I'm getting ready to introduce some of my favorite morning blends, lattes, herbal infusions, and adaptogenic concoctions with you all, which feels really exciting (at least on my end) because these are integral, everyday parts of my diet. But as I prepared these recipes to share, I felt so silly when I realized I had yet to share my method for easily crafting nut and seed milks (which serve as the base for said recipes). There's actually a post a while back on the Journal detailing my recipe for a Chai Spiced Pumpkin Seed Milk (which is pretty divine), but I wanted to create something a bit more definitive and all-encompassing. So here it is: your guide to creating the most delicious and nutrient dense plant-based milks, ever.
As of late, I've been wildly inspired by Amanda Bacon's Moon Juice Cookbook, which has reignited my passion for spending more quality time in the kitchen and crafting things by hand. Because real talk, I do become stressed, overwhelmed, and uninspired at times, and my diet definitely suffers. I cut corners, eat out more than at home, and *gasp* buy prepackaged nut milks. But since diving into the MJ cookbook a few months ago, I have been reminded of how simple + delicious making my own nut milk (and cultures, ferments, juices, and wholesome sweets) can really be. If you're at all interested in learning more about cosmic, inspired plant-based living, this book is an absolute must.
Making your own milks could not be easier and requires just a few ingredients + bit of planning. It also tastes like a thousand times better than store-bought versions (which always seem totally flavorless + watered-down to me) and is packed with way more nutrients, sans the preservatives, fillers, additives, and pasteurization. Home-crafted milks lend a more luxurious texture and taste than purchased milks, containing more of the high quality proteins + fats our brains and bodies crave.
With the exception of a few varieties (see below), you'll want to soak your nuts and seeds in water overnight. This "activates" the nuts/seeds, making their nutrients more readily available and easier to digest. I simply toss them into a bowl, fill it with water, and place in the refrigerator to be blended the next morning.
The 'Basic Nut + Seed Milk' recipe below is your blueprint for creating fresh, wholesome, and powerfully nutritious nut and seed milks. I always opt to add in a bit of pink himalayan salt, vanilla extract, and a few dates to add subtle sweetness + enhance the flavor, but feel free to experiment with leaving these out.
The two additional recipes are for those of you feeling a bit creative. The Strawberry Rose Milk has been my go-to nightcap as of late (roses are incredibly calming on the nervous system), and the Chocolate Hemp Milk makes a incredible midday treat (cacao has an energizing yet grounding effect).
BASIC NUT + SEED MILK RECIPE
- Choose 1 cup of nuts or 1/2 cup of seeds (must be raw) - options include almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds.
- Place your nuts/seeds in a bowl and fill with water, allowing to soak overnight - this applies to all nut/seed varieties except for Brazil nuts, hemp seeds, and flax seeds.
- Combine your soaked (if necessary) nuts/seeds in a blender with 3 cups filtered water, a pinch of pink himalayan salt, 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional), and 2 pitted medjool dates (optional). Blend on high for about 30-40 seconds.
- Place your nut milk bag in a medium-sized bowl and pour the blended mixture in. Keeping a firm handle on the top of the bag to keep contents inside, begin to gently press + squeeze the bag to extract the liquid. Continue squeezing until all liquid has been removed. You can skip this step if using hemp seeds, as they don't require straining.
- Transfer the milk to an airtight, glass container. At this point, you can taste the milk and add more water if necessary. I prefer a thicker, creamier milk, but feel free to add up to 1 cup more of water to thin it out.
- Milk will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
STRAWBERRY + ROSE INFUSED CASHEW MILK
Combine 3 cups of your freshly made cashew milk (see directions above) with 1 cup organic strawberries (fresh if available, or frozen) in your blender. Blend until smooth. Option to strain out the strawberry pulp with your nut milk bag, or not. (I usually do). In a small saucepan, combine your milk with 2 tbsp dried food-grade rose petals. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once simmering, remove from heat and cover. Allow to cool for about 20-30 minutes. I like to steep + infuse the rose petals in the milk overnight, pouring the mixture into an airtight glass container and placing in the refrigerator. In the morning, pour through a small mesh strainer to remove rose petals. Your dreamy strawberry + rose milk will stay fresh for about 3 more days in the refrigerator.
CHOCOLATE HEMP MILK
Combine 1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds, 3 cups filtered water, 2 tbsp raw cacao powder, 3 pitted medjool dates, and a generous pinch of pink himalayan salt in your blender. Blend until smooth. No need to strain the milk, as hemp seeds blend really well. Pour into an airtight glass container and place in the refrigerator. Will stay fresh for 3-4 days.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram, and tag any photos you post of your solful recreations with #SolfulHealth so I can see!