Ok, you may have already moved away from cow milk. My journey started immediately as alternatives were on the market, not so much that I’m lactose-intolerant, though too much dairy will make me run to safety, just the thought of drinking animal milk seems unnatural and unhealthy at the time. And this is before studies came out showing how the antibiotics and hormones given to dairy cows carried over to the milk we drank, or that pasteurization is not necessarily a good thing for it kills off all of the healthy bacteria, vitamins, and minerals.

First, it was only soy milk… sweetened.  The sugar did help the transition from non-dairy, and again this is before we know what we know now about the harmful effect of sugar on our health. But I moved to unsweetened because intuitively it seemed healthier, though not backed by science. But soy was harsh on my gut. So I had to move to a softer cow milk alternative. Fortunately, the market was listening because rice milk was introduced. I don’t have much reason why I transitioned from rice to almond milk, but I was not alone. Almond milk took the market by storm as the healthy nut craze meets dairy.

Fortunately, almond milk is a breeze making at home (so are most nut kinds of milk). No special devices required, and no master chef skills.

Make Your Own Vegan Almond Milk – It’s Easy Quick and Tastes Better

 

 

Ingredients

  • 250 gr raw almonds
  • 4 teacups filtered water
  • 3 teacups filtered water (for soaking)
  • A pinch of Himalayan or sea salt
  • To taste Agave/ Stevia or another sweetener of your choice (optional)
  • 1 vanilla bean or cinnamon powder (optional)
  • 1 tspn almond butter (optional)

Preparation

homemade vegan almond milk-soaking nuts

Step 1. Rinse the almonds, place them in a deep bowl and cover with water. You can soak them overnight or speed it up by soaking them in hot water for 1-2 hours, if you are in a hurry. (some prefer to peel them off, but I like texture, so never done that. Besides, after straining, most of the almond skin is filtered out.)

Step 2. Move the almonds to the blender jar and add 3-4 teacups of filtered water. Add a pinch of Himalayan sea salt and a sweetener to taste if you prefer it sweet. Turn on the high speed and blend until smooth. You can add cinnamon or another flavor now, a tsp of almond butter, and blend again. Or do that right before consumption.

homemade vegan almond milk

Step. 3. You can use a cheese cloth, a fine strainer or a nut milk bag to get the delicious milk out of the mixture. The nutmilk bag definitely makes the process more hassle-free. But I don’t have issues using a big fine strainer, either. (Let me note, however, I don’t usually produce large quantities, if you do, you’d better stick to the nut milk bag)

Step 4. Poor in a glass jar or bottle. Cool in a fridge. Consume it within  3-4 days.

One advantage of almond milk is that it doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Which means you can bring it with you while hiking or camping or if going on a picnic.

Notes

Homemade vegan almond milk dairy-free

When you leave it to rest overnight, your homemade vegan almond milk will look something like the image on the left, and nothing like the image on the right. So using an airtight glass bottle is a smart move since you can easily shake it before use.

almond milk pancakes

You can replace cow milk in traditional recipes. I’ve made pancakes with almond milk but added nutritional yeast to make the taste more complete and full. No difference in texture or taste, but I used a conventional recipe with eggs. If you want to make it vegan, replace eggs with ground flax seeds or chia seeds (1 tsp freshly ground seeds with 3 tsp water = 1 egg) or add commercial egg replacer.

The New Wave – Pea Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 Tea cup dried yellow split peas
  • 5 Teacups of filtered water
  • 1 Tsp Himalayan salt
  • To taste Stevia extract or another sweetener of your choice (optional)

Preparation

yellow pea milk homemade

Step 1. Wash the yellow peas thoroughly with water. Soak 1 teacup of peas in 3 teacups of filtered water for a night. The beans should triple their volume, thus, use a deep pot.

pea homemade milk

Step 2. Dispose of the water that the beans have been soaked in. Wash them again and put them in a blender. The more powerful, the better. But a regular kitchen blender does a decent job. You just need to stir from time to time to help puree the peas. Add a little water if the mixture is too thick.

homemade vegan milk - yellow peas

Step. 3. Pour 9 cups of filtered water into a large pot (half full) and heat it to the point just below boiling. Add the yellow peas mixture and slowly stir. Beans need to be cooked to remove the enzymes that cause the bean flavor. Whisk regularly. Leave for 10-15 minutes.

yellow peas homemade milk

Step 4. Cool the mixture. Then sieve through a fine wire mesh or better a cheese cloth.

Add the salt and sweetener of your choice. You’ve got a protein-rich beverage but the plain version doesn’t really taste so good (personal opinion) – a pretty bland taste. So, we recommend that you add some flavor – like vanilla, for example.

Notes

This is a protein-rich beverage but, honestly, it can’t convince your taste buds it’s milk, and you can’t add it to coffee. It still has that specific taste, I just couldn’t get rid of no matter what I tried. Actually commercially produced Pea milk, under the brand Ripple, uses a patented technology that removes the beany taste of the milk. But it has a bunch of other substances added, a lot more than the ingredients in cow milk.

Still looking for a DIY recipe that will make this beverage delicious without having to add a shopping basket of ingredients. Have you found one?

Coconut Milk – the Easiest Homemade Vegan Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 Teacup of organic coconut flakes (unsweetened), shredded coconut core, dried coconut
  • 2 Teacups filtered water
  • 1 Tsp Himalayan salt
  • To taste Stevia extract or another sweetener of your choice (optional)

Preparation

Homemade coconut Milk - vegan milk, dairy-free, vitamin-rich

Step 2. If you are using coconut flakes, it is better to soak it in warm water for 1-2 hours.

Homemade coconut Milk - vegan milk, dairy-free, vitamin-rich

Step. 2. Mix the coconut flakes and the water in a blender jar. Then, blend at high speed. You will get a creamy foam on top, you could use it for making cake garnish and for other applications requiring creamy consistency.

Homemade coconut Milk - vegan milk, dairy-free, vitamin-rich

Step 4. Strain through a cheesecloth or a fine strainer. Add salt, flavor or sweetener to taste. Cool and consume with pleasure and moderation.

Notes

You can reuse the coconut pulp that you filtered out by adding water and blending again. However, the second “edition” of your coconut milk will be thinner. You could also reduce the portion of water for a thicker coconut milk or add more for a thinner version. Adjust salt and sweetener to your preferences.

Cool and store in the fridge for 2-3 days.

You can use it for baking and cooking. It’s perfect for smoothies. I also like to add it to my morning coffee. It does change the taste of coffee, so don’t do that if you enjoy a pure coffee taste. Use with moderation.

 

Sources:

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/benefits-almond-milk.html

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/03/20/almond_milk_recipe_make_your_own_almond_milk_at_home.html

http://blog.paleohacks.com/almond-milk-nutrition/#

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/07/29/almond-milk.aspx

http://www.healthline.com/health/milk-almond-cow-soy-rice#Soymilk4

http://coach.nine.com.au/2017/02/02/11/21/almond-milk-health-benefits

https://www.fastcompany.com/3058722/this-pea-based-milk-is-healthier-than-almond-milk-and-actually-tastes-almost-like-milk

http://www.livestrong.com/article/258824-the-nutritional-value-of-yellow-split-peas/

https://www.ripplefoods.com/healthy-living/#hl-charts

http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/smart-choices/what-is-pea-milk

http://www.gq.com/story/what-is-pea-milk

https://www.prevention.com/eatclean/should-you-drink-pea-milk

For more information on why to reduce cow milk consumption:

Cow’s Milk: A Cruel and Unhealthy Product

 

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