This post is all about how to make plant based milk! Specifically, in this post I’m making Hazelnut Milk, but you can use these instructions for any nut milk! You can make all sorts of different milks with nuts, but hazelnut is definitely special. It’s rich and creamy and has a great flavor!
WHY I MAKE MY OWN PLANT BASED MILK
I love to make my own nut milk instead of buying it at the store for lots of different reasons:
I avoid creating waste if I can! I make my nut milk at home and add it to one of my glass containers I already have and eliminate the need for a carton.
The hazelnut milk I made went into this old lemonade glass!
When I make my own plant based milk, I know EXACTLY what is going in! If you read the ingredients on store bought milk, you’ll see a lot of unnecessary sugar added in!
If you were to buy a carton of almond milk from the store, chances are the company making them isn’t adding a lot of almonds in! Most brands only about 2% of almonds are in each carton. So, to make up for it, here are a few popular unnecessary ingredients added in:
- Carrageenan This is derived from seaweed and mostly used to thicken dairy products. It is becoming less and less popular to add this in. You’ll notice a lot of almond milk products that say “carrageenan free” which is great!
- Calcium Carbonate This is a supplement used when someone isn’t typically getting enough calcium in their diet. There are a lot of diseases linked with calcium carbonate. For more on that you can check THIS out. (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
There are lots of other examples of unnecessary and sometimes harmful ingredients added to nut milk (or cows milk).
It’s cheaper when you buy in bulk
Buying pre-packaged nuts can be expensive. But, when I started bulk shopping, the price went down dramatically (not to mention, buying in bulk is usually more environmentally friendly)!
A lot of healthy grocery stores (like Whole Foods) will have a section you can buy products in bulk. When you do this, it’s usually cheaper. I would just check with your local grocer and compare prices.
Left over nut pulp
When I first started cooking healthier meals, I always bought Almond Flour or Almond Meal not realizing it was just ground almonds!
If you are making your own nut milk and you are also baking healthy treats, then save the pulp! You can simply dehydrate the pulp and use it in your baked goods. I’ll show you how at the end of the post!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Here are the tools, I used:
- High speed Blender
- Nut Milk Bag
- Large bowl to strain milk into
- Food Dehydrator (optional)
- Food Processor (optional)
- 1 cup of soaked hazelnuts
- 3 ½ cups water
- Pinch of pink salt
- About a teaspoon of cinnamon
- About a teaspoon of maple syrup
You can absolutely switch out ingredients that don’t work for you! Check out my FREE nut milk guide to see some of the many combinations you can make!
Steps to Make Your Own Plant Based Milk
These instructions will be based on making Hazelnut Milk, but this process is pretty much the same with any type of plant based milk.
The night before you plan on making your milk, measure out the amount of nuts you want to use and soak them overnight. I usually put enough water in it to just cover all of the nuts. You can check out why you should be soaking nuts in this great article.
Add one cup of nuts to the blender. Remember, one cup of nuts yields about 3 ½ to 4 cups of milk depending on your preference! If you want it to be more creamy, stay closer to 3 cups.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender. You may see some recipes that say to blend the spices and sweetener separately after you strain it. You can do this too, especially if you are new to making your own nut milk.
Blend on high for about 45 seconds until the liquid is very milky and the nuts blended down.
Get out the big bowl and your nut milk bag. If you don’t have a nut milk bag, you can always use a cheesecloth or a clean cotton t-shirt. I do recommend getting one because it makes this process a lot easier! Put your bag inside of your big bowl and get ready to strain!
Pour part of your mixture from the blender into your milk bag. I’d recommend going easy and only pouring a portion of the milk in.
Now you have to strain the milk from the bag. Don’t be gentle, you really want to get as most of it out as you can! Ring the bag like you would a towel you’re trying to get dry.
Now you’ll be left with a bag full of blended nut pulp like this:
Just put this aside in your food processor for now. We’ll get back to it!
Use this time to taste test your first batch before you make any more! I like to do this if I need to add any other ingredients, or use a different type of sweetener!
Different Sweetener Options
If you aren’t loving the taste so far, then you can definitely mix up what you’re putting in it!
Somedays, I’ll put pure maple syrup in, but other days I’ll add in honey. It totally depends on you! There are a few different options you can do for sweetener and A LOT of different flavor combinations! You can snag a few ideas with my FREE nut milk guide!
What to do with the left over pulp
Now that your plant based milk is done, it’s time to take care of the nut pulp you have leftover!
Pull your food dehydrator out and spread the pulp on the trays evenly.
I left mine on for about 6 hours to dry completely. The instructions that come with your dehydrator should tell you how long to dry nuts for.
After it drys, add the nut pulp to your food processor to turn it into a fine powder. Store it in an air tight container like this:
Now you have a great replacement for flour for your baked goodies!
There are endless variations you can make at home. So feel free to get creative! You can use my free nut milk guide to give you inspiration, or just start to experiment!
How flavor combinations have you made before? Let me know in the comments below!