Homemade Fortified Nut Milk (Works for all Nuts!)
What is UP, friends. I just started the spring semester of my sophomore year of college and I am already overwhelmed! BUT that's not what this post is really about. If you follow me on instagram @sippingonsoy then you might know that I tried to make my own soy milk!
I say tried because I accidentally overcooked it. I didn't know over cooking soy milk was a thing one could do, but I managed to do it... sigh. While eventually I will revisit the whole homemade soy milk situation, I've decided for now it will be more sustainable for me to make nut milk instead!
Nut milk is a bit easier to make and significantly faster in my limited experience. It really only requires 3 simple steps.
1/ soak your nuts (optional if you have a high speed blender)
2/ blend with water
I had pecans and walnuts on hand, so I used a mixture of those two to create my milk, but would I recommend them? Not necessarily. Pecans are very expensive and the flavor actually isn't my favorite. I usually purchase almond or cashew milk, and when I run out of pecans and walnuts I will try to make milk out of those and report back on my findings, but I need to use the nuts I already have so as to not waste them.
To be honest, it took me a long time to put considerable effort into switching over to homemade milk. I drink/use A LOT of plant milk, because I use soy milk for baking (which I do a lot of) and almond milk for drinking. This means that a considerable amount of vitamin D and calcium intake come from these milks and store bought milks are often fortified with these vitamins to be more nutritionally comparable to fortified dairy milk.
For some reason it didn't click in my head that it would be incredibly simple to fortify my homemade milk.
Vitamins are important. Most people know this, and as nutrition major I think it would be pretty irresponsible for me to recommend an unfortified homemade milk to people who might have never even thought about the nutrients they get from drinking store bought dairy or plant-based milk.
I fortified my milk with calcium and vitamin D, but in the future I think I will also add vitamin B12 which it is imperative vegans supplement for.
I hate to admit it, but I am terribly forgetful and rarely remember to take my B12 supplement. Which is why I try to incorporate as many B12 fortified foods in my diet as possible kind of as something to fall back on for days I forget to take my pill.
B12 deficiencies can take a long time to diagnose, and severe cases can cause permanent brain damage so this is not a nutrient to play around with. Like... seriously.
ANYWAY now that I've convinced you to drink fortified plant milk, let me tell you about how easy it is to do it at home and why you totally should if you are able.
Like I said, I personally buy on average 2 tetra paks of milk a week, and those are sadly not recyclable everywhere. So basically, I potentially to send 104 tetrapaks to the landfill on a yearly basis. And that is just for one tiny person!!! I know not everyone uses as much plant milk as I do, but there are definitely people who do, so for me it was pretty important I find something more sustainable.
Enter ModVegan's recipe for soy milk (p.s. I love her YouTube channel). While my attempt at making this recipe didn't quite pan out, I learned that fortifying homemade milk is as simple as blending in a couple powders. The version of calcium carbonate I purchased comes already in powder form, and the vitamin D came is came in capsules I could easily open up and pour into my strained nut milk.
What do you need to make your own nut milk? Well I'll tell you!
- The ones I used are pictured above. It cost me about $20 for both those bottles, but the amount I use per batch of nut milk costs less than 50 cents.
- Be sure to get a vegan version of D3 or vitamin D2, because D3 is often animal derived if not stated otherwise.
Nut(s) of choice.
- I used pecans and walnuts as mentioned, but in the future I think I'll use almonds and/or cashews. When I visited the bulk section at my local whole foods the pecans were $12.99 a pound whereas the walnuts, almond, and cashews were all about $6.99 a pound. So ummmm.... yeah.
Water. Preferably filtered.
- Yeah... water is self explanatory.
Nut milk bag (or something with straining capabilities).
- If you are going to try soy milk eventually I would get a cotton or hemp bag.
- Vanilla, sweetener, salt, cinnamon, etc. These are optional, but they make life more enjoyable!
A container to store your finished milk.
- I didn't have anything big enough at home, so I bought two glass milk jugs from amazon, but if you have something at home already then that's great! I do really like these jugs though because I can put a use by date on the top of the lid and it's erasable with a little soap and water!
Hopefully I've inspired you to try making your own plant milk. It's actually kind of fun! Be sure to follow my instagram @sippingonsoy for more updates. I look forward to interacting with you. xx
General nut milk recipe
- Blend 2 cups of water with soaked (and rinsed) nuts. Add two additional cups of water and optional flavorings and blend again until smooth.
- Strain milk through nut milk bag (or whatever you have). I do this twice to make sure I get out all the graininess, but you could probably just do it once if pressed for time.
- Lastly, add calcium and vitamin D and blend one last time. Pour into storage container, and store for three or four days in the fridge. Separation is natural. If your milk separates, just shake it up. It's all good. Enjoy!
- 1 cup nuts of choice, soaked (4 hours or overnight)
3 1/2-4 cups filtered water
1-2 tbsp agave
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp calcium carbonate
2 capsules vegan vitamin D3
- Adapted from ModVegan & Cookie+Kate.
- Pecans and Cashews *technically* don't need to be strained as they should blend pretty well into a smooth mixture without much leftover pulp, but I like to strain them to just to be safe especially since I don't use a high powered blender.