This is a special guest post by Shia Su, aka Wasteland Rebel. If you like this recipe and are interested in reducing waste, please check out Shia’s book Zero Waste: Simple Life Hacks to Drastically Reduce Your Trash.
You might have heard it before: one efficient way to fight climate change is to reduce your consumption of animal products.
However, if you have also embarked on the journey to become more zero waste to tread lighter on the only planet we have, you might have cussed at the aisle with the plant-based milks (at least internally). Because the only way cruelty-free milk is sold is in cartons, which are notoriously difficult to recycle.
The good news is: making your own plant-based milk (or “mylk”) is surprisingly easy! Today I’m going to show you how to make one of the probably most popular mylks, almond milk! But if you’re more into coconut milk, head over to my tutorial on how to make zero waste coconut milk 🥥🥛!
But before we jump in… Here’s what you need to know about homemade plant-based milks
- Homemade plant-based milks taste different from their store-bought counterparts. This is especially true for soy, rice, and oat milk, because they are highly processed products. Most people don’t like the either more intense or comparably bland taste of homemade soy, rice, or oat milk. However, nut milks usually taste a lot better homemade, which is why I recommend them over the other options.
- Homemade mylks will naturally separate (except for soy milk). This is nothing to worry about, just give it a good shake or stir.
- Homemade mylks will last for 3-4 days in the fridge, because they don’t contain any preservatives. However, making them is quick and easy, so we always make them fresh and never store them.
- The better your blender, the creamier your mylk. That’s because your blender will be able to grind your nuts (or any other base) into smaller particles.
Almond and hazelnut milk are my two favorite milks, flavor-wise. Too bad I’m allergic to both almonds and hazelnuts 😭! This, plus the fact that almonds are a thirsty crop usually grown in California where water is rare, are the reasons why we only make almond milk when we have guests over. If it’s just the two of us at home, we usually make oat milk 🌾🥛, because it’s the more local (and more affordable) option for us. And I can actually drink it because I’m not allergic to oats 🤪.
Offering almond milk is just a very safe bet. I mean, so far I have never met a single person that didn’t like almond milk! It’s also great as a coffee creamer. Well, as long as you strain it properly so there aren’t any visible bits left that the coffee will turn brown-ish 😆…
How to Make Almond Milk
You can swap the almonds in this recipe for other nuts, e.g. hazelnuts, cashews, or walnuts!
- 1/3 cup of almonds, bought in bulk of course 😉
- 1 cup of water
- A blender
- A very fine strainer, a nutmilk bag, or a muslin
1. Soak almonds for at least 4 hours or over night, unless you have a high performance blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec. If you don’t know if your blender classifies as a high performance blender, it most likely does not 😉.
2. Rinse the almonds and put them in the blender. Add water.
3. If you want to, you can also peel them before you blend them. Pour some boiling hot water over them, wait for a minute, drain and rinse them with cold water. Simply squeeze them with your fingers and they should slide right out of their skin. However, leaving the skin on will make your almond milk taste nuttier.
4. Blend for 15 to 60 seconds, depending on how good your blender is. Tip: You can add the water in two batches if your blender doesn’t handle nuts well.
5. Now strain the almond milk using either a fine strainer, a nutmilk bag, or a muslin.
6. Squeeze the milk out, either using a spoon if you’re using a strainer like I do, or by bunching up your nutmilk bag or the cloth.
7. The pulp (or almond meal) can be dried and dried and used as almond flour, or you can simply add it to your morning bowl of cereals or any cake batter you like. By the way… We only strain our mylks when we have guests over.
8. As you can see, making almond milk can be very quick and easy, especially if you have a high performance blender so the almonds don’t need to be soaked and you can’t be bothered to strain your milk *ehem*. So we usually just make a fresh batch whenever we need some mylk. But if you want to make a bigger batch, you can pop it into the fridge and it will last for 3-4 days.
This post originally appeared on Wasteland Rebel. Special thanks to Shia for giving us permission to re-post her work!
We highly recommend Shia’s book Zero Waste: Simple Life Hacks to Drastically Reduce Your Trash.
Want more vegan goodness? The Essential Vegan Toolkit is just £9.99 in our webshop for all of January 2020 and comes with a free A3 nutrition poster.