Plant milks and even nut milks may sound strange, but these new alternatives to dairy products have gained popularity in recent years. The first plant milk was soy milk in the 1960s, and today there are several varieties, including rice milk, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk and even pea milk! It can be used in any recipe that uses milk – coffee and lattes, cereals, soups, stews – you name it! Plus, we have some suggestions for storing it in glass containers and even recipes for using your newfound brew! While there are many types of milk alternatives on the market, it’s easy and inexpensive to make them at home. Check out our kitchen guide to learn how to make your own plant-based milk. 

How to Make Homemade Plant milk

The health benefits of milk alternatives

The health and sustainability benefits of drinking plant milk are huge, but if you’re reading, I’m sure you already know that. A one-half glass of unsweetened homemade Almond Milk (recipe below) has as much calcium as one whole cup of skimmed milk, with no fat or cholesterol, which makes it a wonderful option for children or adults who can’t digest dairy products. If your main concern is sustainability, homemade plant milks are infinitely more sustainable than buying packaged alternatives in plastic bottles.

Why homemade?

When you make your own plant milk at home, you have control over all the ingredients and can avoid certain allergens (like nuts, dairy, soy, etc.) that may be present in some commercial milks. Plus, it’s fun and easy to make! Plus, the packaged variety in plastic is an incredibly harmful material – possibly even worse than paper – and recycling rates are extremely low throughout Europe, meaning that almost all recyclable plastic ends up in landfills or is incinerated.

Tips for creating plant milk at home

With homemade plant milk, all you need is a glass bottle of your preferred size, which you can simply wash out after use and reuse for other purposes. Plus, it’s cheap! It costs about 20 cents to make 100 ml of almond milk and less than a euro to make fresh almond milk to replace two days’ worth.

If that’s not feasible, it may help to double-bag your ingredients before adding them in. Also, be sure you shake or stir your mixture frequently while it is resting in order to ensure that everything is properly mixed together.

1. What equipment do you need?

To make homemade plant milk, you’ll need a few simple kitchen tools: an electric blender, cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer, and glass storage containers (that are clearly labelled). I prefer using a combination of fresh and dried ingredients; if your pantry is stocked with these basics, you can whip up a batch of homemade plant milk in no time.

You’ll need a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix), ideally, or you can use a food processor. Other than that, you just need a glass container and some cheesecloth. If you want to make nut kinds of milk, we recommend getting some nut milk bags as well. These are fairly inexpensive; they’re reusable and will last years! They come in different sizes so look for one that fits your needs—some hold more than others depending on how much liquid you’re processing at once.

2. Choose an alternative milk base

Choose an alternative milk base that is both sustainable and environmentally friendly. For example, instead of soy or almonds, use cashews, macadamia nuts or coconuts. Macadamia nuts are one of our favourite alternatives because they are native to Australia, not Asia (like so many other alternatives). Plus, growing macadamia nuts is much less water-intensive than almonds – so you can enjoy your delicious homemade milk without a guilty conscience!

How to Make Homemade Plant milk

3. Choose alternative flavourings and/or sweeteners (optional)

Choose alternative flavourings and/or sweeteners (optional) Chia seeds, oats, nut butter, dried fruit or vanilla are all good alternatives. If you want to add sweetness to your homemade plant milk, try maple syrup or agave nectar. The taste of plant milk made with an alternate sweetener will be a little different than store-bought soy or almond milk; they’re creamier and have a richer flavour when sweetened with whole foods.

How to Make Homemade Plant milk
Photo by Arwin Neil Baichoo on Unsplash

Let’s start!

Using a blender, add enough water to ground nuts to fill half of your blender cup (1/2 cup), 1/2 tsp salt, 1-2 tsp pure vanilla extract. Blend for 5-10 minutes until you get a smooth consistency. Pour into glass bottles and keep refrigerated for up to one week. You can use this plant milk as a substitute in smoothies, over cereal or even in your tea and coffee. Enjoy!

Not sure if it’s done? Add more water if needed. Sometimes you must blend it all together then strain it out with a cheesecloth when you want to have your milk very smooth. Try experimenting with different nuts and try blending them with other ingredients like dates, seeds, shredded coconut etc. 

Everything that is within your imagination is allowed!

July 20, 2023 — Hello Bottle

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