EASY ALMOND MILK + ENZYMES & INHIBITORS
Once you try homemade nut milk and realize that’s it’s genuinely just as easy to make as running to the store to buy, you’ll never go back! It’s so creamy and tasty and not to mention, lactose/casein/carrageenan/hormone-free! Considering that up to 75% of the human population is lactose intolerant, nut milk is a great alternative.
The first thing you want to do is soak the nuts. Most people know that nuts (and seeds) are full of enzymes that aid in digestion and deliver nutrients among a slew of other things as long as they’re in their raw and natural form. In addition, nuts also contain enzyme inhibitors (to protect against insects, etc until they’re ready to sprout) which blocks the enzymes and causes a burden on the body to properly break down and digest. In order to destroy the inhibitors and maximize the nutrition value, simply soak them. By soaking the nuts, you release the enzyme inhibitors and start the germination process. This causes the enzymes and nutrients that were previously inactive to become active increasing the nuts overall nutrition value!
Different types of nuts should be soaked for different (debatable) lengths of time. Generally, the harder the consistency of the nut, the longer it should soak. Almonds, for example, are very dense and can be soaked for 24 hours but never less than 8 hours. Macadamia and cashews are extremely soft and therefore need only be soaked for about 3 hours. To soak the nuts, cover them in water by a couple of inches leaving them room to swell and pop them in the fridge. Next, you want to drain and rinse the almonds because the water they’ve been soaking in still contains the inhibitors. I use this stainless steel strainer.
Put the soaked almonds and 3-4 cups of filtered water in a blender and blend on high speed. Feel free to add any flavor enhancers at this stage in particular if it’s something on the chunky side like dates so you can keep your milk as creamy as possible. See how quickly it already starts to look like tasty milk! Pour the mixture into a nut milk bag over a large bowl and then squeeze to get as much of the milk out as possible. You can also use a strainer like the one pictured above; however, it’s harder to get as much milk. Stirring will help. You can also use cheesecloth but that can be harder to work with. I use this jelly strainer bag because it’s 100% cotton whereas most nut milk bags are made of synthetic materials like nylon. The jelly strainer bag is inexpensive, works great, and is the perfect size to make a small batch!
At this point, I like to put the milk back into the blender and add flavor enhancers like a dash of sea salt, raw honey, and vanilla. You can also add more filtered water to dilute the mixture if you prefer. It’s much easier to pour the milk from the blender into containers than from the large bowl. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Don’t discard the almond pulp! Well, you can, except that it can be used for so many purposes! I've used it to make pancakes but most of the time, I just toss a few tablespoons in my morning oatmeal. If you don’t plan to use it right away, store it in the freezer.
You’ve got milk!
To enhance the flavor, feel free to add anything from vanilla extract, vanilla bean, cinnamon, cold-pressed coconut oil, raw honey, organic maple syrup, cacao powder (for chocolate milk!) or anything else that suits your tastebuds!