Disclaimer: Our resident food writer Allison from Seek Satiation is back with another recipe post, and this one is brought to you by Clever Yoga, a woman-owned company we love. Check out their nut milk bags and use code 'YBC15OFF' for 15% off. Hope you guys enjoy! xo Candace
I can not deny: I am a lover of cow's milk. A tall cold glass of whole milk still satisfies me when I'm eating a nice piece of dark chocolate or a chewy fresh - from - the - oven chocolate chip cookie. Growing up, it was also a staple in my household; did you also have milk with your dinner every night? Because, for the first seventeen years of my life, I did. When I moved away to college and realized that I could have water, juice, or (...gulp...) Sprite with my sub-par dining hall dinner, my eyes were opened to something new! It was so habitual for me to grab a glass of milk for dinner, and I still did it through my first semester.
Over the years, I've developed a love/hate relationship with dairy, namely cow's milk, for a myriad of reasons unique to myself. I could rattle on about the various pros and cons of keeping dairy in one's diet. It's a food group that affects everyone differently. For me, I love the overall nutrition it can provide, of course. Conversely, when my diet is overall low - to - no dairy, my skin is clear as can be, and as for bloating? Buh-bye! Gone! (That being said, I'm no medical professional; contact your doctor or dietitian if you believe you are having serious issues with dairy!)
I'll still have my occasional tall glass of that white stuff with a good dessert, and you best believe I only go for creamy whole milk when I indulge in a chai or matcha latte. Still, it's nice to have some non-dairy alternatives and to reap their respective nutritional benefits.
Making plant-based milk has been an experiment I've wanted to try for a while, admittedly. I found the concept of it to be a bit intimidating, and goodness knows whenever I'm at the grocery store, I never think to myself, "Hey! Allison! Don't forget to buy a package of cheesecloth to drain your nuts in!" (...heh...) I was recently introduced to HaveSome Goods Nut Milk Bags from Clever Yoga and became excited about making my first batch of almond milk! In fact, inspiration struck, and I opted to make a few other kinds of plant-based milk: coconut and banana! (How tropical!)
The benefits of using these HaveSome Nut Milk Bags are numerous. One, the nylon is exceptionally durable; you can use these bags multiple times whereas you'd be throwing out single-use cheesecloth sheets, therefore reducing unnecessary waste. Two, it holds the plant-based solids well; all of the milks I made came out as smooth as can be, not a trace of pulp from the almonds, coconuts, or bananas I used. Three, by making your own milks with these bags, you can easily control the ingredients you add! While I used to buy any ol' almond milk from the store, I soon became hip to their ingredients; I don't necessarily need to drink guar gum or locust bean gum, do I? Almonds and water - and perhaps a pinch of sea salt - should be it!
I am absolutely in love with these bags. I can't wait to make more plant-based milks from them - I am head over heels in love with the coconut milk I made - and I may even use them otherwise! I could make additional plant-based milks, juices, and perhaps even labneh! Hmmmmm. Looks like I might have some more recipes to develop, thanks to these bags!
(Makes approximately 5 cups)
- 1 cup sliced almonds, peeled and roughly chopped / slivered (you can also buy pre-slivered almonds; do not use roasted almonds!)
- 2 cups almost-boiling water (for soaking) + 5 cups cold water for milking (preferably purified)
- Pinch of sea salt
1.) Bring two cups of water to a simmer over high heat; remove from heat before water comes to a full boil. Place almonds in a large heatproof bowl and top with simmered water. Cover bowl with a dish cloth and allow to sit for 2 - 3 hours. Drain water from almonds.
2.) Add almonds, 5 cups cold water, and sea salt to blender. Blend on high for 2 - 3 minutes or until almonds and water are fully incorporated.
3.) Set nut milk bag over a large bowl. Pour almond milk mixture into the bag over the bowl; gently squeeze and "milk" the bag until all liquid has been removed; the almond grounds remaining inside of the bag should be relatively dry and cakey. Either compost almond grounds or save almond grounds for later use.
4.) Transfer almond milk to a container for storage; should remain fine in refrigerator for up to seven days.
NOTE: Alternatively, almonds can be soaked in cold water for 8 - 24 hours.
(Makes approximately 2 cups)
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (go for organic, if you can!)
- 2 cups water (preferably purified)
1.) Add coconut and water to blender. Blend for 1 - 2 minutes or until coconut and water are fully incorporated.
2.) Set nut milk bag over a large bowl. Pour coconut milk mixture into the bag over the bowl; gently squeeze and "milk" the bag until all liquid has been removed; discard of or compost any leftover coconut remains.
3.) Transfer coconut milk to a container for storage; should remain fine in refrigerator for up to seven days.
Banana Milk (Adapted from The Kitchn's recipe for Banana Milk)
(Makes approximately 1 & 1/2 cups)
- 1 banana, soft but not overly ripened (i.e. - try not to use bananas that have started to brown!)
- 1 cup water (preferably purified)
- Pinch of sea salt
1.) Add banana, water, and salt to blender. Blend for 1 - 2 minutes or until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
2.) Set nut milk bag over a large bowl. Pour banana milk mixture into the bag over the bowl; gently squeeze and "milk" the bag until all liquid has been removed; discard of any leftover banana remains. (There should be very little banana remaining, but using the bag removes any excess pulp you may not want to consume.)
3.) Use immediately; if not using immediately, transfer banana milk to a container for storage, though it only has a shelf life of about a day! (And yes, it WILL turn brown, though the flavor is not affected!)
Let's talk: I'd love to hear your thoughts - have you ever made a plant based milk? What'd you use? Any special favorites I should try in the future? Any special requests for future food posts from me here at YBC?