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Nut Mylk - the how and why

Nut Mylk - the how and why

Elanor’s Nut Mylk Recipe

Do you have access to milk in glass bottles or recyclable packaging?

As a household of 4 we used to go through about 2-4 tetra pack cartons of  plant based/UHT milk per week.

Now that tetra packs are no longer recyclable in Western Australia, the amount of packaging we would send to landfill per week (just from milk) was completely ridiculous!

I decided to do some experimenting in the kitchen to determine just how easy it really could be to make a package free alternative. I had several successes and a couple failures and discovered some great new recipes and ideas along the way.

So, whether you're trying to reduce packaging waste, cutting out dairy or just want to have a bit of fun in the kitchen; here is the down low on DIY plant milks:

 How to make them

 How they taste

 What they're best for and

 Which ones are really worth making!

the how to….

The basic recipe that I use for the majority of my plant-based milks works with a ratio of about 1 cup of nuts/seeds to 1 litre of water with a good pinch of salt.

Depending on what you want to use the milk for you can add extra salt, flavours or sweeteners.

My go to sweetener is medjool dates but you could use soaked pitted dates, maple syrup, rice malt syrup or any other sweetener that you prefer.

For sweet milks I also love adding vanilla, cinnamon or cacao powder.

Experiment and see what you like!

A high-speed blender works best for making nut milks but some nuts may still need soaking. If you're using harder nuts such as almonds or hazelnuts it is best to soak them in water for about 8 hours or overnight, just be sure to drain them and rinse them really well the next day! If it is cool enough, you can leave them on the counter to soak but if it feels too warm, I would recommend putting them in the fridge

Macadamia Milk

Ingredients

•        1 cup of macadamia pieces (or whole kernal)

•        1 litre cold water (filtered if you like, I just use tap)

•        Pinch of salt or ½ tsp

•        1 tsp vanilla extract

•        3-4 pitted medjool dates

Method

•        Put all ingredients into a high-speed blender, blend on high for 1 minute

•        Strain through nut milk bag into a glass bottle (or whatever container you are using)

•        Chill and serve

•        Easy.

 

As all the milks work from the same ratio, this recipe for macadamia milk can be adjusted to whatever nut, seed or grain you would like to use.


How They Taste and What They're Good For

 

Almond Milk 10/10

•        Very versatile

•        Really great for coffee and cooking

•        Super creamy and froths very nicely for hot drinks

•        Better than any store bought almond milk I have ever tried

 

Macadamia Milk 10/10

•        Super creamy and delicious

•        an absolute dream in hot chocolate

•        leftover pulp is great for making a DIY baked vegan 'cheese'

 

Oat Milk  7/10

•        a great all-rounder for cooking and baking

•        works well for cereal/oatmeal

•        Makes coffee taste quite a bit like porridge (but is that a bad thing?)

 

Hazelnut Milk 8/10

•        excellent for coffee and hot chocolate

•        very rich in flavour so probably wouldn't want it everyday

•        blended with some raw cacao powder and a couple extra dates made a great chocolate milk alternative!

      

Cashew Milk  8/10

•        Is too creamy a thing??

•        Works wonderfully for dairy-free custard and desserts

•        Very delicious but was too rich for me to have in coffee everyday

(but hey, you might love it!)

 

Hemp Milk 5/10

•        Very strong flavour, would definitely recommend blending with another type of nut or seed to balance it out

•        Good for smoothies and savoury uses for milk

•        Definitely not my favourite for tea or coffee!

 

Sesame Milk 3/10

•        Not the most pleasant experience..

•        Very bitter and not suitable for anything sweet (especially in coffee!)

•        I used the rest of it to make a dairy-free cheese sauce and it worked quite well but definitely not my first choice

what do I do with all this pulp??

When you make nut milks it is inevitable that you will end up with a pile of pulp, but don't throw this out! Using the pulp can be as fun and experimental as making the milk, there's no need for it to go to waste.

Each pulp I have managed to use in some recipe from oat pulp crackers, hemp bliss balls to chocolate hazelnut cookies. It can be thrown into curries, soups, stews, cakes(!) or you can dry out the pulp in the oven (or a dehydrator) and you have just made almond meal! Zero waste!

Though my favourite by far is this Almond Baked 'Cheese'

Now for this recipe I have only tested macadamia or almond pulp but I'm sure other nuts and seeds

would work!

This cheese goes great with crackers, on a platter with dips, sprinkled over salad or enjoyed just on its own!

Dairy- Free Baked Almond Cheese

Ingredients

•        Leftover almond or macadamia pulp (it should be about 1 cup)

•        2- 3 Tbs nutritional yeast

•        1 ½ Tbs extra virgin olive oil

•        2 cloves of fresh garlic, finely grated or 1 tsp garlic powder

•        1 tsp mixed herbs

•        ¼ cup of sundried tomatoes or marinated olives (optional)

•        Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

•        Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl until it forms a paste, if it's a little dry you may add a little bit more olive oil or lemon juice.

•        Press down firmly into a small oven safe dish or tray and bake for about 20 min at 180- 200 or until golden on top and slightly firm to the touch.

•        Let cool slightly and serve warm or set in fridge and serve chilled (it will firm up more in the fridge).

•        Enjoy!

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