Making your own non-dairy milk

Courtney Rupertus

Thinking of swapping out cow’s milk for a non-dairy milk alternative? Whether you’re doing it for health reasons, ethical reasons, or simply because it seems like everyone is adding it to their smoothies or coffee, there are a number of tasty non-dairy options that you can make yourself at home with little added costs.

Even though I am not vegan, I found it very easy to transition to nut milk simply because of the simplicity, convenience, and the taste!

The best part about making your own nut or seed milk is that you get to know the ingredients that are being used, costs are low, and wasted materials are even lower, especially if you buy in bulk. Who doesn’t want tasty milk without any additives like refined sugars or chemicals that you can put in a reusable glass container?

Making your own non-dairy milk ensures you have a constant supply of fresh milk - typically 1L of milk will last you 2-3 days, and then you can get into a routine of making a new batch every three days. 

Kitchen items you will need to get started:

  • High performance blender
  • Mason jars or glass milk jar with an air-tight lid
  • Nut milk bag or fine mesh cheese cloth

Nut milk bags can be found online or in most large-scale health food stores, and usually result in a smoother texture versus using cheesecloth. They are also washable, reusable, convenient, and can even double as plastic-free produce bags that you can take shopping. A very wise investment!

Nut and seed milk recipes are extremely versatile - you can use your favourite bulk nut or seed and experiment from there. Just be sure to use raw, organic and unsalted varieties. 

Seed milks are especially easy to make and require NO straining! Simply blend 1 cup of either sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or hemp seeds with three cups filtered water until smooth, and enjoy.

You can decide whether you prefer to soak your seeds overnight or not. A reason why you may like to has to do with removing the phytic acid from the seeds or nuts you are using. This acid may or may not cause you intestinal discomfort, so just go with how your body feels.

Making your own nut milk requires a couple extra steps, but is still very easy to whip up.

Keep in mind that you can use any nut you like: cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, or even pistachios.

As for added flavourings, you can use whatever combination you prefer, some ideas are:

  • 2-3 Mejool dates, softened
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1-2 tbsp. organic maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

First off, you’ll want to soak 1 cup of raw nuts overnight in filtered water. Drain and rinse them well before you start the process.

I personally like to use ½ cup almonds and ½ cup cashews along with 1 tbsp. of maple syrup for a sweet and creamy blend. 

Blend your 1 cup of pre-soaked nuts along with 3 cups of filtered water for around 2-3 minutes. 

Pour the contents of your blender into your nut milk bag or cheesecloth over a large bowl, and separate the milk from the pulp. You can save the excess pulp for later to make granola, cookies, or even vegan cheese.

Once you’ve removed as much milk from the pulp as possible, pour the milk back into the blender, add your natural flavourings of choice, and blend again for 1 minute. Store in your mason jars or re-sealable milk jar in the fridge, and enjoy within three days.

You can use your homemade milk by itself, in smoothies, in your coffee, in your pancake recipe – the possibilities are really endless!