How to Make Homemade Nut Milk
Skip the store-bought milk alternatives and learn how to make homemade nut milk with these step-by-step instructions and expert tips. You'll be a pro in no time!
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What consumers consider “milk” has undergone a major transformation in recent years, leading to a variety of nondairy milk alternatives available at the grocery store. However, even the best nut milks and oat milk brands can still include added sugars and processed ingredients.
That’s why learning how to make nut milk at home is one of the best ways to avoid any unnecessary ingredients. All it takes is a few tools and two ingredients to whip up a batch of yummy, sugar-free nut milk. (And if all else fails, an Almond Cow is a mighty milk-making machine to add to your kitchen arsenal. We tried it and were amazed by the results.)
Whether you’re looking for a healthier nondairy milk alternative or you’re tired of the store-bought options, we tapped Taste of Home Deputy Culinary Editor, James Schend, for his expert tips on how to make homemade nut milk.
Why Is Making Nut Milk Better Than Buying It?
The taste and quality of homemade drinks and meals is always better—and nut milk is no exception. “If you’re looking for the most natural nut milk, making your own is one of the best ways to do that,” says James, who’s been dairy-free for years. “There are some ingredients in commercial brands that people may want to avoid for one reason or another. Sugar is a big one people are avoiding. Honestly, that’s the reason I don’t buy many nut milks. They’re really sweet for my taste. Another is carrageenan; it’s a thickening and stabilizing agent that is made from algae.”
How is nut milk made?
Making homemade nut milk may sound complicated, but all it takes is a powerful blender, raw nuts, water and a nut milk bag to whip up your own batch. “Many recipes tell you to combine water and nuts in a blender and process until smooth,” says James. “Personally, I like to soak the nuts overnight in water and then blend the next day. I find it’s easier to blend that way. You then strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag.”
What nuts can be used to make nut milk?
Almost any unsalted, raw nut can be used to make nut milk. “Almond is probably the most common but pretty much any nut can be used,” says James. “Cashews are one of my favorites. Hazelnuts make a beautiful milk, but that gets very pricey. Even if I’m making almond milk, I’ll still through in a handful of cashews because I love the texture it gives the finished milk; very creamy.”
Can you make nut milk without a blender?
The short answer is no. A powerful blender is key to mixing up smooth, homemade nut milk, and skipping this step could result in a wasteful mess. James notes, “I haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard you can mix pre-made marzipan with hot water and get sweetened almond milk.”
How to Make Nut Milk
Tools and Ingredients
- Blender. “The more powerful the blender, the smoother you can get the mixture,” adds James. We recommend using one of the best Vitamix blenders, like the Vitamix A2500 Ascent Series Smart Blender. The Ninja Professional Countertop Blender is also a good choice.
- Nut milk bag. A nut milk bag separates the milk from the pulp, aka the blended up nuts. Strain and squeeze your homemade nut milk with this top-selling nut milk bag. You’ll want to stock up on a few of these bags for every time you make nut milk at home.
- Glass bottles. Put your homemade nut milk on display with these beautiful glass bottles. This set includes four, 1-liter bottles, which is more than enough to hold your nut milk in the fridge.
- Ingredients. You’ll need 1 cup of raw nuts and 2 cups of water—plus more for soaking. As an optional ingredient, you can add your natural sweetener of choice, like honey, agave or maple syrup.
1. Soak nuts overnight
James recommends soaking 1 cup of nuts overnight, which makes them easier to blend the next day.
2. Drain nuts and rinse
Once nuts have soaked, drain them with a colander or strainer. Rinse with cold water and shake off any excess.
3. Combine nuts and water in a blender
Add the nuts to a blender with 2 cups of water.
4. Blend on high speed, pulsing as needed
Let your powerful blender work its magic by putting on high speed for two to three minutes. This will break up the nuts, turning them into smooth, creamy nut milk. Blend ingredients until the mixture is as smooth as possible, pulsing as needed.
5. Strain mixture using a nut milk bag
Secure a nut milk bag over a pitcher to strain the blended up mixture, which will contain a healthy amount of pulp. Carefully pour a small amount of mixture into the nut milk bag/pitcher, squeezing the nut milk bag occasionally. Continue this step until the mixture has been strained and squeezed into the pitcher. Discard the nut pulp. Or, for a zero-waste recipe, save the nut pulp in an airtight container for future use. It makes a yummy addition to baked goods.
6. Add sweetener of choice, if desired
Add honey, agave or maple syrup to taste. Or opt for a sugar-free nut milk concoction by skipping this step.
7. Store in a glass jar and enjoy
Using the pitcher, pour your nut milk into glass storage jars and keep in the fridge for up to four days.
What’s the benefit of learning how to make homemade nut milk?
Suparat Malipoom/Getty Images
“The biggest benefit is you know exactly what’s going in your milk and you can customize it to your own personal taste,” says James. “If you don’t like it sweet, you can reduce or eliminate the sugar. Or you can swap it out for honey or maple syrup. You can also use a blend of nuts for your own unique flavor.”
Tips for How to Make Nut Milk
- Use raw, unsalted nuts. All it takes is 1 cup of raw, unsalted nuts to whip up homemade nut milk. If you’re preparing for more than just one person, increase the amount of cups as needed. Take it from James and throw in a few cashews with your nut of choice for an extra creamy concoction.
- Soak nuts overnight. Again, soaking nuts overnight is key for achieving a smooth blend. You’ll thank yourself later.
- Choose a high-quality blender and nut milk bag. A powerful blender and a nut milk bag are your two best friends when making homemade nut milk. We recommend using these best blenders, or any Vitamix model. Though cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve can also be used to strain the mixture, a nut milk bag is ideal for beginners.
Once you perfect your homemade nut milk recipe, try your hand at learning how to make oat milk.
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