Illustrations by Abby Sommer

It might seem like non-dairy milk is a recent fad for health nuts— pun intended. But history shows us that, actually, humans have consumed plant-based milk for centuries. Almond milk was used in Europe in the eighth century as a substitute during religious holidays (talk about the opposite of holy cow). Soy milk, served hot as breakfast, has been popular in China since the 14th century.

And while cow milk has nutritional benefits, it also contains fats, sugars, possible antibiotics and hormones that are not healthy additions to the human diet. Plus, did you know humans are actually the only species that drinks milk produced by other animals into adulthood? Isn’t that … nuts? Nut milks, on the other hand, are vegan, environmentally friendly, udderly delicious and easy to make at home. •

what you’ll need
  • 1 cup nuts (almonds, cashews, hazelnuts) or another plant source (sunflower seeds, oats, etc.) 
  • 2-3 cups filtered water 
  • Sweetener (optional)
  • Vanilla extract (optional)
  • Milk strainer/milk bag/cheesecloth
  • Can be found at most convenience stores or online.
  • You can also use Swiss voile cloth – 100% polyester is ideal – from the fabric store.
  • High-speed blender
 
Steps:

1. soak nuts in room-temperature filtered water. 

Soak times vary based on the type of nut. Almonds and hazelnuts require at least 8 hours. Rice and cashews require 2-4 hours. The general rule of thumb is the softer the nut, the shorter the soak time.

2. combine two or three parts water with one part nuts and blend for about one minute or until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. 

Vary the amount of water added based on personal reference. 

3. filter the milk through a cheesecloth for a silky smooth texture.

If you like it chunky, feel free to skip this skip.

4. jazz it up with A TOUCH OF YOUR FAVORITE SWEETENER AND/OR FUN POPS OF FLAVOR, SUCH AS CINNAMON OR VANILLA.

5. CHILL THE MILK IN THE FRIDGE, AND ENJOY IT WITH OATMEAL, A CUP OF THE OLE JOE, OR YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL. 

You can go nuts with the combinations!

tips and tricks:

  • The pulp from the straining process can be repurposed as body scrubs or used in other recipes.
  • Freshly made nut milk can last up to three days in the fridge. If there are any leftovers, freeze the milk in an ice tray for an extra boost in drinks or smoothies.