stabilizing chemicals or emulsifiers (carrageenan is a common one found in almond milk that’s been linked to cancer) as well as added sugars/sweeteners.
Also most store-bought nut milks contain very little nutritional value from the nut itself (it’s mostly water and additives) whereas when you make it at home you’re getting a lot more of the protein, fiber and nutrients from the nuts in your milk.
Buying nut milks at the store can get expensive (and usually the “cleaner” they are the more pricy they get!) Snag your nuts/seeds in bulk at the store, and the cost per batch goes way down (my nut and seeds vary from $2.99 per pound for seeds to $12.99 per pound for the pricier nuts like Brazil).
When you DIY your own nut milk, you’re essentially cutting out the packaging, production and shipping that goes into buying a store bought milk (i.e. it reduces your carbon footprint). Also seeds require a ton less water to grow then nuts, so try mixing it up with pumpkin, hemp or sunflower milk.
So, are you ready to start making your own nut milks? Here’s everything you need to get started:
(see my foolproof formula below)
Tip: If you are making a seed milk like pumpkin + hemp, or using a very soft, skin-free nut like a cashew you won’t need to strain your milk. If you’re hesitant about straining I suggest starting there, however I am a big fan of straining bc it really enhances a smooth texture.
You can skip this step if you forget or are low on time, but soaking nuts enhances their bioavailability (it removes some of the lectins that can make nuts difficult to digest) and helps soften them, enhancing a creamy, smooth texture.
My go to is adding a few dates, a sprinkle of sea salt and some vanilla bean to my nut milks (I mostly use them in coffees and smoothies so I like it a bit on the sweeter side) but you can leave it totally plain/ unsweetened to use in savory dishes and recipes or play with other fun flavor combos/add-in’s like cacao + mint, honey + turmeric, lavender + vanilla, etc.
Using glass ensures chemicals from plastic aren’t leaking into your nut milk, and storing in the fridge will help it last for about 5-6 days.
Buying in bulk will allow you to get the most bang for your buck, and raw ensures you’re getting the nuts in their most nutrient-dense state, without any added salt, flavorings or weird vegetable/palm oils.
If you really don’t feel like straining your nut milks, I recommend experimenting with pumpkin seed, hemp seed or cashew milk and steering clear from any bulky add-in’s like dates or vanilla bean (they’ll add chunks to your milk). Also stay away from any nuts that have skins on them or create a lot of pulp (like almonds, hazelnuts or Brazil nuts) as the milk texture won’t be smooth/chunk-free unless you strain.
Playing with different nut and seed mix-in’s creates a different flavor profile and exposes you to a ton of different nutrients and benefits. You can also try using a couple different nuts in one recipe, I find this often creates the best flavor profile. Here’s a few of my faves + what I like about each:
+ Brazil Nut — Rich in the nutrient selenium and excellent for supporting Thyroid health. Also a clean taste and creamy texture.
+ Macadamia Nut — One of the creamiest versions, use this for sweet or decadent recipes. Also a good source of fiber + healthy fats, so a little goes a long way.
+ Cashew Nut — Probably my favorite, cashew nuts create a rich, creamy and versatile milk you can use in both sweet and savory dishes. They are also technically considered a seed, so some people with nut allergies may be able to tolerate them.
+ Almond — The classic of nut milks, almonds are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein + fiber. The texture and taste is less creamy than others, so I like to mix in with cashews or macadamias.
+ Oats — Oat milk is all the rage lately and for good reason, it has a mild, slightly sweet, creamy texture that works amazingly well for smoothies, coffee and matcha. It’s also a good alternative for those that can’t tolerate nuts or seeds, just keep in mind it contains more carbs, calories and less fat than nut milk, so it’s more likely to spike insulin levels and cause increased hunger unless paired with something more protein + fat rich. IMPORTANT NOTE — If making oat milk DO NOT soak the oats, it will create a slimy texture.
+ Pumpkin Seed — My favorite of all seeds, the flavor is mild and smooth and the color is a gorgeous seafoam green. It’s also super-rich in magnesium, which most of us are deficient in, and helps to improve sleep, digestion, relaxation and reduce stress/anxiety.
+ Hemp Seed — This one has a clean, slightly grassy flavor that tastes best in smoothies. They’re also rich in both Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain development, immune system function, optimal fertility + hormone health + blood pressure regulation.
A foolproof formula you can use to create delicious, creamy DIY nut or seed milk every.single.time.
Author: Lauren Chambers
Recipe Type: versatile -- snack, entree, dessert, smoothie
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